The Wii U was certainly not the most successful console Nintendo’s ever released, and while some may fondly remember it in 2023, at least one person actually bought a brand new Wii U from a store as if it was 2013 all over again.
Launched in 2012, the Wii U was Nintendo’s follow up to its massively popular Wii console. While the Wii would go on to become one of the best-selling video game consoles of all time, things went much differently for the Wii U and its tablet controller. The console never came close to selling as well as the Wii, and by 2017 Nintendo had moved on to the Switch, which would go on to outstrip the Wii U’s lifetime sales in its first year. But we can now add one more Wii U sale to its total tally.
This odd stat comes from Mat Piscatella, executive director at Circana (formerly NPD) who posted on Twitter (X? Whatever) that one (1) new Wii U was sold in the United States in September. According to Piscatella, this is the first time a new Wii U has been sold in the U.S. since May 2022. Which is also very strange, now that I think about it.For those unaware, Circana tracks “individual store level sales data” to keep tabs on what people are buying and selling. They then sell that data to folks who care. What that also means is that this Wii U wasn’t a used one at GameStop or something like that. This was a “new,” sealed Wii U console that was finally sold a decade after launch.
How did this happen? We don’t know specifically, but as folks who have worked retail at big chains have explained in the comments below Piscatella’s tweet, this isn’t that uncommon. Speaking to some folks I know who have worked at stores like Walmart and Target, old shit can get buried in the back. Or maybe a Wii U had been sitting for the last decade on a store shelf in, like, Georgia or Montana and finally, after a decade, someone decided to buy it and play some Super Mario 3D World. I hope they enjoy it!
Also, Piscatella added that three new PS Vitas were purchased in November 2021. I’m glad these forgotten consoles, sealed up in boxes and buried in storerooms or lost inside decrepit Best Buys, are finding homes. Brings a tear to my eye.