Nintendo refutes earlier reports that the company plans to discontinue production on its struggling Wii U console by the end of 2016 in favor of their upcoming NX hardware.
Rumors began swirling yesterday in regards to Nintendo halting production on the struggling Wii U by the end of 2016, a console that launched just a shade over three years ago. While the news may be disappointing to Nintendo fans, with rumors pointing to a potential 2016 release for its next console codenamed NX and the continued struggling Wii U sales numbers, the move isn’t terribly surprising. Apparently, Nintendo isn’t as ready to call it quits with the Wii U as initially reported.
“This isn’t an announcement from our company. From the next quarter and thereafter as well, production is scheduled to continue.”
Speaking with the Japanese magazine Famitsu, a spokesman for Nintendo openly denied these reports and asserted that no such announcement has been made by the company. Nintendo also went on to confirm that the company is planning on manufacturing the Wii U well into the next term and beyond. This line of thinking isn’t surprising considering that Nintendo has also stated publicly that it plans to support both the Wii U and NX at the same time.
The original reports indicated that the lack of software, struggling sales, and a belief that the console wouldn’t be able to recover are the driving forces behind cutting production entirely. It is worth noting that recent titles like Super Mario Maker and Splatoon have driven new hardware sales, even causing shortages in some places. That’s not to say that the console will smash sales predictions going forward, but it does show that quality games can drive sales for just about any piece of hardware.
Even if Nintendo does intend on continuing production for the Wii U console well into the future, the biggest problem facing the system at this point is the lack of software. When compared to both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, the currently known release line up is quite slim with only a few major first party offerings like Star Fox Zero and the mysterious Legend of Zelda Wii U revealed to be arriving in 2016. Without meaningful software to purchase or something to look forward to, Nintendo may have an even tougher time justifying the console price to consumers, especially with people being aware that Nintendo is in the process of introducing a brand new piece of hardware with the NX.
There’s no denying that the Wii U hasn’t lived up to expectations, even if trying to live up to the massively successfully Wii was somewhat unrealistic. The system just recently broke 12.6 million units sold a few months ago, which sounds great on paper, but it falls well short of the current numbers posted by the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, which also launched essentially a year after the Wii U. Complicating the matter further is that Nintendo originally predicted the console to sell at least 25 million units in its lifetime, a number which appears to be unreachable at this point. It’ll be interesting to see how Nintendo plans to try and reinvigorate the fanbase before the launch of the Nintendo NX console.
Are you a current Wii U owner and are you planning on supporting the NX? What would it take for you to pick up a Nintendo console again? Let us know your feelings on the subject below in the comments.