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CVG Sources: Wii U release date delayed to December across Europe

Manufacturing nightmare hampers global Wii U release; Nintendo console still likely to arrive before Thanksgiving in US

Nintendo is facing an uphill battle to release its Wii U system before the new year arrives, sources connected to the matter have told CVG.


With just four months before the holiday season opens, people familiar with the situation claim that the Wii U release date will fall to early December across Europe, missing the November launch window initially intended.

Key to the issue is the manufacturing of the Wii U GamePad; a complex controller that features a 6.2 inch touchscreen display, a front-facing camera, motion-sensing and Near field communication technologies, its own power supply and the promise that the device will be completely wireless.

Nintendo has declined to comment.

The platform holder is determined to release the system in the US before the lucrative Thanksgiving holiday, CVG's sources have said.

In July, an executive at a major publishing firm working closely with Nintendo told CVG that a European release had at one stage looked likely to slip into 2013, though the platform holder has since assured that the 2012 deadline will be met.

The manufacturing issues - which are quite common for new console system launches - are believed to have hampered Nintendo's plans on announcing a Wii U launch date.

'Wii cannibalisation issues'

Piers-Harding Rolls, lead games analyst for IHS Screen Digest, has told CVG that Nintendo could achieve 4 million unit sales of the Wii U by the end of the current financial year (March 2013), but added that the situation depends "on launch price and timing".

"The big question is the extent of cannibalisation of Wii sales by the Wii U," he added.

"In general, my outlook is that Wii U console sales will not replicate the success of the Wii. Aside from more intense competition from various other connected devices, the Wii U second-screen dynamic is a more complex consumer proposition compared to the Wii and is much harder to market."

Launched in 2006, the Wii broke records as the fastest selling home console ever across the UK, Europe, Australia and Japan.

Further Reading:
Wii U box art | How Wii U could be a game changer | Your guide to NFC