Nintendo has been struggling with the Wii U, and from the start the “basic” Wii U made no sense. It had only 8GB of internal storage, only 3GB of which was actually usable. It couldn’t even store one Wii U game. And now it might be headed for collector’s item territory.
Kotaku is reporting that GameStops across the country have been ordered to “recall” all their Basic Wii U units on June 18th. You might notice that’s a week after E3. It also seems unlikely this is an action initiated by GameStop; if it was ditching the basic Wii U completely, there would probably be a bit more to it.
True, it could just be a recall for some sort of defect, but it seems unlikely that’s the case. If so, why would Nintendo put it off until after E3? No, it seems pretty clear that Nintendo views the 8GB as a bad idea whose time has gone.
It seems likely that we’ll still have a white Wii U, though, just in a 32GB version. It’s already happening in Japan, although Nintendo has denied that it has any plans beyond Japan for the set. But it would make sense: Nintendo is fighting confusion among consumers about what a Wii U is, forget what kinds of Wii U there are. The Basic Wii U was clearly made to hit a $300 price point and cater to consumers that don’t care about downloading games, but it just never sold from the start: Even during the early sales frenzy, Basic units were left on the shelves.
We suspect we’ll know exactly what’s happening at E3. Until then, if you want a Basic? Better get to GameStop.