As consumers move from gaming consoles to smartphones and tablets, gaming companies have to get creative to keep making money. Nintendo says the Wii U sales were steady at the end of 2012.

Nintendo had its first year of an operating loss and is hoping that the Wii U will make a difference for 2013. While the second generation Wii didn’t have the impressive numbers of the first console when it was introduced, Nintendo President Satoru Iwata felt that sales were steady.

Wii U Sales Steady at End of Year

New Software

Iwata also indicated that Nintendo would be looking at developing new games for its system to attract new customers. The handheld device will be competing with smartphones and tablets for the gaming population.

Users can meet other gamers on Miiverse, a social gaming network just for Wii owners. The system also provides video from Netflix Inc as well as Hulu.

Not only does Nintendo have to compete against mobile devices for its share of the market, it has other console rivals to worry about. Microsoft had sales of over 750,000 Xbox 360 consoles over Black Friday weekend.

Producing two models of the Wii U has created its own set of challenges. Instead of giving users options on what to purchase, most people have wanted the premium edition and it was often sold out.

The basic Nintendo Wii U is only $50 cheaper than the deluxe and has just 8 GB of storage. This small difference in price was not enough to deter people from choosing the premium model, especially since the 8 GB drops quite a bit after you subtract the operating system.

Early reports show that 400,000 units sold the first week of sales in theUSand almost 639,000 inJapanfor all of December.  While it may not be outstanding numbers, it is a respectable amount for a beginning in the new climate of modern gaming.

[Images via wired & ign]