Nintendo’s foothold in the UK games market experienced a hiccup today, after it was unveiled by CVG that retailing outlet Asda will no longer stock Wii U consoles or games within their stores. With 565 outlets across the country, this news will undermine the company’s presence in the UK and will only go to hinder the console’s already flailing status. A spokesperson for the business had this to say about today’s news:
“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. Asda will stock games on a title by title merit basis through Asda Direct. We will continue to support Nintendo as a format holder partner.”
Truthfully, the Asda Direct website still hosts a Wii U sub-section; however, Nintendo’s latest console is currently unlisted and given the circumstances of Asda’s withdrawal, it seems unlikely that the hardware will become available anytime soon. What’s interesting, though, is that while the retail giant pulled the plug on all things Wii U in stores, the listing for Nintendo’s other flagship console; the 3DS, is also out of stock online as well – despite the handheld performing well on the market. In response to Asda’s extraction, here’s what Nintendo had to say:
“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.”
Given that Pikmin 3 – a highly anticipated release for the fanbase, no less – entered the UK all formats chart at number 2, it’s a disappointing blow for Nintendo, who appeared to be on the cusp of reviving the ailing console. Asda recently reduced the price of the Wii U premium bundle to £199, while also offering the Wii U basic for £149. In hindsight, what seemed like a killer bargain at the time may well have been a bad omen, what with the company clearing their in-store stock.
By the looks of things, Asda customers –who represent 18 million weekly shoppers in the UK – won’t find the Wii U in their local brick and mortar store. While Nintendo’s console will still be available through the company’s website, what is your opinion of Asda’s withdrawal? Do you feel this will harm public perception of the hardware? Give us your thoughts below.