Could PS4 announcement be good for Wii U?

A latest set of reported Wii U figures show that Nintendo is still struggling to get its new console into the hands of significant numbers of gamers. Stats created by US market research group NPD show that, in America, Nintendo managed to shift fewer than 100,000 units in January.

Games business site Gamasutra goes one further, stating that from its own estimates, Nintendo managed to sell only between 45,000 and 59,000 Wii U consoles in the States for the month. That's less, it says, than the Xbox 360 and PS3 have sold in a one-month period in each of their respective lifespans.

Pocket-lint is a fan of the Nintendo Wii U as a console, having given it four stars in our review, but sales are dropping off rapidly after the Christmas period and there could be a few factors contributing to that.

Obviously, we are in the middle of one of the worse financial recessions for many a year, and it's not the best time to be asking people to shell out hundreds of pounds or dollars on a new bit of kit, but the gossip, rumours and officially announced launch events for the rival next-generation consoles can't be helping,

That's why the PS4 launch may actually turn out to be a good thing for Nintendo. It's common, when a new product announcement is expected, that fans of a particular hardware category will wait to see what the fuss is all about before deciding on which format to adopt. Traditionally, smartphone sales among the techeratti dip before a new iPhone or Samsung Galaxy S handset is announced, for example.

Once the "future of PlayStation" is known, Nintendo may be able to entice those who aren't as interested in Sony's machine once they know what's in store - perhaps because the price may be too steep on launch, or are they just too impatient to wait for a release that may not be until 2014.

Of course, this really applies only to dedicated gamers. Casual buyers are a different matter, and it will take some doing for Nintendo to win over those people, especially as it won't be dropping the price anytime soon. And then there's the prospective Xbox 720 (or whatever it is likely to be called) launch to come.

But we wouldn't write off Nintendo just yet. It has been slammed in the past on a console launch - 3DS springs immediately to mind. But more often than not comes good in the end.

Getting more games on the shelves would be a start.



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