Otaku USA Magazine
Wii U Hits Japan

Two weeks after launching in North America, the Wii U was released on its home turf of Japan on November 8th.

Anecdotal response to the Wii U has been positive so far, with long lines forming at electronic stores throughout the country, including Yodobashi Camera in geek central Akihabara, where the store opened two hours early on release day.

Japan is seen as a stronghold for Nintendo, who do well here compared to North America where Microsoft’s Xbox 360 is a bigger competitor. But Nintendo isn’t invincible in Japan: like in the rest of the world, the Wii U faces competition from smartphone games, as well as Nintendo’s own handheld 3DS.

Nintendo posted a net loss for fiscal year 2011, but sales have been up since it lowered the price of the 3DS. The Wii U has also sold out in the U.S. since its release there, boding well for Nintendo’s holiday season.

It remains to be seen whether Nintendo can keep up the Wii U’s momentum. The Wii was initially a strong seller, but lack of strong third-party support, as well as a dearth of “hardcore” titles that appealed to the traditional gaming fanbase led Wii consoles throughout the world to gather dust in its final years.

Source: Bloomberg News

Matt Schley

Matt Schley (rhymes with "guy") lives in Tokyo, and has been OUSA's "man in Japan" since 2012. He's also written about anime and Japanese film for the Japan Times, Screen Daily and more.