Following months of rumors, Nintendo confirms that the Wii U is to end production – in Japan – though it’s unclear what will happen to production across the globe.
This year, multiple rumors have swirled surrounding the end of Nintendo Wii U production. Several months ago Nintendo denied rumors that Wii U production will end in 2016 and when additional reports came out saying that Wii U production would end on Friday, November 4, the company denied that too. But even with Nintendo’s refutals, many gamers and critics just weren’t convinced and continued to hold the belief that Wii U production is winding down.
Now, it seems that people were right to have their doubts regarding Nintendo’s statements as the company has confirmed that Wii U production will end; in Japan at least. On the company’s Japanese site, under the images of the 32GB Wii U and a 32GB Wii U Splatoon bundle, a line of text has been added that says “production is scheduled to end soon (within Japan).” The 32GB Wii U is the only version of the hardware being produced in Japan and so Wii U production in the region will cease in its entirety.
Although it’s unclear what will happen to Wii U production lines in other countries, gamers aren’t optimistic. The console has struggled right from the beginning with Shigeru Miyamoto saying that the Wii U’s launch price is the reason it never took off. Some have also suggested that the Wii U’s name and a lack of understanding that the Wii U wasn’t simply an add-on or a new version of the Nintendo Wii also led to its lack of sales.
During Nintendo’s latest financial briefing, the company also admitted that Wii U sales are declining. With the console now four years old, it’s unclear what Nintendo could do to get the system’s sales back on track.
Also supporting the suggestions that Wii U production is set to end worldwide, is the recent announcement of the Nintendo Switch. A home console and mobile hybrid, the Switch has been called ‘what the Wii U should have been’ by some. Nintendo expects the Switch to sell 2 million units in its launch month, a figure that will hopefully be the beginning of a successful sales run, but it could prove confusing to consumers if Nintendo is to sell two home consoles at once. And, if gamers are unsure if which to spend their money on, they’re likely to save it and so it’s in the company’s best interests to end Wii U production now, before that happens.