Nintendo denies earlier reports that the preparations for the launch of the Switch is prompting an imminent end to the manufacturing of Wii U systems.
Yesterday, it was reported that Nintendo was planning to end production of the Wii U console this week, as the company's attention shifts toward the launch of the Switch early next year. However, now there's word that this is not the case, coming directly from a Nintendo spokesperson.
"There is no change to our continuing [Wii U] production," said the spokesperson, according to a report from Japanese site IT Media. The representative admitted that they had not read the article being referred to, but stressed that Wii U manufacturing was not scheduled to end this week.
"Even though the Nintendo Switch is slated to go on sale, [Wii U] production is scheduled to continue," added the representative. These comments were made directly to the Japanese publication IT Media, in response to the pervasive reports that the Wii U was set to be discontinued.
It's certainly possible that Nintendo could be covering up the end of Wii U production in order to avoid another major drop in the company's stock prices. However, there's perhaps more reason to believe that Nintendo is ceasing its manufacture of the console just yet.
Earlier this year, it was officially confirmed that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will launch for both the Wii U and the Switch. While the focus is sure to be on Nintendo's newest system, it doesn't make a great deal of sense for such a high-profile release to come after production of the Wii U has ended.
It's clear that the Wii U drastically under-performed in terms of units sold — especially when compared to its immediate predecessor. That said, it remains to be seen whether there's any immediate benefit to stopping production at this point in time.
Throughout 2016, there have been persistent rumors that Nintendo was preparing to stop making new Wii U consoles. However, given that the Switch was waiting in the wings, it's easy to see what prompted this kind of speculation.
Now that Nintendo has let the cat out of the bag with regards to the Switch, the Wii U seems more and more like a relic of the past. The system will certainly be discontinued sooner rather than later — but according to Nintendo, it's not scheduled to happen this week.
The Nintendo Switch is expected to release in early 2017.