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Wii U’s poor January sales explained

Many were disheartened to learn that the Wii U was only able to achieve sales of 57,000 units across North America in January.

Yet industry sources have claimed that Nintendo’s latest console actually sold considerably more than this, according to Gamasutra.

We aren’t talking about a few thousand either, such sources dismissing sales data released by the NPD Group and stating that the Wii U had actually surpassed over 100,000 unit sales for the month.

So, why does there appear to be such a significant discrepancy? NPD Group’s estimate remains accurate, but hides the fact that it also encompasses consoles returned to retailers. Whilst January saw hardware sales in excess of 100,000 units, an approximate 40,000 units were returned – subtracted from the larger figure.

With expectations that the Wii U would once again capture consumer attention in the same way that its predecessor had, many rushed to purchase systems anticipating stock to be hard to come by – therefore heightening value.

These would then be resold on at a profit, through Ebay for instance, yet with sales dwindling such resellers didn’t see enough benefit from their intial purchases and therefore returned them to retailers.

Whilst the Wii U finds itself within a less than admirable situation, we can at least sense a greater understanding as to why sales figures aren’t painting a more positive light.

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