Update: Nintendo not ceasing supply of 8GB Wii U to UK

Original story: GameStop pulling 8GB Wii U from shelves - report


Nintendo UK has told GamesIndustry International that it has no plans to pull the 8GB Wii U from UK retailers, commenting that it's "definitely not something that's happening in the UK."

While it's still unclear as to whether the GameStop recall was the decision of the retailer or the manufacturer, it appears that UK consumers will be able to secure the Basic package for the foreseeable future.

Original story

An intercepted message from GameStop headquarters to some of its stores has indicated that the US retailer will be removing the basic 8GB Wii U model from its shelves on June 18, 2013.

The message, passed on to Kotaku, refers to the move as a "recall", but doesn't expand on the reasoning behind it.

"Nintendo Wii U Basic Recall - Two Week Preparation On Tuesday, 6/18, all stores will need to return all new/unopened Wii U Basic," the message reads. "Stores that have 10 or more in stock will receive shipping cartons from the [distribution center]. All other stores will need to save shipping cartons for this recall."

Nintendo of America has responded to Kotaku's request for clarification with a boilerplate "We do not comment on our business practices with retailers" but GamesIndustry International has also contacted Nintendo UK for comment.

There are several possible explanations for the withdrawal, should it prove to be true. Firstly it could be a move by GameStop itself to clear shelf space by removing a product with a relatively large footprint which has failed to meet sales expectations. Whilst this would be a move unlikely to curry much favour with Nintendo, retail conditions are far from fair enough to justify the hosting of products which aren't selling. Wii U sales have hardly been stellar, but consumers have certainly favoured the 32GB premium model over the basic 8GB offering.

Secondly, there are a number of reasons why the dictat could have originated with Nintendo rather than GameStop's head offices. Could Nintendo be withdrawing the SKU completely? We've not seen enough reports of hardware failure for it to be a safety recall, unless the machine is harbouring a long-term defect which has yet to make itself known, but Nintendo could well be taking the initiative to avoid the sort of embarrassing retail shunning which currently seems like the most likely explanation.

If it is pulling the model from shops, can we expect a price drop in the 32GB unit at E3? Given how quickly filled 8GB of storage is, minus space for an OS and compulsory firmware updates, the machine always seemed a little anachronistic, even for casual users, so it wouldn't be too surprising to see it disappear. If it does, we'd expect it to be replaced by at least one new model, likely with increased storage.

We'll update the story if we hear any more from either Nintendo itself or any other retailer.

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Latest comments (11)

Didn't Nintendo just announce a white 32GB model to be released in Japan later this year?
Given the minimal differences between the models, I always felt the 8GB was a poor idea, and generated confusion.

The 32GB model should have been the base model, and Nintendo should have made the Premium model $50-$100 more (and bundled a hard disk, or something similar).
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Rick Lopez Illustrator, Graphic Designer 6 years ago
The 8GB model was totally unnecessary. I just think they should have had just one version of the WiiU and changed the packaged goods. A 32GB without the controller chargers and stand or game.

Anyway Ive been dying to see some WiiU/Nintendo news on this site. Really hoping for more, if you leave aside all the talk about specs, Im pretty excited for alot of Nintendo's games. Lack of third party is a drag but they have more than enough exclusives and a family friendly eco-system to make up for it. There games usually score 8+ on most reviews.
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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.6 years ago
Michael, that was my initial thought as well.

Think of the timing as well. We're only 6 days away from their E3 Nintendo Direct. Would it really surprise anyone if they announced a new bundle or model?
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Show all comments (11)
Adam Campbell Product Manager, Azoomee6 years ago
For the cost, form factor and general aims for a console this generation, I too agree that they should have had either one model or the 32GB black as a base model. The one 8GB console in my home is the OUYA ^.^ where the basic internal storage does match the software expectations and price.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Adam Campbell on 5th June 2013 3:42pm

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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.6 years ago
The 8 GB model only makes sense later down the road for families that won't do any digital downloading. Most of the people buying a console now are those most likely to consume digital media.
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Taxi for Nintendo!
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 6 years ago
Well, they WERE targeting the budget-minded (and non-downloading) consumer and I can recall that some were saying the 32GB was too expensive, so that gambit didn't pay off as it did for Microsoft, which seems to have sold a few million 360's with small HDD's (or in the case of that family-friendly Arcade model from a few years back, NO HDD at all and a memory card that only had something like 256MB of storage).

Oddly enough - the 8GB model's marketing was still geared towards downloading content as much as the 32GB, as Nintendo didn't even allow the thing to be registered offline or online through the site like most of their other systems - you had to connect the console to a broadband connection, no ifs ands or buts to register.
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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.6 years ago
Turns out that Nintendo is just re-balancing the distribution of the 2 models.

Nothing to see here, folks. Move along.
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 6 years ago
Ha. Well, hmmm... I hope that taxi Kevin rang up is still outside... I need to get home to play some more GRID 2...
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Stephan Schwabe Multichannelmanagement, Telefonica6 years ago
Nintendo would be smart if thy call back all 8 GB wii u's update it to the new OS version and send it back to the retailers. Updating your Wii U takes to long right now if you buy it new.
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Yiannis Koumoutzelis Founder & Creative Director, Neriad Games6 years ago
"intercepted message" ?!!??!

in any case, this sounds like they are going to update these units and bring them back to market. perhaps even making them 32GB, updating the firmware etc, there are even rumours for a slightly improved (redesigned) controller. so we will get to know very soon i think. they have to do something about it because while wiiU is selling only 9K the DS is selling 12K units in US! (who is buying DS btw? :D)
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