It’s not easy for consumers to find a Wii U in stores and that’s good news for Nintendo.

Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime said that the company estimates that more than 400,000 Wii U’s were sold during the first week of its release beginning Nov. 18.

Fils-Aime said that the Wii U “essentially sold out at retail,” and that the results are “comparable” to the original Wii’s debut in 2006, when 475,000 of those were sold during the product’s first week. Six years removed, Nintendo still sold 300,000 Wii’s last week.

This is good for Nintendo, a company dealing with the decreasing popularity of the original Wii and increased competition from the smartphone and tablet gaming market. Analysts estimate that more than 1 million Wii U consoles will be sold by the end of the year.

However, there have been a few hiccups around the Wii U launch, including reports of slow loading menussystem crashes and the delay of TVii.

Here’s a good interview from Siliconbeat with Fils-Aime on the Wii U expectations, the console as an entertainment device and how the company plans to compete against Microsoft and Sony.

Previously on GeekWire: Nintendo president explains why Wii U trumps Xbox Kinect

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