ASDA, the UK’s second-largest supermarket chain, will no longer be stocking Nintendo’s struggling Wii U console, nor its games and accessories, in any of its 555 retail outlets.
Following a probe from leading gaming website Computer and Video Games after the site discovered the store wasn’t stocking AAA Wii U release Pikmin 3, the company’s customer services team revealed that no stores, nor ASDA’s online arm (ASDA Direct) had stock of a number of queried items. Instead, it appeared that only eight ageing Wii U related launch products were on offer, relegated from the brick-and-mortar stores to a slot on the ASDA Direct website.
Upon further questioning, ASDA confirmed the move to the site, offering this statement:
“Asda continues to offer customers a selection of Wii U games and accessories through Asda Direct, but these ranges are currently not on offer in Asda shops.”
The retailer is also choosing not to stock the Nintendo 3DS console, despite it currently outselling both the PS3 and Xbox 360. The Sony and Microsoft home consoles, as well as their next-gen PS4 and Xbox One successors and the PS Vita handheld are all available in-store at ASDA (in the form of pre-orders for the next-gen machines).
In a statement issued to CVG, Nintendo responded to the news:
“Nintendo UK does not comment on specific business practices with individual retailers. However, as we have seen with Nintendo 3DS, software sells hardware, and with titles such as Wonderful 101, Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD and Super Mario 3D World already announced for this year as well as the recently released Pikmin 3 and New Super Luigi U having reached number 2 and number 6 in this week’s chart respectively, we are looking forward to the year ahead on Wii U.”
It’s the latest in a string of snubs from ASDA, who have slashed the price of static Wii U stock multiple times since launch. With the Wii U facing a tough Christmas period going up against the launch of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, having no in-store visibility at a major UK retailer is certain to harm its fortunes on these shores.
And yet the Wii U’s software woes look to finally be easing. As well as the recent launch of the wonderful Pikmin 3 (currently sitting at number 2 in the all formats chart), Wii U owners have the likes of Wonderful 101, Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD and Super Mario 3D World to look forward to, the latter of which blew us away at a recent preview event.