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A mixed bag for Nintendo as Wii U sales hit 65K in August, analyst says

Sales for the US market are up 111 percent compared with the same period last year, but are dwarfed by the sheer number of PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles sold in the same period.


The Nintendo Wii U has witnessed a stronger 2014 so far compared with the previous year, but the console still lags behind competitors, according to Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter.

Pachter estimates that Nintendo sold 65,000 Wii U units in the US in August, outpacing its sales numbers during the same period last year by 111 percent. The growth was due in large part to the success of Nintendo's own Mario Kart 8, which launched in May and prompted consumers to buy the console. Despite the Wii U's success compared with the previous year, sales couldn't match Sony's PlayStation 4 with 175,000 units sold in August or Microsoft's Xbox One with 150,000 units sold that month, according to Pachter's estimates.

CNET has contacted Nintendo for comment on its performance in August. We will update this story when we have more information.

Nintendo's troubles have deeply concerned investors, analysts, and industry pundits. The Wii U is trailing its top competitors in key markets around the world and has failed to capture the attention that the first Wii did. Nintendo chief Satoru Iwata has stubbornly stayed the course, saying that the combination of the Wii U's unique functionality and strong first-party game lineup will help turn the tide. That's a refrain, however, that Iwata has been espousing for months, and so far, it has proven untrue.

The Wii U's tepid hardware sales led to somewhat disappointing software sales, according to Pachter's unofficial estimates. Total Wii U software sales last month reached $12 million, according to Pachter, which puts the console far behind the $54 million believed to have been spent on Xbox One software and $45 million spent on PlayStation 4 software.

Overall, the US games industry had a good-news-bad-news month, as overall hardware sales jumped 38 percent to an estimated 586,000 units year over year, while software sales plunged 27 percent to $215 million.