Sept. sales results from NPD show that Nintendo (NTDOY.PK) has taken advantage of the lull before Sony and Microsoft debut next gen consoles next month. The 3DS was the top-selling device (handheld and console) for the 5th straight month while sales of the Wii U have tripled thanks to a price cut and the release of "Legend of Zelda: Wind Walker HD."
Although the spurt may be short-lived, the data demonstrates how different Nintendo's uptake pattern is to those of Sony and Microsoft. Rather than "the high impact splash and 'Day One' madness that Xbox and Playstation releases tend to generate, both the 3DS and Wii U have benefited from the long game, gaining sales over time through the release of high-profile exclusive software titles and strategic price cuts," GigaOM observes.
The niche strategy is high-risk, but also may help Nintendo carve a place for itself in a market where 2 other titans square off and counteract each other as almost perfect substitutes.
Nevertheless, shares of Nintendo are down 19% from highs notched in July after the company was skipped over for inclusion in the Nikkei 225, an event on which speculators had driven shares higher.