The Nintendo Wii U, which just launched Nov. 19, isn't garnering the type of retail sales that Wii did six years ago. But the console is sold out at GameStop and is in limited supply across the country.
Sebastian added that GameStop's aggressive pre-order initiative for Wii U likely skewed sales higher than the retailer's traditional market share of Nintendo products. Over the balance of the holiday shopping season, the analyst expects limited replenishments in time for the Black Friday sales, although some retailers are holding back stock in order to drive store traffic, and big box retailers should continue to have some inventory.
One option where it's easy to pick up a Wii U is on auction sites like eBay, where thousands of the consoles are currently for sale -- for an added markup.
"Wii U prices on eBay are indicative of supply shortages," said Sebastian. "According to our review of completed transactions on eBay, nearly 2,000 Wii U units have already sold on the marketplace (80 percent are the Deluxe edition), with an average sales price for the Wii U Deluxe of $488 (40 percent above the $349 retail price) and $389 for the Wii U Basic (30 percent above the $299 retail price), indicating there are shortages of the console at retail."
Sebastian forecasts that Nintendo will sell 3 to 3.5 million Wii U consoles in the December quarter, with at least 1 million each in North America and Japan, and the balance sold in Europe and worldwide.
"Longer-term, we remain cautious on the prospects for Wii U, and expect overall lower unit sales than the original Wii," he said.
For the latest information about videogames, visit http://www.gamerhub.tv