Sales of Nintendo’s new Wii U game console are doing fine, but just not as impressive as when the original Wii first debuted to the public.

That’s according to Nintendo president Satoru Iwata, who sat down for an interview with Reuters to talk about Nintendo’s latest gadget.

“At the end of the Christmas season, it wasn’t as though stores in the U.S. had no Wii U left in stock, as it was when Wii was first sold in that popular boom,” Iwata told Reuters. “But sales are not bad, and I feel it’s selling steadily.”

Nintendo said that it sold 400,000 Wii U devices in the U.S. during its first week on the shelves in November, whereas the original Wii sold 475,000 during that product’s initial week in stores. For comparison, Microsoft’s Xbox 360 sold 750,000 consoles during Black Friday week last year, and 960,000 during Black Friday 2011.

Iwata didn’t say much more, other than noting how the premium Wii U is much more popular than the regular Wii U. The premium package sells for $50 more and comes with a copy of Nintendo Land and an expanded hard drive. Iwata also said Nintendo needs to focus on developing better software to help attract new users.

Nintendo is hoping to convince shoppers that its newest product is the best way to play games, watch video content with its TVii service and connect with friends. It’s the company’s bid to rebound in the console market after posting the first unprofitable year in its history, thanks in part to a tepid initial response to the Nintendo 3DS handheld gaming machine.

With Microsoft and Sony both rumored to debut next-gen consoles this year, it will be interesting to see what happens with Nintendo.

Previously on GeekWire: Nintendo’s geeked-out ride: A look inside the tour van

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  • Guest

    I think it’s pretty safe to say that Nintendo will be out of the console business by 2016. Being outsold by a 7-year-old console is absolutely shameful. Toss Nintendo in the junk heap of Japanese companies that failed to adapt. I hope they don’t land on anything too Sharp.

    • SmearyToast

      Its people like you that are ignorant to how successful Nintendo has been and will continue to be as long as there is a market for games. Microsoft and Sony both felt the sting of Nintendo and as such came out with their own versions of what Nintendo had already done with the demographic. “In fact its like Nintendo is taking a test and the other two companies are looking over the shoulder of the big N to see what it is they should be doing.” If anyone is failing to adapt, its MS and Sony. The only thing they seem to have adapted to is Nintendo. Nintendo is the Shark here and so far MS and Sony have proven they are the fish that attach itself to the Shark that is Nintendo. Nintendo will again be turning heads once the said potential is realized. Never count Nintendo out. Their here to play.

    • trytiped

      Not sure you truly understand how much money Nintendo has or even how much experience they have in selling a console.

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