According to reports, the Nintendo Wii U is set to end production this week, with final production orders for the poorly selling console taking place yesterday.
Although the Nintendo Wii U got off to a fairly decent start, selling 400,000 units in its launch week, the console hasn't come close to the incredible success of its predecessor, the Nintendo Wii. While the Wii sold over 100 million units during its lifetime, sales of its successor were once expected to top out at 25 million units. Unfortunately, it seems that the console won't even get a chance to hit that 25 million sales milestone.
According to Eurogamer, the Wii U is set to end production this week, with the last Wii U set to roll off of Nintendo's Japanese production line on Friday, November 4. The publication explains that the "final deadline" for orders of the Wii U passed yesterday.
Rumors that the Wii U would end production this year have been circulated before, but Nintendo refuted those claims saying that for the next quarter and "thereafter," production of the console would continue. Of course, this doesn't mean that the company hasn't since changed its mind. After all, in the company's latest financial briefing, it was revealed that Wii U sales are dropping; with sales of Wii U software declining too.
Another, if not fairly obvious, reason to believe that the the Wii U's days are numbered is the recent announcement of the Nintendo Switch. Nintendo may say that the Switch is not a replacement to either the Wii U or its strongly selling handheld sibling in the 3DS, but it's hard to see how the company can justify producing and supporting two home game consoles when one of them has already tried to pull its weight and has failed.
Even the fact that the Switch won't support Wii U discs isn't a solid reason against the Wii U production rumor. For instance, even if the console's discs are made redundant, Nintendo could still make Wii U games available on the Switch via download.
Arguably, no matter how many times Nintendo says that the Switch isn't a replacement, people won't believe it. Even with a Wii U price drop and an affordable Switch RRP, few gamers are going to buy both consoles. Most likely, they will buy the Nintendo Switch and overlook the Wii U, as so many have during its four years on sale. Continuing to sell the Wii U, if anything, will only give consumers a (short) pause for thought and it stands to reason that Nintendo will give its new console the best chance at success by ending production on its old one.
If Eurogamer's sources are to be believed, then production of the Wii U could be ending this Friday, November 4, 2016.