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Nintendo targets Tesco for Wii U push amid ailing sales

Nintendo is planning in-store promotions and to send out leaflets in an attempt to convert customers to the Wii U.

The Wii U is struggling, even Nintendo has admitted that. Now the Japanese giant is targeting Tesco customers, sending out leaflets and holding in-store demos to show off the console, MCV reports. Well every little helps.

Asda has already stopped selling the Wii U -- listing it as Out of Stock on its Website for months now -- so let's hope Nintendo has more luck with Tesco.

Apparently the Wii remains fixed in the average punter's mind, but most of them aren't aware of the Wii U.

"We haven't had the sales we wanted on Wii U hardware," Nintendo's UK marketing director Shelly Pearce told MCV. "We haven't had the software for most of this year. But we have some quite ambitious numbers, particularly with some of our biggest franchises coming.

"Our monthly tracking shows that Wii remains the No.1 console for brand awareness. This offers us a massive opportunity to convert Wii owners to Wii U.

"Interest is starting to grow but we know we have a lot of work to do."

The five-page leaflet puffing the Wii U will be sent to 300,000 Tesco customers who bought a Wii but are yet to upgrade. Nintendo will also throw in some money-off vouchers for games. From half-term up to Christmas, Nintendo will run TV adverts for its big franchises like Mario, Donkey Kong and Zelda. Nintendo's marketing budget for Wii U and the 3DS is "significantly higher" than last year.

So why has the Wii U struggled? It's proved confusing to casual gamers, something my colleague Luke Westaway warned about before it launched. "There was a big misconception at launch about what Wii U is," Pearce said. "And one of the big messages is that this is a new console and a new controller. There are many people out there who don't know what this is."

Microsoft's Xbox One and Sony's PS4 will launch in November, but Nintendo is targeting the Wii U at kids and parents, rather than more 'hardcore' gamers.

What do you think of the Wii U? Has Nintendo dropped the ball on this one? Let me know in the comments, or on our Facebook page.