Wii U hardware sales in the US for the month of March will slump to only 55,000 units, analyst Wedbush has forecast in its March 2013 NPD Preview.

55,000 units is a 17 per cent decline over the 66,000 units moved in February. The console sold 57,000 units in January, following the November/December 2012 tally of 463,000 units.

Elsewhere, Wedbush estimates that Wii will sell 85,000 units, Xbox 360 290,000 units, PS3 260,000 units, DS 85,000 units, 3DS 195,000 units and PS Vita only 42,500 units.

"Overall, we expect hardware unit sales to be down 30 per cent y-o-y, with current-generation console hardware unit sales down 21 per cent and handheld hardware unit sales down 43 per cent," writes Wedbush.

The Wedbush note continued: "The only key hardware device to underperform our expectations was the Wii U, and its fortunes appear unlikely to improve for several months, even if Nintendo decides to drop price, as there are an insufficient number of core titles that are generating interest in the console."

Wii U's ongoing troubles are a result of growing interest in the next generation, Wedbush suggests.

"We think that core gamers are far more likely to turn their attention to the PS4 (due in the holiday season) and the next Xbox, which we believe will be unveiled before E3 and have a launch alongside that of the PS4, and believe that the long-term appeal of the Wii U will be severely limited by the perception that the PS4 and next Xbox will be much more powerful with greater online integration and multimedia functionality."

Wedbush concluded: "Should the new consoles from Sony and Microsoft be price competitive, we think that Wii U sales may continue to stagnate."

Source: Wedbush March NPD Report