The Wii U Sold a Whopping One New Unit in 2023

Who bought the only Wii U in the US this year? Reveal yourself!

The Wii U Sold a Whopping One New Unit in 2023

SUMMARY

  • Circana Industry analyst confirms details of the singular sale of the Wii U.
  • Nintendo's history of the Wii U is both turbulent and underwhelming.
  • Why would anyone be buying a Wii U now?
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The Wii U was discontinued by Nintendo in 2017 and the company has confirmed that they intend to shut down online connectivity to the console at the end of this year. So what may be surprising is that there has been a singular purchase of the console in the United States this year.

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According to Circana Industry analyst Mat Piscatella, the sale of the console in an unspecified location in the United States marked the first sale of the discontinued console since May 2022. What is even more surprising is the retail price, as the buyer parted with $299.99 for the Wii U.

Why would someone pick up a Wii U now?

Wii U
Launched in 2012 to mixed reviews, the Wii U was discontinued 5 years later.

First released in late 2012, the Wii U was viewed by Nintendo as the successor to the Wii and had the difficult task of competing against the consoles from Microsoft (Xbox One) and Sony (PlayStation 4) which launched the following year.

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Initial reviews on the console were mixed and although the gamepad controller was viewed as innovative and praise was given for the backward compatibility, the user interface was heavily criticized along with the GamePad’s low battery life.

Sales for the Wii U were poor upon release and this could have been credited to a lacklustre marketing campaign from Nintendo and the line-up of launch games which didn’t do much to pique fan’s interest. On top of this, the GamePad was viewed by many as little more than a tablet for the console.

Wii U
Splatoon was in the top ten games for the Wii U, despite only launching in 2015.

Possibly unsurprisingly when looking at the games sales figures for the Wii U as provided by Statista, it is dominated by Mario games. Indeed when looking at these, eight out of the top ten titles are Mario titles, the exceptions being Splatoon and The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD. 

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It is certainly a telling tale for a console when there appears to be little variety in the top ten games sold and that could be viewed by many as another catalyst for Nintendo’s decision to discontinue the Wii U five years later.

Understandably there is surprise in the community as to why someone would pick a Wii U up nearly 6 years after being discontinued especially given Nintendo’s confirmed position on the online connectivity for the console.

It is perhaps more surprising that there was still a Wii U console on a shelf somewhere. Given how long it has been since Nintendo discontinued the console, there would surely be a protocol in place where unsold consoles would simply be returned to the company. So could this rogue console simply have been missed somewhere?

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Wii U
The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker is one of a handful of Wii U game that was ported over to the Nintendo Switch

Despite this, we have to look at the why behind the decision. Could it be that someone has picked up the console simply to tap into the retro gaming market and sees the console as a decent investment? Or could it simply be someone who has experienced the guilt of trading away an old console only to pick it up a few years later for nostalgia?

Mat Piscatella told fans that despite the surprise surrounding this one-off sale, these things do happen pretty regularly for consoles and games. It could be that someone dusted off a shelf in the back of a shop and stumbled across it. As Piscatella himself puts it, it is a ‘fun peculiarity’.

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Written by Andy MacGregor

Articles Published: 233

Born and raised in the West coast of Scotland. A massive fan of Comics and losing endless hours in epic Video Games.