The Wii U launched in the United States November 18 to sales of 400,000 units during its first week. Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime revealed the sales milestone to GameSpot sister site CNET today, adding that total hardware sales (Wii U, Wii, 3DS, and DS) for the week exceeded 1.2 million units. The original Wii launched in 2006 and sold more than 600,000 units during its first eight days on the market in the Americas.
In addition to the Wii U's 400,000 units, the aging Wii console moved 300,000 systems during the past week, which included the one-day shopping bonanza known as Black Friday.
Nintendo's portable devices also prospered last week, with the 3DS moving 250,000 units and DS devices shifting another 275,000 systems. Fils-Aime said the original DS line outpaced sales of the newer 3DS last week due to the numerous Black Friday deals held by various retailers.
Despite being outsold by its predecessor last week, the executive said the 6 million 3DS units sold through its first 21 months is ahead of the original DS line during the same time by one million units.
According to Fils-Aime, the Wii U's 400,000 first-week sales could have been even higher if stock had been replenished sooner.
"Wii U is essentially sold out of retail and we are doing our best to continually replenish stock," Fils-Aime said. "Retailers are also doing their best to get the product to store shelves. But as soon as product hits retail, they're selling out immediately."
Though the Wii U may be facing shortages right now, Fils-Aime does not foresee the drought to be on par with the original Wii in 2006.
"Wii was a unique phenomenon. You couldn't walk into a retailer and buy a Wii until spring of 2009," Fils-Aime said. "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."