GameStop is reportedly planning to pull all Wii U Basic units from store shelves, sparking speculation that the low-end model may be discontinued. Citing a retail source with a “good track record”, Kotaku reports that GameStop won’t be selling the 8GB Wii U as of June 18, one week after Nintendo's pre-E3 event next Monday.
GameStop stores have reportedly been sent the following message from head office: “Nintendo Wii U Basic Recall - Two Week Preparation On Tuesday, 6/18, all stories will need to return all new/unopened Wii U Basic (020359). .. 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." GameStop hasn’t returned a request for further information, while Nintendo said it wouldn’t comment on its business practices with retailers.
Nintendo said in April that Wii U sales fell significantly short of the company’s full-year target. As far back as January, about two months after the console launched, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata said the company had failed to anticipate the level of demand for the Premium version. “Inventory levels for the premium, deluxe package was unbalanced as many people wanted that version and couldn't find it," he acknowledged. In recent months, multiple retailers including Target and Asda have introduced Wii U Basic price cuts in a bid to boost sales or, perhaps, to clear existing stock in anticipation of the model being phased out.