Some retailers seem to still have WII U units in stock somehow, one of them was sold recently.
Remember the Wii U, the tragically unsuccessful Nintendo home console that was clearly meant to inherit the Wii's success but failed because of horrendous marketing and a lack of 3rd party support? Remember how it was discontinued back in January 2017, meaning that no more units were produced after that point and retailers should've run out of stock ages ago? Well, apparently someone didn't get the memo, because according to a trusted source there was one (1) confirmed new Wii U purchase from a retailer in the US this September.
The source in question is Mat Piscatella, Executive Director at the market research firm Circana. According to his post on X (formerly Twitter) from last Friday, this was the first new Wii U retail purchase in the US since May 2022, and at MSRP no less. How on earth did this retailer still have a Wii U sitting on a store shelf 6 years after the console was discontinued? Well, it's possible that the unit was lost at some point during inventory management, found again years later and put on sale for the sake of it, but that is just pure speculation on my part.
Who Bought A Wii U in 2023?
As for why someone bought a brand-new Wii U in 2023, naturally only the buyer in question knows for sure. However, I'll allow myself to take an educated guess and note that a brand-new unit of a discontinued console, still shrink-wrapped, original packaging and all, is any scalper's wet dream. I wouldn't be surprised if this particular unit had popped up on eBay, Craigslist or similar consumer-to-consumer sales platforms, and even less surprised to find out it'd been sold already. Maybe even to another, even more ambitious scalper.
Or maybe it was just a very lucky Nintendo fan hoping to experience the console's full breadth of features before the online portion of them is shut down next year. Either way, it's a fascinatingly bizarre anecdote! If you saw a new unit of an old console on a shelf at your local retailer, would you make the purchase right there and then? Or would you be content with the Nintendo Switch that is probably sitting under your TV and already has ports of most of its games anyway?