White Wii U

The poor old white 8GB Wii U, shunned by the majority of those buying Nintendo's system and victim to fire sales and obscurity. The issue wasn't, we suspect, the colour, but more the fact that it was a HD console with just 8GB of internal storage memory; 32GB doesn't actually get us far either, but it's a little more palatable for those spending a decent chunk of change on a new system.

As the Wii U achieves more stable sales - which should comfortably take it past the dreaded Dreamcast numbers - it's mostly off the back of the well-known black 32GB model. The situation is different in Japan, however, where the white Wii U is actually the dominant system, mainly through bundles including a 32GB white unit, which Wii fans - particularly - have been yearning to see in the West. Some changes in Japan could now make that a greater possibility.

First of all, the white 8GB unit is formally being discontinued, with the official website stating that production is coming to an end. Though this announcement is for Japan, that end of manufacturing will naturally filter through to the West, though in truth this model has been increasingly limited in availability outside of Japan for some time. Ceasing production isn't uncommon, either, as Nintendo of Japan discontinued four bundles - white and black systems - last May.

On the flipside a standalone white 32GB Wii U option is due in Japan this June for 30,000 Yen (around $250), to join existing bundle options. If this is part of a manufacturing run to boost numbers of 32GB white units, we can dare to dream - possibly before being disappointed - that this option could finally make its way to the West. A lot is dependent of simple business, of course, and Nintendo won't roll out a new SKU outside of Japan unless it's confident of selling the units.

We shall see, but in any case the fate of the 8GB Wii U appears to be sealed. Farewell, you delightful underdog.

[source nintendo.co.jp, via engadget.com]