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Nintendo Wii U Gets Thumbs Down From The Market

Nintendo shares lost more than five per cent of their value after the first full day of transactions following the launch of the company's next generation gaming console, the Wii U.

The market capitalisation of the company now stands at 2.17 Trillion Yen and caps a rather worrying quarter for Nintendo whose share price has fallen by more than 25 per cent over the last quarter alone.

Early reactions to the gaming console from analysts and journalists have been mixed, even more than when the original Wii was launched.

There are at least two reasons for this response; firstly, the bill of materials for the Nintendo Wii U is likely to be much higher than the original Wii because of the 6.2-inch capacitive touchscreen.

We don't know exactly how much it will cost but given iSuppli estimated back in November 2010 that the cost of the display on the Samsung Galaxy Tab (which has a 7-inch display) was $57, we suspect that it won't be far off that and would mean the controller itself costs as much as the Wii U base unit.

Then there's the arrival of tablets and smartphones, devices that didn't even appear on the radar back then but which have since taken gaming to a whole new level.

Steve Jobs highlighted the fact that Apple managed to recruit more than 50 million Game Center users in only nine months and that the App store entertainment and gaming catalog now contains more than 100,000 titles.

Will Nintendo Wii U be able to emulate the success of the Wii? We will have to wait a year before we know.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.