This week has brought some tough news regarding the Wii U, to an extent causing some to forget the positive effort and game lineup that Nintendo has put together for the remainder of the year. The last few months were very poor for the system, but the plan has always been to turn its momentum around in the latter half of the year.
Naturally, it's a big ask for retailers to maintain stock and shelf space on the basis of such promises, rather than current-day results. We've seen Asda withdraw the system to its online store only, while UK supermarket chain Morrisons is also backing away. Trade site MCV has now been in contact with various other retailers about the Wii U and plans for later in the year; on the supermarket front Tesco has tentatively stated that it'll offer support "to the levels that its market performance dictates", though Sainsbury's plans to continue selling the system.
It's among specialist retailers that the noises being made are far more positive. The most enthusiastic appears to be GAME, a retailer that's also run various promotions with Nintendo pre-orders as well as selling download code cards. GAME CEO Martyn Gibbs said the following:
We fully support all Nintendo products, including Wii U. We’ve just seen very strong release performances of Pikmin 3 and New Super Luigi U and Nintendo’s digital offering is also going from strength-to-strength.
Nintendo has proven time and again that they are experts in the market. The incredible growth of the 3DS over recent years is testament to that and we are looking forward to their plans for developing Wii U over peak and through 2014.
HMV is currently keeping the Wii U in its range, while The Hut and Shopto are staying on board, with the latter "in no doubt that Nintendo will remedy the poor hardware sales with excellent new titles for peak and into next year."
As for Nintendo, it's cited the recent strong debut chart performances of the system's new releases (in the UK single format charts, in this case) as the start of a planned turnaround.
As we’ve seen with 3DS, software sells hardware, and with titles such as Zelda: The Wind Waker HD and Super Mario 3D World this year, as well as Pikmin 3 and New Super Luigi U having reached No.2 and No.6 in the charts, we’re looking forward to the year ahead on Wii U.
It's very much a "light at the end of the tunnel" outlook from Nintendo and some retailers, at present, with plenty of new games lined up to populate store shelves.