You’ve probably heard that the Wii U released recently in North America and Europe. Nintendo sold 400k Wii U systems during the week of Thanksgiving and 40k Wii U systems in the UK this past weekend.
These numbers are impressive and Nintendo will be the first one to tell you that their next-generation console is sold out at stores. But is this true? Is this just marketing PR spin by Nintendo and if so is that even a bad thing?
Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime recently said:
“Wii U is essentially sold out of retail and we are doing our best to continually replenish stock. Retailers are also doing their best to get the product to store shelves. But as soon as product hits retail, they’re selling out immediately.”
So Reggie acknowledges that they’re trying to get more units into stores as fast as possible while still trying to make the Wii U sound like an item so popular that it is flying off shelves.
The sell outs aren’t exclusive to America. It has been reported that the Wii U is sold out in the UK as well.
I’m sure the Wii U isn’t as easy to find in retail stores as an older platform like the PSP or DSi. And I’m sure there are a lot of towns and cities across the US and Europe where the system is absent from store shelves.
But at the same time its clear to many people that this isn’t the type of sell out we saw with the Wii in 2006. If people have been lining up outside of stores in America on days after November 18 (launch day) in order to score a Wii U than I haven’t heard of it. No one is waiting outside a Toys’R'Us with 50 other people for the Wii U.
Nintendo isn’t really lying about the system being sold out per say. They’re being truthful when they say that some stores are sold out due to low supply. Reggie says “sold out everywhere” and he could be right. Stores could have enough demand to sell the handful of units they receive every few days.
But retailers, especially in the US, are getting restocked fairly well. You can find multiple Wii U systems (both Deluxe and Basic, though Basic is more widely available) here in San Antonio, TX. 34 GameStop stores within 15 miles of where we are have multiple Wii U consoles in stock right now.
We aren’t the only ones reporting a healthy amount of Wii U stock in local retailers as reports have popped up around the country of Wii U systems being fairly easy to come by in a lot of places.
I’m sure some towns (possibly yours!) could be entirely sold out. This is where Reggie’s statement shines through as being forward minded and covering their tracks.
He didn’t just say all stores were sold out, he added that they’re working to restock retailers as fast as possible. This allows Nintendo to say that stores aren’t in possession of excess units, they’ve just been restocked rather quickly! That way you don’t get the impression that no one is buying the system and that the consoles are just sitting there looking for a home.
I’m not saying that is the case but a statement like Reggie’s protects against this should Wii U systems start to pile up in stores.
It certainly looks like the Wii U isn’t as hard to find as the original Wii was in 2006. That isn’t to say it isn’t selling out at some stores and isn’t doing well. I’m sure it is. But it isn’t sold out “virtually everywhere” in America right now though you be in one of the unfortunate towns that is without Nintendo’s next-gen console.
Have you seen Wii U consoles in stock at stores near you? Did you grab a launch unit? Let us know in the comments section below!