Late last week, shares of Japanese video game maker Nintendo rose the most in four months after figures indicated a strong holiday revenue showing for its new Wii U home console. NTDOY currently sits at $12.70, up 4.87 percent, buoyed by news that the new console generated has generated more than $300 million since its introduction in November of last year. That figure has the Wii U outpacing its predecessor, the runaway hit Wii, in terms of revenue.
The Wii, launched in November of 2006, generated $270 million in sales over the same period, even though it featured graphics technology far inferior to rival consoles from Microsoft and Sony. The Wii's success derived largely from its casual gamer-friendly software and an innovative motion controller. Other consoles added support for motion controls shortly thereafter, but it took years -- and a precipitous decline in Wii sales -- for the next competitor, Microsoft's Xbox 360, to approach the Wii in terms of install base and weekly sales.
With the Wii U's tablet-based controller, Nintendo hopes to regain some of the same magic and fend off competition from Microsoft, as well as to stem the trend that sees users migrating toward mobile devices as their primary gaming devices. According to Bloomberg
, these early numbers bode well for Nintendo, as the company has sold 890,000 Wii U units in the United States and another 638,339 units in Japan as of December 30.
Also encouraging for the company are software attach rates. The Wii U is the first console that Nintendo is selling at a loss, but Nintendo executives have previously revealed that the company will only need to sell one software title per console in order to make the Wii U profitable. New Super Mario Brothers U
-- with more than 580,000 units sold -- and other titles have seen strong adoption rates, meaning that Nintendo is making money off the device.
Overall, Nintendo sold 2.65 million hardware units in the United States in the month of December. In addition to Wii U sales, that includes 1.25 million 3DS portable consoles, 470,000 units of the Nintendo DS, and 475,000 units of the original Wii, which passed the 40 million total sales mark in the US.