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    The Nintendo Wii U, the follow-up to the monstrously popular Nintendo Wii console, launched in North America on November 18th 2012.

    Rumor: Wii U being pulled from store shelves (seems legit - various major retailers no longer allowing it to be ordered)

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    sweetz

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    #1  Edited By sweetz

    So by way of anecdotal sources it seems that Nintendo may be recalling/buying back all unsold Wii U's from stores.

    I took a look and this seems true enough to me. I just did a search of Target, Walmart, Gamestop, and Best Buy's websites. Walmart doesn't even list the console for sale from themselves anymore (only 3rd party sellers who are listing it well above MSRP); Target, Best Buy, and Gamestop aren't allowing you to buy the console online. I checked local inventories and no store within 250 miles of me (southeast PA) has it in stock.

    This seems like a crazy unprecedented move. I wonder if Nintendo is trying to preserve customer good will by not allowing people to buy into a soon to be dead system with their holiday cash, while at the same time generating demand for the Switch.

    The only other possibility I can think of is that they had some limited time technology licensing deal that ran out and rather than renew the license, they're just pulling the system. Similar to how games with music licenses that run out get pulled from download stores.

    I can't believe the system never saw a price drop during it's lifespan. I really wanted a Wii U for Bayonetta and Wind Waker HD, but I couldn't justify the price for 2 games and I'm a bit anal about not getting refurbed electronics. Guess I'm just never going to play those now :(

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    DystopiaX

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    damn that's a super bummer, was going to pick one up soon for Tokyo Mirage Sessions/Xenoblade X/Cat Mario/Bayonetta, guess now I can't? Or they're about to be crazy expensive? This move doesn't really make a ton of sense to me, honestly.

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    Blu3V3nom07

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    Cool, I never bought it, and now I never will. Neat.

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    Luchalma

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    It's not a all time top console by any means. But I have 20 or so games for the system and I think it justifies my owning it. Playing Super Mario 3D World, New Super Mario Bros. U, Hyrule Warriors and others with my wife has been some of the most fun I've had in gaming.

    RIP Wii U

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    Sargon

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    I have owned a Wii U since launch date and I still enjoy it. Obviously they got next to no third party support, but there are enough great first party games to make it worth the purchase. Some things still baffle me, like the poor implementation of the Virtual Console (both in the quality of emulation and the trickle of releases that have already been available for years on the Wii), but I guess that is Nintendo being Nintendo.

    I had actually intended to wait for Wii U consoles to be discounted so that I could pick up a 2nd system in case something ever happens to my console and/or gamepad, but apparently there will be no price cuts and possibly no more new Wii U's sold whatsoever. It appears Nintendo doesn't want anyone buying anything until the Switch comes out.

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    bigsocrates

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    If it is a licensing issue why wouldn't you blow the console out for cheap rather than rebuying just to destroy it (similar to Microsoft making Forza Horizon Games With Gold before pulling it from download.)

    This just fits in with Nintendo's super consumer hostile stances, which I just do not understand. I always intended to get a Wii U but the combination of the high price with the system-locked downloads and weird Virtual Console stuff kept me away and now I guess I will never own one. Oh well. Looks like many of the best games will be ported to the Switch anyway, but at this point I am not sure I will get one of those. If they persist with archaic online shopping infrastructure (Xbox has tied purchases to account since 2005!!) and artificial scarcity I may be turned off. I owned every Nintendo system prior to Wii U except Virtual Boy. I want to love Nintendo but they make it very very hard.

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    sweetz

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    #7  Edited By sweetz

    The switch is coming out at what seems like a fairly weird time for a console release. So perhaps this really is about generating launch demand for the Switch. I.e. how many people buying their kid a Wii U for the holidays now is going to shell out for a Switch in 3 months?

    Then again, if that was the plan, I'd think they would have wanted to pull it even sooner. It's definitely a very weird move.

    Every other console I can think of in recent history was still being sold for at least a little while post-release of its successor.

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    Gaff

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    I wonder if Nintendo is trying to preserve customer good will by not allowing people to buy into a soon to be dead system with their holiday cash, while at the same time generating demand for the Switch.

    If Nintendo actually cared about the consumer, they wouldn't have allowed their hardware (whether it's Wiis, Amiibo, NES Classics, or any variation of the DS/3DS) be in such short supply during the launch period. I think it's more likely that Nintendo is trying to build good will with retailers: You have shelf space taken up with dead in the water Wii U consoles? We'll buy them back so you don't lose as much money, but that Wii U credit can only be used to buy stock of our newest hardware, the Switch!

    The only other possibility I can think of is that they had some limited time technology licensing deal that ran out and rather than renew the license, they're just pulling the system.

    Nintendo has been extremelystingy cost-effective with licensing tech. Think about it: they went from cartridges to proprietary NGC discs, to proprietary Wii and Wii U discs. The only industry standard tech in their modern consoles have been Bluetooth, Wifi, SD cards and USB. Considering what the Wii U is capable of, I highly doubt there was any tech licensed that was more expensive than the industry standards.

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    jeff

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    You can order both a Wii U and a 3DS from Best Buy's site right now. Stock seems weirdly tight out there, but it certainly doesn't seem like they're actually being pulled from shelves.

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    sweetz

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    #10  Edited By sweetz
    No Caption Provided

    @jeff: Did you try actually adding it to a cart? Once you add it to a cart and go to checkout, you get taken to a screen that says "Only Available for Store Pickup" and then when you go to select a store there are no stores that actually have it (or at least nothing within a 250 mile radius of me).

    As of last week I saw a fairly healthy looking supply of Wii U's in the local Walmart and they have seemingly disappeared from every retailer in a large radius overnight. I don't think this is a matter of them naturally selling out.

    Further evidence, on Amazon, although the Wii U is still listed as being available new from various 3rd party sellers (at a crazy premium - lowest is $385 at time of writing), all of those that are fulfilled by Amazon (i.e. the only ones with a stock status I'd trust) say they're on back-order. Something legitimately seems to be going on here. If Nintendo isn't buying back the units, it seems at the very least they've put out a stop/hold sale order for them.

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    Naoiko

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    @sweetz: I checked best buy using a GA zip. Got the same thing. Only for in store pick up, none showing in stock in a 250 mile radius. Anyone else checked walmart?

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    Blu3V3nom07

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    #12  Edited By Blu3V3nom07
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    sweetz

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    #13  Edited By sweetz

    Yeah perhaps I'm just adding to my own tinfoil hat, but more and more I believe that this is all about Nintendo making sure they have launch demand for the Switch because of the atypical release date. They don't want parents buying their old systems for holiday presents, because those people will be less likely to buy a Switch in 3 months. If the Switch has a poor launch, that will dominate the initial narrative for the console and potentially scare away more people.

    For reference, the last major console which launched at a time other than "holiday season" (i.e. September to November) in North America was: Sega Saturn

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    dafdiego777

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    My bet is that they never figured out how to make these things cheaper to produce (a la Sony moving the baseline ps4 to the slim).

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    myke_tuna

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    It's probably a mixture of phasing the systems out and manufacturing the Switch to meet demand. I don't believe Nintendo contracts that stuff out, so they have to do it all themselves. Rather than make more of the old stuff, they're making more new stuff to prepare for the launch in a few months.

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    slyspider

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    For all the hate that thing gets, I got xenoblade chronicles X and TMS (SMT x FE) so I got all I needed off it. Strange they are cutting it off so early though, guess Switch will hit its February mark?

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    dogbox

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    That definitely does seem strange. I searched a couple big box places from Canada and they were all out of Wii Us, just like you said. Amazon.ca is also out, with the 32GB selling 3rd party for like $850 CDN?! Weird!

    It'd be a shame if the Wii U just vanished from shelves. For all the deserved criticism it takes, it has a handful of incredible games.

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    sweetz

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    @myketuna: That makes sense for why they stopped manufacturing them a month ago, but not why they'd be pulling the remaining existing units from shelves. By all accounts it doesn't seem like retailers are just naturally selling out of their remaining stock.

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    mekon

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    #19  Edited By mekon

    I just checked and it's still listed as available in the UK with Prime delivery on Amazon as vanilla 8GB, 32GB premium with Mario Kart 8, some bundles with Splatoon too so pulling the console hasn't hit UK/Europe yet.

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    flippyandnod

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    If they're pulling it it could be the retailers demanding N buy their stock back. Or it could be N wanting to take the stock back to use as replacement units/spare parts for future warranty claims (saving them the cost of building more to use for that).

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    Ry_Ry

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    FWIW, my local stores have WiiU, but N3DS and 2DS are in pretty short supply. Pokemon must be doing really well this year.

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    OurSin_360

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    I feel its strange for any company not to want to sell its product regardless of releasing a new one or not. They typically price drop at least to get as many sold as possible otherwise they make nothing back. My only guess is they feel there will be confusion as the consoles are kinda similar? Still why purposely lose money?

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    meteora3255

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    @oursin_360: The brand confusion thing is definitely worth noting because it bit Nintendo hard this generation (Wii vs. Wii U, 3DS vs New 3DS). Another point mentioned in this thread by @gaff is also to create some goodwill with retailers. If you are a retailer and you just saw a Nintendo console that was built around a tablet flop how likely would you be to line up to stock the next Nintendo console built around a tablet no matter how different they say it is? Of course if Nintendo offers to eat the loss for you by buying them back (because you already paid for the units) that might make you more inclined to give them another shot since they bailed you out last time.

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    OurSin_360

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    @meteora3255: those are good points i never would have thought of. Still a really bizarre move to me, maybe it will work out though.

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    OstrichRacerX

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    #25  Edited By OstrichRacerX

    Looks true to me. Seems hard to believe that if production just stopped that the stores would be completely out so soon. I checked several Walmarts and a couple Best Buys around here. No Wii U systems on the shelves, none to order at their online sites. I guess if you want one the only way is to find one used. Nintendo does have them available as "Refurbished" systems on their store site. If the new systems were really pulled off the store shelves I would guess Nintendo will have some of these "Refurbished" systems available for a while. Now would probably be a good time to fire up your Wii U, pop in all those games you bought but never started playing and make sure you get all your updates and patches because they will most like start pulling online support shortly after the Switch launches. I guess we are never going to see a Wii U Mini.

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    OstrichRacerX

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    @sweetz: If Zelda BOTW is really coming out for the Wii U, then it would make sense for Nintendo to possibly pull remaining systems from the store shelves. Say there are only 2 million systems left in inventory, pulling them and pre-installing them with Zelda BOTW and repackaging them as limited editions, maybe even put a couple tri-force stickers on the system and gamepad and put them in a Zelda BOTW box. Keep the Mario-Kart 8 pre-installed and price them at $399.99 for your "Last chance to own a special collectors edition Wii U!"

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    Junior_AIN

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    I doubt Nintendo would have the "good will" to prevent people from buying that crap. Most likely retailers realized no one bought these duds and stopped ordering.

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    Fredchuckdave

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    Guess I'm never playing Bayonetta 2, Nier Automata time!

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    LeStephan

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    #29  Edited By LeStephan

    @ostrichracerx said:

    Now would probably be a good time to fire up your Wii U, pop in all those games you bought but never started playing and make sure you get all your updates and patches because they will most like start pulling online support shortly after the Switch launches

    you can still use the eshop on the original wii though, seems like they keep that stuff up for at least some time.......but maybe you are right....fuck, I need to get a new external drive to redownload the stuff that didnt fit on my wiiu no more.

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    august

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    I was hoping for the price of the Wii U to plummet so I could play Wind Walker for cheap but it looks like the opposite is happening...

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    OstrichRacerX

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    #31  Edited By OstrichRacerX

    @august:

    You can still get them on Nintendo store site on their website. "Refurbished systems with Nintendoland" for $200. That is probably as cheap as you are going to find them unless you can find someone dumping their kids system on craigs list.

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