Nintendo Wii U

In the first week of Wii U sales, Nintendo sold a total of 1.2 million home and portable consoles between its four current and last-gen systems.

That includes 400,000 Wii U video game consoles (sold in the U.S.), which debuted for the first time on Nov. 18. Nintendo also said it sold 275,000 Nintendo DS portable devices, 250,000 3DSes, and 300,00 Wiis. That’s right, the Wii — which by all accounts is a dead system — sold 300,000 units in the same week that the Wii U debuted at retail. The Wii U represents Nintendo’s attempt to refresh its console business and stave off the advance of tablet and smartphone-based game rivals.

“Wii was a unique phenomenon,” Reggie Fils-Aime, head of Nintendo of America, told CNET. “You couldn’t walk into a retailer and buy a Wii until spring 2009. We’ve certainly learned many lessons from that and we are replenishing retailers more quickly this time around. We are looking to have as much product into retail as possible. It’s driven by consumer response.”

Despite the Wii U hogging most of the headlines, the Wii did have a number of very inexpensive Black Friday deals at retailers like Walmart, which listed the motion-controlled console for $99.

Still, the Wii U’s 400,000 units is impressive and many people who wanted to buy a the new hardware couldn’t find one. Sales should remain strong through the new year.

Interestingly, the DS outsold the 3DS in the same period of time. This is probably a pricing issue, but it’s one that may make Nintendo rethink its strategy. Rumors of a second permanent price drop for the three-dimensional device have swirled this morning, but we haven’t been able to confirm anything. The publisher may see these numbers and assume that they’re missing out on 3DS holiday sales by pricing the handheld just out of reach of some of these new DS customers.