The basic white Wii U model has been “recalled.” According to a report on Kotaku, Gamestop management sent out a notice to all their stores today stating that the basic Wii U package is scheduled to be discontinued in the week after E3.
According to the email, retailers are supposed to send back their unsold Wii U Basic Sets before the 18th.
The $300 Wii U Basic Set comes with the Wii U system, a tablet controller, and 8GB of built-in storage. Despite being the cheapest Wii U SKU available, the Basic Set has been far less popular than the Premium Set, which only costs fifty dollars more and features 32GB of internal storage and is packed in with Nintendoland, a collection of Nintendo themed minigames. Anonymous sources within Nintendo claim that Premium Set has outsold the Basic Set at a ratio of 9-to-1, so it’s not surprising that Nintendo has decided to axe the unpopular package.
The timing of this recall has led many to believe that Nintendo will announce a price drop for the system at next week’s E3. Rumors of a price drop have been swirling around the Wii U ever since the system’s lackluster launch last Fall, and a lot of analysts are now predicting that the Wii U Premium Set’s price will drop down to $299 (or possibly even lower.)
While the Premium Set was previously only available in Black, during their last Nintendo Direct broadcast, Nintendo announced that a White version of the Premium Set would be available this Summer.
It’s no secret that the Wii U hasn’t been meeting Nintendo’s sales expectations, and while a price drop is always welcome, I’m not sure $50 will be enough to turn the Wii U’s fortunes around. While I usually buy every console as soon as I can, I think I’m still going to wait on the Wii U until the price hits $250 or lower; I think there’s just not enough games for the system right now to justify a $300 price tag. Then again, Nintendo is promising to show some heavy hitters for the system next week, including the next Smash Bros. sequel, Bayonetta 2, Zelda, and the latest 3D Mario, so maybe I’ll have to rethink my stance once they reveal the Wii U’s fall line-up.