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Nintendo’s Initial Sales of Wii U in Japan Trail Its Predecessor

Sales of Nintendo Co.’s new Wii U console in Japan trailed those of the original Wii in the first two days, a market researcher said, as the world’s biggest video-game maker tries to bounce back from its worst loss.

The sales of 308,570 lagged behind the 371,936 initial two-day sales of the Wii in 2006, market researcher Enterbrain Inc. said today. The top-selling game for the Kyoto-based company was “New Super Mario Brothers U” at an estimated 170,563 units, it said.

Nintendo debuted the console in the U.S. on Nov. 18 -- with consumers there buying 400,000 units in the first week -- as pressure mounts on Chief Executive Officer Satoru Iwata to repeat the success of the Wii. Facing increased competition from smartphones, tablets and free games like “Angry Birds,” Nintendo cut its profit goal 70 percent in October after posting its first annual loss in three decades last year.

“It’s hard to give a final judgment unless we see sales for two or three weeks,” said Hideki Yasuda, an analyst at Ace Securities Co. in Tokyo. “The Wii U got sold out because of a shortage in supply.”

Nintendo fell 4.8 percent to 8,800 yen in Osaka trading, extending the declines this year to 17 percent. The company isn’t the source of information for Enterbrain’s forecast, Nintendo spokesman Yasuhiro Minagawa said.

“We believe it was a strong start,” Minagawa said in a phone interview from Kyoto. “Just as the Wii sold out at many outlets on its debut, the Wii U is also out of stock at the retailers.”

Monster Hunter

Capcom Co. sold an estimated 110,149 units of “Monster Hunter 3 (Tri) G,” making it the second-most popular game, Enterbrain said in the statement.

Nintendo’s first home console since 2006 came in two versions at 26,250 yen ($319) and 31,500 yen with a 6.2-inch (16 centimeters) touch-screen controller called the GamePad.

U.S. consumers spent 11 percent less on video games, consoles and accessories in November than a year earlier, led by fewer purchases of consoles and handheld players. Retail spending on the products totaled $2.55 billion last month, down from $2.87 billion a year earlier, according to industry researcher NPD Group Inc.

Nintendo plans to sell 5.5 million Wii U consoles and 17.5 million 3DS players this fiscal year, it said in October.

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