Report: Not many Nintendo Wii U units to go around at launch

nintendo wii u supply tight premium
Wii u everything you need to know pricing launch release date

Nintendo’s Wii U will be out in November, but it’s not entirely clear how many of them will actually be sent out into the wild to be snatched up by rabid fans and parents who want the latest and greatest machine under the Christmas tree. Nintendo said during its quarterly earnings report earlier this week that it expects to sell 5.5 million Wii U consoles between November and the end of March. As that release day gets closer, its becoming clear that Nintendo may be basing those estimates on the low number of consoles that will actually be available.

Shortly after Nintendo announced the Wii U’s release date and price in September, a number of retailers including GameStop stopped taking pre-orders for the console. Nintendo of America president Reggis Fils-Aime said at the time that he thought supplies would be adequate. “We’ve learned a lot of lessons from the launch of the DS, the launch of the Wii, and the launch of the 3DS. And our supply chain is solid,” said Fils-Aime, “We want to satisfy all of the demand that’s out there.”

This week Nintendo confirmed that GameStop had sold 250,000 additional “wait list” pre-orders for the Wii U, guarantees for customers looking to get the system whenever they might become available. While that statistic certainly suggests demand for Nintendo’s new device, it also suggests that rumors about Nintendo’s Wii U manufacturing problems hold some truth. In August, word was that Nintendo might even have to detail the console’s European release due to problems manufacturing its signature tablet controller.

Further demonstrating Nintendo’s supply problems is a Thursday report from Computer and Video Games. An anonymous retailer told that outlet that Nintendo would be shipping a paltry 25,000 Wii U consoles in the UK on launch day. Another retailer confirmed that figure. While a third source said it was expecting “between 75,000 and 100,000 units during the launch period,” they also said that Nintendo hadn’t indicated when those systems might be made available.

Nintendo UK failed to quell concerns. “Wii U stock levels will be tight on day one,” said a representative, “However, we will be providing retailers with regular stock deliveries in the run up to Christmas in order to meet demand as quickly as possible.”

Scarcity can be a good thing for technology companies, driving demand to a fever pitch. Since Nintendo is selling its console at a loss, though, it needs to be selling software at a strong clip to make up for lost revenue. If people can’t buy the machine, they won’t be buying the games.

Gaming

Buy a new Switch console and get a $35 eShop gift card at some retailers

Multiple retailers are currently offering the Neon Blue and Red Nintendo Switch console with a free $35 eShop gift card. The system still costs the standard $300 and includes Joy-Con controllers and the dock.
Gaming

PS4 vs. Switch: After weighing the pros and cons, which one comes out on top?

Nintendo Switch versus PlayStation 4: Which one has better overall value? We break down the pros and cons of each platform to tell you which of these consoles is truly worth the money.
Gaming

You're not a true fan without these Nintendo Switch exclusives

Who doesn't love a good Nintendo game? If you're looking for great first-party titles for your Nintendo Switch, take a look at our list of the very best exclusives available right now.
Emerging Tech

Words are so 2018. The Peeqo robot speaks exclusively in GIFs and video clips

Move over, Amazon Echo! Peeqo is a cute robot that will answer your spoken word questions by displaying a specially selected short video or GIF. Because, you know, it’s the year 2019.
Gaming

Get the most life out of your Xbox One controller with these tips

The Xbox One controller has fantastic battery life, but eventually your batteries will still die. To make it even better and ensure you never have to stop gaming, follow these tips.
Gaming

How you can share your best gaming moments with friends on the PS4

Check out Digital Trends' quick guide to everything you need to know to save your outstanding PlayStation 4 gameplay moments, share them online, and transfer them to your computer.
Gaming

A beginner’s guide to Far Cry New Dawn’s postapocalyptic Hope County

Far Cry New Dawn is yet another entry in Ubisoft's popular open world shooter franchise. But while it may feel quite similar in motion, the progression system is changed in a lot of ways. Our beginner's guide is here to help.
Gaming

Learn to scavenge like a pro with our Far Cry New Dawn crafting guide

Far Cry New Dawn revolves around the hunt -- the hunt for materials to craft new weapons, vehicles, and other useful items. It's easy to miss out on great opportunities to find new materials if you don't go off the beaten path.
Gaming

Here's our take on the best game-streaming services currently out there

You can still get your physical video game discs or cartridges at your local store or download games digitally, but another option is even more convenient: Game streaming. Here are the best game streaming services.
Gaming

Xbox's app lets you access your console while away from home. Here's how

Microsoft's Xbox allows you to access your profile information and launch media content directly from your mobile device. Check out our quick guide on how to connect your smartphone to an Xbox One.
Gaming

Here’s how to set up a virtual private network (VPN) on your Xbox One

Online privacy is more important now than it's ever been, and gaming is happening online more than ever before. Here's a quick guide on how to set up a VPN for your Xbox One so you game in safe anonymity.
Gaming

You're never too broke to enjoy the best free-to-play games

Believe it or not, free-to-play games have evolved into engaging, enjoyable experiences. Here are a few of our favorites that you can play right now, including Warframe and the perennially popular League of Legends.
Gaming

Among hundreds of choices, these are the best 25 SNES games of all time

The Super Nintendo Entertainment System might be the greatest game console ever made, but what are the best titles for the system? Here are our picks for the best SNES games.
Gaming

Scalebound could be revived for Switch following Xbox One cancellation

Microsoft canceled the Xbox One and PC exclusive Scalebound more than two years ago, but a new report claims Scalebound could have found a new home as an exclusive on Nintendo Switch.