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Yin and Yang: Nintendo Wii U sells out, Microsoft Windows 8 sits on shelf

Analysts expect Nintendo to ship 3.5 million Wii U consoles worldwide by year end. According to many, PS4 and Xbox720 consoles are under development, and could hit the market sometime in 2013.

Nintendo Wii U: Both the $299 base and $349 deluxe (shown in photo) models are sold out a day after launch. The next-gen game console, which beat both Sony and Microsoft to market, features a touch-based “GamePad”.

Nintendo has apparently done it again. Its inventive new game console, the Wii U, has generated tremendous buzz, and is reportedly sold out just one day after launch in North America.

Priced at $300 (or $349 for the deluxe package) the console ships with a unique controller (“Gamepad”) that features a touchscreen and — depending on the video game — can be used in dual screen configuration to complement game play.

Nintendo beat both Sony (PS3) and Microsoft (Xbox) in the race to capture next-gen marketshare. The Wii U is the first major console from the big three since 2006. 30 Wii U game titles are available at launch.

According to many, PS4 and Xbox720 consoles are under development, and could hit the market sometime in 2013.

Reviews have been generally positive, though some suggest that the 1-pound GamePad is merely a gimmick and can actually hinder game play in certain situations.

Analysts expect Nintendo to ship 3.5 million Wii U consoles worldwide by year end.

Meanwhile, a launch of not-so-successful kind…

Microsoft Surface Tablet: Runs a limited version (“RT”) of Windows 8 that may have caused some confusion in the marketplace, and caused consumers to stay away.

“Slow going”

Windows 8 is not selling well. Online retailer Newegg confirms as much. Even Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer has admitted sales have been “modest.”

The new operating system has received mixed reviews, and is widely criticized for forcing a touch-based design metaphor on to desktop users, causing confusing and hampering productivity. Removing the iconic “Start Button” – so integral to Windows 7 – has most notably received the most negative backlash. Instead, when users click on the lower left corner of the screen they are taken to a tile-based “Stark Screen.” Many have praised the design aesthetic. Perhaps no coincidence, the new start screen (“Modern” UI) works well on the Surface tablet which was also released earlier this month.

Worse still for Microsoft, enterprise customers, who represent a significant piece of the company’s revenue, are pushing off upgrade plans. Citing training issues, and the need to plan for migrations, many have indicated they would wait until 2013 or even later to consider a move to Windows 8.

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Clinton Stark
Clint is based in San Francisco and has produced videos for Stark Insider since 2006. Film projects recently completed include short MORADO shot in the Baja, doc THE ART OF HALL WINES in Napa, and music video WRONG'S WHAT I DO BEST at the San Francisco Art Institute. He regularly writes about Canon DSLR and filmmaking. His Broadway features have garnered praise, including SHREK UNMASKED which is the most viewed BTS video for the musical on YouTube. In addition he's worked with DreamWorks, Disney on Ice, and Cirque du Soleil, among others. Interview highlights include James Franco, Gia Coppola, Colbie Caillat, Vincent Kartheiser, Dana Carvey, and Dany Boyle. Clint is a member of ATCA and covers the SF theater scene. He also writes about Napa and wine, and Silicon Valley news and trends. More: Clint's story...
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