It seems the Wii U, Nintendo's sixth home console, isn't entirely forgotten as a new console was reportedly sold in the United States last month. This is a surprisingly rare occurrence given that a new Wii U hasn't been sold stateside since May 2022.
This interesting nugget information came from the sales data compiled by Circana (also known as The NPD Group). The data was highlighted by industry analyst Mat Piscatella, who brought to light the unlikely happening of a brand new Wii U sale in the US. While this might not be very impactful in the grand scale of the gaming industry, it sure is an unexpected bit of trivia that demonstrates the resilience of some gaming platforms.
Piscatella further explained how Circana arrives at this type of data. They acquire and process individual store level sales data for "every SKU across most retailers." These retailers combine to cover around 97% of the hardware market in the United States. This comprehensive data collection allows them to track sales for almost all available game console models, including the somewhat dormant Wii U.
Speculation swirls around the reason for this particular sale. Many are pointing to Nintendo's recent announcement regarding its decision to end online play for the Wii U starting "early April" 2024. This announcement could have stirred some reminiscing souls to get a new console before the services wind down. However, it's worth noting that first-party software support for the Wii U ceased years ago, not long after the release of Nintendo's new console, the Switch.
Interestingly, this occurrence arrives against the backdrop of Nintendo’s ongoing success in Japan with the recent Switch OLED model called 'Mario Red Edition.' This new model has doubled the sales over the past week, showing a significant year-over-year increase for the same period. This success in Japan contrasts somewhat with the Wii U's single sale in the US, reflecting the different dynamics at play in various gaming markets.
There's no denying the Western world's widespread affection for the Nintendo Switch, which further intensifies the wonder a solitary Wii U sale creates. It stands as an exciting tidbit from the world of video games and consoles, with fanatics everywhere surely intrigued by the mystery buyer.
An interaction exploring the strange Wii U sale can be observed in the comments left by fans. One comment humorously detailed a potential scenario. "One Nintendo Wii U, please." "Sorry, sir, do you mean the Nintendo Switch?" "No, the Wii U." This humorous exchange encapsulates the intrigue and bewilderment around the sale of a new Wii U console in the age of the Nintendo Switch.
Wii U's minor reappearance in the sales charts may not signal a significant comeback for the older gaming platform. Still, it certainly reminds gamers everywhere that even seemingly obsolete consoles can sometimes surprise us and make fascinating gaming headlines. Lovers of video game trivia everywhere are undoubtedly keen to know the story behind this solitary take from the shelf.
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