Nintendo president: Wii U ‘sales are not bad’

When the Wii launched in 2006, Nintendo struggled to keep up with demand. The motion-controlled console flew off store shelves as word of mouth drove the system’s popularity off the charts.

By comparison, at least based on appearances, Nintendo’s follow-up console isn’t re-creating that frothing demand.

“At the end of the Christmas season, it wasn’t as though stores in the U.S. had no Wii U left in stock as it was when Wii was first sold in that popular boom,” Nintendo president Satoru Iwata told Reuters. “But sales are not bad, and I feel it’s selling steadily.”

Iwata didn’t provide specific numbers. When the company launched the Wii U, it established a goal of selling around 5.5 million units by March.

The tablet-controller-based system sold 400,000 units in its first week.

Nintendo is facing a vastly different landscape compared to the launch of the Wii. Apple’s iPad has stepped forward as a major competitor for holiday dollars. Much of the audience that found themselves interested in the Wii have moved on to the iOS devices.

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