But IHS said translating Wii U's hot start into longer-term success will be a major challenge. The market research firm forecasts that Wii U sales over the first four years of its life are expected to reach around 70 percent of the Wii's sales volume in the corresponding time frame.
"Long-term success depends on ongoing consumer engagement delivered through the constant release of high-quality content from both first and third parties, a competitive non-games entertainment proposition and a sound digital and online strategy to go along with such innovation," said Harding-Rolls. "Nintendo is still some way short of delivering a comprehensive engagement-led value proposition at the launch of the Wii U."
According to IHS, recent announcements from Nintendo show that the company has identified its weaknesses and is willing to adapt in order to remain competitive. The Wii U games lineup for the launch window features more third-party developers than Nintendo has had for its consoles in the past, IHS said. The company has also partnered with 3-D game engine provider Unity to encourage new games developers to come on board, IHS said.
"How the company executes on these new initiatives will have a substantial impact on the Wii U's ability to maintain its market relevance past the launch phase when competing with the burgeoning choice of connected devices that serve games content to consumers," Harding-Rolls said.