Major UK retailer Asda have taken the surprising step of removing all Wii U hardware and software from their shelves. While still possible to purchase through their Asda Direct e-commerce site, you’ll no longer find the Nintendo console or games available in their 555 stores.
An Asda spokesperson said, “Asda continues to offer customers a selection of Wii U games and accessories through Asda Direct, but these ranges are currently not on offer in Asda shops. Asda will stock [Wii U] games on a title by title merit basis as they come along through Asda Direct. We will continue to support Nintendo as a format holder partner.”
If you read between the lines of the statement, “title by title merit basis” also suggests that Asda are planning on offering a limited range of software for the Wii U. In recent months the supermarket, which is the UK’s second largest retailer, slashed the price of the Wii U, reducing the Premium model by £50 and positioning it under at £199.99. It’s possible the retailer used this tactic to see if it created a boost in sales for the flagging console.
A Nintendo spokesperson issued a response highlighting recent and upcoming releases. “Nintendo UK does not comment on specific business practices with individual retailers. However, as we have seen with Nintendo 3DS, software sells hardware, and with titles such as Wonderful 101, Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD and Super Mario 3D World already announced for this year as well as the recently released Pikmin 3 and New Super Luigi U having reached number 2 and number 6 in this week’s chart respectively, we are looking forward to the year ahead on Wii U.”
Is this a serious blow for Nintendo and the Wii U? Or has Asda jumped the gun too early?