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Nintendo halting Wii U production this year - Report

Some accessories have already been discontinued as company turns focus to upcoming NX

Any faint hopes for a Wii U resurgence took a hit today, as the Nikkei is reporting that Nintendo will cease production on the system by the end of this year. Kantan Games analyst Dr. Serkan Toto summarized the Japanese-language report on his Twitter account.

Our own translation of the article indicates that several firms involved in the Wii U supply chain have already suspended production of their parts. The existing stockpile will be exhausted before the end of the year, but Nintendo intends to continue developing Wii U software after that point. The Nikkei also reaffirmed the notion that a new console, the NX, will be announced in 2016. The expected impact of that event on the Wii U's sales was allegedly a factor in halting its production.

"On a more personal note, I like the Wii U a lot, but it did absolutely nothing for Nintendo as a company," Toto said. "This move makes total sense."

This news aside, Nintendo had a strong week with the Japanese launch of its first mobile title, Miitomo. It racked up 1 million registered users in its first weekend, and saw its share price jump more than 8 percent on Tuesday, the first day of trading since the company announced the registration numbers.

The Wii U launched in November of 2012, and has sold 12.60 million systems worldwide as of the beginning of this year. While it out-performed the Virtual Boy, its sales figures have fallen well short of every other Nintendo console or handheld. The GameCube is the next lowest-selling system in the company's history, but even its modest 21.74 million units sold still appears to be well out of reach for the Wii U if it is already being discontinued.

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Latest comments (3)

Steve Peterson Marketing Consultant 3 years ago
Unless Nintendo has a large inventory of unsold Wii U units (certainly a possibility), if this report is true it would make the introduction of the NX this year even more likely.
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Andy Samson QA Supervisor, Digital Media Exchange3 years ago
They can't just abandon the system this early unless the NX home console has backwards compatibility through emulation, or it's simply a feature that their new "universal" operating system can do. There's a possibility that Nintendo's releasing a trimmed down version of the Wii U hardware which can be sold for $149-199 USD and it can come bundled with the new Zelda game or digital copies of older Wii U games like Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros sans DLCs. This trimmed down hardware could do away with the optical drive, have at least 120GB memory (upgradeable) and make use of the "NX" game card slot which also lets you play any DS/3DS, or even scaled down NX games. For all we know this new Wii U hardware could also function as the NX's Supplementary computing device (SCD) as described from a previous patent.
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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.3 years ago
1. Nintendo has already denied this (any company would naturally anyway).

2. Wii U sales in Japan have actually wiped out their stock. There have been shortages for almost 2 months.

3. NX is most likely launching next year. I can see production lines being in a transition phase but not one halted completely before the other even begins.
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