Wii U shortages expected after debut

wii u 8gbNintendo’s Wii U will likely be missing some of the features promised for this weekend’s launch, but that won’t turn away buyers. In fact, many analysts are predicting shortages as the holiday rush for the company’s next-gen console kicks off in the U.S.

Michael Pachter, a Los Angeles-based analyst at Wedbush Securities Inc., told Bloomberg Business News that he expects the Wii U to sell out during its first six months, with demand dropping to 10 million units for the following year.

While these numbers are promising, they’re still well below the standard set by the Wii U’s predecessor, the Wii. The Wii sold almost six million units in its first four months on the market, then another 18 million the following year. While Nintendo has declined to provide any information related to its initial forecast for the system’s launch, a spokesman for the company did say they expect to move 5.5 million units by March 31, 2013.

“It has now become more likely that it is our production capacity, rather than consumer demand, that will place limits on our Wii U prospects for this calendar year,” Nintendo President Satoru Iwata told investors last month.

According to GameStop President Tony Bartel, more than 500,000 people are currently on a waiting list for the Wii U at the company’s retail locations, and there have been more than 1.2 million orders placed for Wii U titles worldwide — a number that’s twice as large as that of the early orders for Nintendo Wii titles ahead of the system’s launch.