Nintendo Wii U to the Rescue? (MSFT, SNE, GME, BBY, AMZN, WMT, COST, TGT, GOOG, AAPL)


After more than a year since the product's introduction, the Nintendo Wii U game controller finally has pricing, shipping dates, and more details on what the device can do. The company said that the new controller will begin shipping in North America on November 18th at a price of $300 for the basic device and $350 for the deluxe version.

The challenge for Nintendo will be to make the Wii U as successful as its best-selling Wii unit, which sold more than 96 million units, easily beating competitors Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) and Sony Corp. (NYSE: SNE). Microsoft's Xbox 360 sold 68 million units while Sony's PlayStation 3 sold 66 million units.

Many of the buyer of the original Wii were first timers, attracted by the device's motion-sensitive feature. Will these buyers upgrade to a device that offers some nice new features but nothing to compare with the motion-sensors in the original Wii.

Retailers like GameStop Corp. (NYSE: GME) and Best Buy Co. Inc. (NYSE: BBY) surely hope that customers will want to upgrade, but the competition from retail giants like Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT), Costco Wholesale Corp. (NASDAQ: COST), and Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT) could provide only a small boost for either GameStop or Best Buy.

Nintendo also faces new competition from Internet TV devices from the likes of Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL), both of which are developing TVs that will double as game platforms.

GameStop's shares are up 1% at $22.29 in a 52-week range of $15.32 to $26.66.

Best Buy can't catch a break. Shares are down 1.3% at $18.33 in a 52-week range of $16.25 to $28.53.

Paul Ausick

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Consumer Electronics, TV, Video Games Tagged: AAPL, AMZN, BBY, COST, GME, GOOG, MSFT, SNE, TGT, WMT