The Wii U is Dead: Production Ends This Friday [Updated]

The Wii U is Dead: Production Ends This Friday [Updated]

Nintendo's current home console has entered the twilight of its life.

Update #2: Nintendo has announced that Wii U production is ending soon in Japan. The news comes from the official Nintendo website, via translation by Kotaku. Another denial, followed swiftly by confirmation from Nintendo.

Update: Nintendo has denied Eurogamer's report that production on the Wii U is ending.

"There is no change to our continuing [Wii U] production," a Nintendo spokesperson told IT Media (translated via Kotaku). "Even though the Nintendo Switch is slated to go on sale, [Wii U] production is scheduled to continue."

Eurogamer's report follows a similar Nikkei report back in March, saying the system would end production by the end of 2016. Nintendo said at the time that Wii U production would continue for at least the next two fiscal quarters, which would've taken the company to September 30, 2016.

It's worth noting that Nintendo has a history of outright lying in statements about upcoming corporate moves and changes. In 2009, Nikkei reported that Nintendo was working on a larger DSi, Nintendo denied it. A month later, the DSi XL released in Japan. In 2010, Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun reported, with comments from former president Satoru Iwata, that Nintendo was planning a DS successor with improved graphics and internal motion sensors. Nintendo denied the report of a successor, saying the quotes were "misinterpreted". Two months later, the 3DS was revealed.

Nikkei previously reported that Nintendo was going to to release a new, larger model of the Nintendo 3DS, a report Nintendo denied the next day. Two weeks later, during a Nintendo Direct, the 3DS XL was announced. Prior to that, Nikkei also reported that Nintendo was targeting the 3DS for a new region, South Korea, with an April 28 launch date. Nintendo denied it, then launched the 3DS in South Korea on April 28.

Regardless, the above is Nintendo's statement on the matter.

Original story: We come together to praise and bury the Wii U. Multiple sources have told Eurogamer that the Wii U will be ending production on Friday. The production line will handle a small number of final orders and then the Wii U will be put out to pasture.

Earlier this year, when Japanese newspaper Nikkei reported that 2016 would mark the final year of Wii U production. That makes sense given Wii U sales numbers. In the most recent financial earnings report, Nintendo stated that Wii U sales were at 560,000 units for the six-month period, down 53 percent year-over-year. Nintendo only expects to sell 800,000 Wii U systems during the fiscal year, which ends on March 31, 2017.

According to Nintendo, the system has sold 13.36 million units over its lifetime. In contrast, the Wii sold 101.63 million, the GameCube sold 21.74 million, and the Nintendo 64 sold 32.93 million.

Nintendo is moving on with the recently-announced Nintendo Switch, which straddles the line between portable and home consoles. The hope is that the Switch will allow Nintendo to focus all of its development efforts on a single platform for the foreseeable future, instead of the split focus the company has had in previous generations. The Switch is planned for release in March 2017.

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Mike Williams

Reviews Editor

M.H. Williams is new to the journalism game, but he's been a gamer since the NES first graced American shores. Third-person action-adventure games are his personal poison: Uncharted, Infamous, and Assassin's Creed just to name a few. If you see him around a convention, he's not hard to spot: Black guy, glasses, and a tie.

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