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July 31, 2013

Asda removes Nintendo’s Wii U from stores

Sales of games console fall short of targets despite £100 price cut.

By Claire Vanner

Asda has announced it will no longer sell Nintendo’s Wii U games console or any related hardware or software in its stores, although it will still be available online through the supermarket’s website.

Despite Wii U only being launched in November 2012, it has suffered months of poor sales. Asda has cut the Wii U Premium Pack £100 from its initial launch price.

Rival consoles, Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and Sony’s PlayStation 3, will still be sold in-store at Asda although it seems that many prospective buyers may be waiting for the new Xbox One or Playstation 4, due for release later this year.

The Wii U had been available in about 100 of Asda’s 568 stores, but a spokesman for the Wal-Mart owned chain denied the withdrawal was a sign of waning confidence in Nintendo.

"We continue to support Nintendo as a partner," he said

The Wii U operates on gesture-based controls of the original Wii and offers 3D capabilities and a tablet-like touch-screen controller.

Despite the low sales, Nintendo has refused to drop the console’s RRP despite most retailers selling it for up to £100 below the list price.

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Nintendo has blamed the disappointing sales on a lack of key games. In May, EA games stopped developing new games for the Wii U, which has had a significant impact. However, new titles, such as a 3D version of the popular Super Mario series set for release this Christmas, may spur on sales over the festive season.

In its latest earnings statement the firm left its Wii U sales forecast unchanged, predicting nine million of the devices would be sold over its current financial year.

The news comes as the Japanese firm revealed that it sold 160,000 Wii U consoles worldwide in its April-to-June quarter – a drop of more than 50% on the previous period. The device was actually outsold by the six-year-old original Wii, which shifted 210,000 units.

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