The Wii U, a gaming console that was discontinued back in 2017, recently made headlines when news broke that a brand-new unit had been sold in a retail store. The surprising revelation comes from Mat Piscatella, a video game industry analyst at Circana (formerly NPD), a company that regularly publishes video game retail data.
What’s intriguing about this news is that it wasn’t just a case of someone picking up a Wii U from a reseller or eBay. Instead, it seems that there was a retail store that had the console in stock, scanned it through a register, and reported the sale. This raises the question of how such a situation could occur.
One possibility is that this was a smaller retailer that carries games but isn’t primarily focused on gaming, similar to stores like FYE. These types of retailers may not always receive the latest inventory news for video games, as their main focus is on music and movies. This lack of information could lead to situations where outdated games or consoles are still in stock, with no mechanism in place to remove them from inventory systems.
In the case of the Wii U, it’s possible that a lonely retailer still had a new unit in stock because it wasn’t significant or big enough for Nintendo to retrieve it. If Nintendo even knew about its existence in the first place. It’s easy to imagine a scenario where a gamer or an employee stumbling upon the console decides to purchase it. Miraculously, the console’s SKU was still active in the retailer’s system, and this led to Circana receiving a report of the sale.
While the exact details of how this happened may remain uncertain, the motivation behind someone buying a Wii U in 2023 is easier to understand. It’s likely that the individual was tired of waiting for Nintendo to port certain games, such as Wind Waker HD, to the Switch. This desire for a specific gaming experience seemingly overcame the console’s outdated status and led to the purchase.
In conclusion, the sale of a brand-new Wii U in a retail store, years after its discontinuation, creates a fascinating discussion about inventory control and the surprising ways in which such consoles can still find their way into the hands of eager gamers.