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Time to wave goodbye to the Nintendo Wii U 8GB console?

Gamestop has confirmed that it will stop selling the Nintendo Wii U 8GB console. What does Nintendo have up its sleeve? 

By Matthew Shaer / June 5, 2013

The Nintendo Wii U 8GB console will no longer be sold at GameStop stores, according to a new report. Here, one of the controllers for the Wii U.

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GameStop, the ubiquitous video game retailer, will no longer sell the 8GB Wii U Basic console. 

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According to CNET, which today confirmed an earlier report from Kotaku, GameStop has "requested its stores around the US to return all new and unopened Wii U Basic sets still on store shelves."

Nintendo, for its part, has said only that it does "not comment on our business practices with retailers." Obviously, plenty of questions remain. Chief among them: What's behind the recall? 

One option is some sort of widespread defect, although that seems somewhat unlikely – usually big system flaws become a topic of conversation on forums and fodder for the tech blogs long before a company formally initiates a recall procedure. In fact, our bet is that GameStop is simply clearing the shelves for a new edition of the Nintendo Wii U console, which will likely be introduced this month at the E3 conference in Los Angeles. 

As Don Reisinger of CNET notes, the recall will take place the week after the biggest game expo of the year, E3 – suspiciously good timing. With a rejiggered base level Wii U, Nintendo could reinvigorate interest in the slow-to-sell console; alternatively, it could be nixing the 8GB model altogether. Compared to its 32GB brethren, the 8GB Nintendo, with its scanty amount of storage and $300 price tag, has always been considered something of a bad deal. 

In related news, Electronic Arts, one of the biggest game publishers in the world, recently announced it had no new games in development for the Wii U – bad news for Nintendo. 

For more tech news, follow us on Twitter @venturenaut.

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