This is interesting — maybe a little nuts, but interesting nonetheless: Rakuten, which owns Play.com, the U.K.-based online purveyor of games, clothes, movies and more, is saying it expects the Wii U to outsell the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One this holiday.
Well, maybe: MCV, which reported as much under the rubric “Play.com predicts Wii U dominance this Christmas,” may be misinterpreting what it itself cites the Japanese e-commerce and Internet company as saying, which is this: “The company predicts that Wii U and iPad will be more popular than Xbox One and PS4 amongst children this Christmas.”
Popular with children, mind you. Rakutin reportedly went on to cite a Twitter analysis, in which it says the Wii U and iPad were “the most talked about presents for children this Christmas.”
Children are an important demographic — one Nintendo’s appealed to for decades. You could argue, with actual numbers buttressing your argument, that Nintendo’s been the dominant games seller to children since pretty much the original Nintendo Entertainment System. But what are you arguing? Certainly not dominance.
The Wii U has sold somewhere in the vicinity of four million units worldwide to date, which would be a terrific figure had the console just launched alongside the PS4 and Xbox One last month instead of over a year ago. System sales have been up since Nintendo dropped the price on the Deluxe model $50, further bolstered by the release of Super Mario 3D World before Thanksgiving. But expecting the Wii U to outpace Sony and Microsoft’s multimillions-selling new consoles seems fanciful at best. Marry Wii U sales totals to the 3DS and now you have a plausible overall-brand argument, but unless Sony and Microsoft run into stocking issues, the Wii U by itself is probably a lock for third place.
Nothing wrong with third place: Sony’s PlayStation 3 held the position for most of its existence. And there’s no reason, at least not yet, to base your purchase decision on sales projections. This is a long game and we’re still in its early days. The question ought to be “What do you want to play?” All I can tell you is that for me, this holiday, on a set-top console specifically, the answer is simple: Super Mario 3D World and Pikmin 3 and Zelda: The Wind Waker HD.
(MORE: Watch here to some of the games currently available on the Wii U)