News Article

Specialist Retailers Emphasize Their Support for the Wii U

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

"Nintendo has proven time and again that they are experts in the market"

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.


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User Comments (44)



Dazza said:

Good on the specialist retailers for standing by Nintendo during this rough patch with the Wii U.

You can't trust supermarkets to care about the games industry any more than they care about the literary, movie or music industry. Stack 'em high, sell 'em cheap, that's all they will ever care about.



SuperCharlie78 said:

Thomas, this line up will drive anything without strong marketing and price cut.
Well, this is what I think.



Trikeboy said:

ASDA and Morrisons will swallow their pride after they start to se sales of Wii U take off.



Quickman said:

Seriously how many people shop at ASDA or Morrisons for video games? Maybe If you see a couple of cheap games whilst doing the weekly food shop.. I really think that people are trying to make this a bigger deal than it actually is.

The fact that ASDA dropped the 3DS probably says more about video game sales as a whole in supermarkets than anything else..



element187 said:

Why do people complain about the lack of marketing so far? It makes perfect sense why Nintendo doesn't market the thing yet. Without system selling software the marketing will fall on deaf ears, it would be just like flushing a ton of money down the toilet with no tangible benefit.

If they would have dropped 100 million in advertising this year it wouldn't have done any good, the sales would still be laughably poor, except being out 100 million.... That money could be used better funding 4-8 new games. Because that's the systems only mistake is the lack of compelling games. Fix that problem and the system will sell.



bouncer0304 said:

While Nintendo can be frustrating, never say they're doomed. They have a unique marketing strategy but they do need to get in there before ps4 and xbox 1 launch. Once it starts selling, everyone will want to be best friends with Nintendo. It may take time but in the end, like the 3ds, everything will work out. The space supermarkets have for video games is a waste. It wouldn't surprise me if they all said sod it and stopped selling them. Good to see some much needed support. This time next year, we'll all be wondering what the fuss was about.



element187 said:

@The_Inquisitor good point. Why drop the 3ds when its the best selling system in the industry?? I guess the games media enjoys taking any story and blowing it out of proportion for page hits.



Quickman said:

@element187 Plus ASDA hardly supported the Wii U in the first place, they were only selling it in 100 of their 555 stores to begin with, to be honest I can see where they are coming from as all retailers have right now is a "Wii U shelf" with a couple of games on it and in fairness it looks utterly pathetic compared to the PS3 and 360 range. The Wii U needs games that people will actually go out of their way to buy.

With the 3DS what they have done is moved it out of the stores and decided to sell it online. Which to me indicates that people are not buying the stuff in-store..



XCWarrior said:

Nice to see some positive news. Glad some people realize as long as Nintendo owns Mario and Zelda franchises, they will be around a long time.



DePapier said:

The same swinging stories over and over again... How about giving Eliot Hooker a.k.a. Wonder-Blue some love?



Araknie said:

At my indipendent retailer he sold D1 like 4 copies of Pikmin 3 and 6 of New Super Luigi U.

It's a lot for an indipendent retailer.



jesgrad07 said:

@element187 I agree. What is funny is that I see Nintendo's commercials all the time on Cartoon Network. Also the kiosks in target, best buy, gamestop (they need to do more than just show trailers) are great marketing and get the device in peoples hands. And I see lots of ads on the internet. So I am confused when people say they need more marketing.



Great_Gonzalez said:

@jesgrad07 I assume everyone is saying they need more advertising in UK and EU i've never seen any! Mainly because i'm too busy playing on my Wii U and 3DS though lol

But this is the reason I always will buy at GAME I support Nintendo and the specialist game retailers cause without them my life would be withiut joy!



unrandomsam said:

Game is basically getting a subsidy for every single eshop purchase in europe right now of course they are going to say they support it.

The situation in the shops (That actually exist) is somewhat different. The only stuff they stock is shovelware.

And the Wii U they have is connected to a none HDTV. (This is in probably one of the top 5 biggest cities in the UK in the City Centre).

You would have thought they would actually stock stuff like Component Cables for the Wii or Classic Controllers or Wii Wheels all that sort of stuff due to the preferential treatment Nintendo gives them but it is not the case.

I haven't looked recently due to them never having anything but I doubt they have circle pad pro's eitther.



element187 said:

@The_Inquisitor Here in the US they have a Wii U section right next to the Wii section at most retailers. At Target here they have a decent sized display, same with coincidently enough Walmart has the largest display I have seen, but Walmart combines all their Nintendo products in one corner of the electronics department, but the Wii U section is roughly 1 meter by 2 meters... with a demo kiosk.

If Nintendo wants to make a big PR splash they should post their E3 playable demos on both the eShop and at these kiosks.... that will get everyone talking.

The little teaser thing they did with Bestbuy was so insanely popular that if you didn't get to the event 1 to 2 hours in advance you didn't not get to play
(which I came too late and waited in line for 4 hours only to not get a chance to play any games, still feel butthurt over that, but at least I got some streetpasses on my 3ds)



readypembroke said:

If I had a store, I would do awesome Wii U bundles! for $400, you would get a Deluxe U, Pro Controller and Call of Duty BO2 or for $460, Deluxe U, Wii Fit Plus with board, Wii Remote and Wii Fit U.



Ryo_Hazuki-san said:

@CAM290 This is the 3ds situation all over again... unreal.... wait till holiday UK stores are gonna be like oh crap should have kept stock!



XFsWorld said:

Zelda: Wind Waker HD, Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze, Super Mario 3D World, and Wii Fit U will get the Wii U on its feet. Mario Kart 8 will sell the Wii U like crazy & Super Smash Bros. will have Wii U taking off!



GiftedGimp said:

Sure I heard that Morrisons is droppping all of it electronics side of products not just WiiU but we'll see.
Its good the specialists are staying on-board with WiiU especially Game due to being the only retailer to over the eCard codes and Shopto who tend to be cheaper than most places for disc purchases.
As for advertisments, I've seen more adverts for Pikmin on various channels through-out the day and evening this week than I've seen the whole year for WiiU which is also shows Nintendo UK are making an effort. The last WiiU advert I've seen before this week was LegoCity, which was for 3DS, but mentioned the WiiU version at the end.



Darknyht said:

@readypembroke The US retailers frequently do these sort of bundles. Unfortunately they do not seem to help sales and generally are put together to force people to buy more than they want when the console was hard to find..



readypembroke said:

I know this school year I will try to get people to buy a Wii U, I might make magnets online and then slap then on my locker



mike_intv said:

Not being in the UK, all can do is check the Internet. So while everyone is talking about Morrisons, I cannot find a recent link to them selling ANY video game system. So are they still selling (other) games in store but none on-line?



ToniK said:

I don't know about the rest of the nordic countries, but here in Finland Wii U marketing is next to zero. They had a commercial added to some video game show but that's it. In shops it seems quiet too. No Wii Us to try or anything... I feel lonely here. Me and my precious U.



RIC616 said:

I don't think the situation with the supermarkets is really being reported for what it is. Certainly in Morrison's they aren't just pulling back on their Nintendo stock but all computer games, including pc. My local store, which is a large one, has reduced their game section down massively in the last 6 months. They stopped selling any hardware months ago and haven't had any of the major new releases available on any system for some time. They just seem to be slowly clearing stock. I just think they don't see the security and merchandising costs for these products as worth their time anymore, and this is the case for all manufacturers. It's not all positive for Nintendo at the moment but it's important to see the whole picture.



GiftedGimp said:

Reports are saying Tesco are dropping in-store WiiU stock. The press are having a field day like they are with Asda and Morrisons but while I do not know anything about Asda and its position towards other systems and electronics products that they stock I have talked to My friend who works at Tesco and he told me even Ps4/Xbone pre-orders are not doing that well at Tesco nor are any Games and or Console Systems, certainly not aswell as Tesco believed they would and are in the process of scaling back in-store stock for all games and systems.
As I said earlier I've heard Morrisons are stopping stocking all electronics in store. The Bigger picture probably is Supermarkets have finally realized that people don't go to supermarkets to buy Games, Systems or electronics on a regular enough basis to warrant having stock in stores.
If specialist retailers were to drop the WiiU then thats the time to worry.



hYdeks said:

I bet that guy in the picture isn't really fist pumping excited anymore You can stock all the Wii U's you want, still needs more games to play...



Quickman said:

@element187 I've just come back from my local Tesco and decided to check out the "Wii U shelf", for a start it's a Wii section with three Wii U games at the bottom of the stand.

Sonic Racing, Super Luigi and Batman.. all full price, Batman is £45.00, you can buy this game with free delivery for £14.00 from Amazon UK ...and yet the supermarkets are wondering why they can't sell this stuff?



Chabbox said:

I think Mario shouldn't be the major mascot anymore for Wii U. Debatable, i know, but the representation is getting a little repetitive



C-Olimar said:

Went into Grainger Games today; there was literally 1.5 shelves of space dedicated to Wii U. At least GAME are offering adequate support at the moment.



Shambo said:

@Chabbox so far, Pikmin have been more Nintendo mascots. System/data transfer for Wii-Wii U and dsi/3ds-3ds all involved Pikmin. Mr. Miyamoto is rarely seen without anything Pikmin. The game kicking of the awesome line-up? Pikmin 3.

On topic: positive news about Nintendo? Nice change. Finally some people that don't publicly act like adolescent douchebags risking to bring shame on themselves when Nintendo once again saves itself.



JaxonH said:

Too much is made of poor Wii U sales. WAY too much. People are looking too deep into the situation- philosophizing, rationalizing and justifying. It's not that big a deal as people think. If Wii U had been out 3 or 4 YEARS, and had all of Nintendo's big hitters on store shelves, and had been advertised for years, then yes, we'd have a serious problem. But that's NOT the case. It's been out less than a year, has no real power draw in 1st party titles yet, and has yet to see the massive advertising push (which will come once there are actually 1st party games TO advertise). People need to chill out about the Wii U. It'll sell. Nintendo is world renowned for its games. And once those games are available on store shelves to purchase, and Nintendo advertises those games with the system so that Wii U and its library is common knowledge, it'll sell. Simple as that. People are having spaz attacks and are becoming nervous wrecks- debating, contemplating, and hypothesizing Wii U scenarios because it's not selling right now. Well, duh! What did people think would happen when a new system that has no must-have AAA Nintendo games, that people don't even know exists, hits retail without making the slightest of splashes in the market? Think of the Wii U launch as the "Pre-launch warm-up." Doesn't anyone wonder why Nintendo never actually HYPED the Wii U prior to or during launch? That seems very strange, right? It's because the hype train is coming THIS holiday season, along with a smashing lineup designed to do one thing- grab the attention of consumers and SELL UNITS. In 2 years everyone's gonna be wondering why they ever doubted the system. Mark my words.



Kirby3ds said:

Hopefully we can go from the dream cast of this generation to the GameCube of this generation...... 17 million sales in its lifetime sounds easy enough



Kirby3ds said:

@Chabbox Nintendo has so many old IPs, instead of shoving out a generic Mario again and again drop it for 3 years and make people want it again.



GreatPlayer said:

Nintendo could port some of the Japanese release of Wii games to Wii U. For example, Fatal Frame 4 was highly acclaimed in Japan, but surprisingly, it has no plan of release in the West (Why?). Fatal Frame will make a good use of the Wii U gamepad.



Quickman said:

Word on the street is that Tesco maybe dropping the Wii U, which is no big surprise if you've ever been to a Tesco store, especially when you see that they are still selling Batman: Armoured Ed. for the full £45.00..



Mario-Man-Child said:

There is a big difference between supermarkets and games stores, supermarkets will stock games when it suites them. Since we're on the subject of Tesco, anyone who buys a game in Tesco needs their head tested.

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