The Wii U’s prices and models were only announced last week, but retailers are already selling out of their pre-order inventory. According to a report by CNBC, several major stores have closed their pre-orders for the new Nintendo console releasing November 18.
GameStop is no longer offering pre-orders for either the Wii U’s $300 8 GB or $350 32 GB models. It joins Best Buy, Toys R Us, Sears, Kmart and Target in closing down early purchases, though Wal-Mart still offers a special store bundle featuring the 8 GB unit. Customers on Amazon’s waiting list for Wii U have recieved emails stating that the system is not currently available but to check back in the future.
An analyst who spoke to CNBC noted that this does not necessarily mean Nintendo’s next home console is hugely popular, just that the limited supply of consoles earmarked for pre-orders has been exhausted.
“Nintendo tends to manage the distribution channel to generate some sort of perception that its [system] is in demand,” said R.W. Baird senior research analyst Colin Sebastian. “I think seeing these sellouts on some of the websites is not a negative indication. It’s either neutral or slightly positive, but it’s not conclusive.”
Sebastian said some scarcity is important to make the product seem desirable over the holiday shopping season, but it is a delicate balance.
“You want a combination of as many units as possible, that are also perceived to be in short supply, but you don’t want to under supply the market so people go out and buy something else.”