The Nintendo Wii U has been out for a few years now, using a deluxe and basic model to cover the market. At least in Japan, the basic model is now coming to an end, but a new deluxe model will take its place.
The two Wii U models previously available differed from each other only in three ways: cost, color and internal storage space. The more popular black Wii U Deluxe system has 32 GB of internal storage space, while the less popular white Wii U Basic only has 8 GB of internal storage space. The two systems are usually about $50 apart.
The Wii U has faced much competition from Microsoft and Sony over the last year, and as a result the price of the Wii U has been dropping, and Nintendo has been working tirelessly to attract new customers.
In truth, the 8 GB internal storage of the basic model is very limited and can only reliably hold one or two full feature games before it is filled, so the 32 GB version of the Wii U has seen greater success. Given that the cost difference between the two versions would be miniscule, both using eMMC NAND just like flash drives, Nintendo may have decided that it is better to just focus on the deluxe instead of trying to push and explain the difference between the two.
To fill the gap, Nintendo does plan to keep using the white Wii U case, but with Wii U Deluxe hardware. This might cause some problems, however, as the white Wii U systems have all been basic models up until this point. Many will likely mistake the white deluxe systems for basic systems, and they could sell poorly as a result.
Currently, Nintendo only has plans to make this change inside of Japan, where hand-held consoles are more popular. Going by the latest sales report, Nintendo sold over three times as many Wii U units in the Americas relative to Japan, but Nintendo sold more hand-held devices in Japan than anywhere else in the world.
Sales of the Wii U basic in other areas around the world might be sufficient to justify maintaining a basic and deluxe model. We will have to wait and see if Nintendo shuts down production of the Wii U basic model entirely.