The Black Friday after a console launch has long been considered a source of endless heartbreak for gamers hoping to snag themselves a particular season’s hot new device. This year, however, with Nintendo’s Wii U, sales numbers failed to reap an endless array of empty shelves. In fact, many stores nearby had the Deluxe Set in stock and readily available.

Nonetheless, the Wii U sold pretty well over the Black Friday week — which also happened to be its first week of release — and moved a total of about 400,000 units. Definitely not a bad tally by any stretch, but many gamers were expecting nationwide sell-outs based on early pre-order numbers.

However, more surprising than the moderate showing by the Wii U is the fact that the Xbox 360, a nearly seven-year-old console, was able to outsell the Wii U by a margin of nearly 2:1. At first glance, the fact that the Xbox 360 moved 750,000 units (as compared to the Wii U’s 400,000) suggests Nintendo‘s hot new console might not reach the same heights as the Wii. But that’s without taking into consideration the myriad of deals Microsoft rolls out each year for the Xbox 360.

Take, for example, the Skylanders Xbox 360 bundle — a hot seller during Black Friday — which would only set parents back $149.99. That bundle was only one of the many ways gamers, casual or otherwise, could get their hands on an affordable Xbox 360 without feeling like they broke the bank.

The Wii U, on the other hand, is still at least a good year (we hope) from price slashing, and is only offered via the Basic or Deluxe Sets ($299 or $349 respectively). So, while the Wii U is by far the hotter console of the fall season, it is also the more expensive, which makes sales comparisons interesting to consider, but not indicative of the big picture. Furthermore, this is a brand new console and, as Reggie Fils-Aime has reported, “As soon as Wii U hits the shelf, it’s selling out.”

Even if Wii U consoles were as readily available across the board as they might be in specific markets, the stock is still quite limited. So regardless of how many specific units are sold, the Wii U was never going to be able to match the stock Microsoft has available for the Xbox 360, which further complicates, and inevitably invalidates, comparisons.

Now, if the Wii U can’t sustain strong sales over the next six months — when the early adopters give way to gamers with genuine interest — then that might be cause for concern. For now, it’s still far too early to call a victory or failure for the Wii U. To read our thoughts on the Wii U make sure to read our review of the console.

Do you think that the Xbox 360 outselling the Wii U during Black Friday week should be cause for concern? Have you had trouble finding a Wii U in stores?

Source: Major Nelson