We are four years into the lifespan of the Wii U, but that has not stopped the rumors from spreading that Nintendo’s hand-held console could be nearing its end. Earlier this week it was reported that Nintendo was stopping production of the console by the end of this week. Multiple sources confirmed to Eurogamer the validity of these reports and also said that Nintendo declined to comment on them. Today, however, the gaming giant has finally spoken out, and it was to say that the rumors are simply “not true.” Via the Japanese website, IT Media, a spokesperson for Nintendo wrote, “there is no change in our continuing production”. They also stated they were unaware of any specifics in Eurogamer’s article.
News and speculation have been circulating regarding the Wii U’s production amid the impending 2017 release of the Nintendo Switch (previously codenamed NX). Nintendo showed off their newest console two weeks ago via their YouTube channel, and it was quickly met with high levels of anticipation from fans. However, this also came with some concern for the Wii U, as having both consoles could seem redundant, considering the Switch is significantly more powerful with far greater capabilities. Despite the Switch going on sale next year, though, Nintendo’s spokesperson assured fans that more Wii U games are coming, including The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
This is not the first time the Wii U has been the subject of production-cancelling reports. Earlier this year in March, Nikkei (stock market index for the Tokyo Stock Exchange) published a report that the console’s production was coming to its end. A month later, however, Nintendo’s president Tatsumi Kimishima said that was not true, only that they would “greatly reduce the amount of Wii U systems produced and shipped.”
It’s no secret the Wii U hasn’t performed nearly as well as Nintendo’s other consoles. It went on sale back in November 2012 and since then only 13.3 million units have been sold. Compare that number to the Nintendo 3DS (61.57 million units), the Wii (101.63), even the old-school Game Boys (118.69), and the Wii U’s sale numbers are glaringly low. If Nintendo does actually decide to end production, it will not not come as a huge surprise to anyone.
Tori is a writer and gamer originally from Vault 111, but now she resides in Chicago. She has an MFA in creative writing-fiction, runs primarily on coffee, and is an expert on AMC’s The Walking Dead. Follow her on Twitter @torithatnerd.