After months of rumors, Nintendo announced this morning that they will cease production of their Wii U. According to Kotaku, news of the Wii U came through Nintendo’s official Japanese website, announcing that the production will be scheduled to end soon.
According to their website, there are currently two Wii U consoles currently in production for Japan. Below is an image from its website:
In Japanese, the text reads, 近日生産終了予定 (kinjitsu seisan shuuryou yotei), which roughly translates to “Production is scheduled to end soon.” However, right after that it says 日本国内, which translates to “within Japan.” So it’s not exactly clear yet as to whether the Wii U’s production “ending soon” refers to the production in Japan only or if it refers to global Wii U production. The console that the caption is referring to is also only referring to a white 32 GB “premium set” that’s only available on the website. However, there are other versions that are listed as “scheduled to end soon,” such as the black Wii U.
This news comes in stark contrast to reports Nintendo issued earlier after Eurogamer had previously reported that the console was reportedly going to be discontinued, and that production had halted. Nintendo quickly responded to such reports stating that they hadn’t ceased production and that the console was not going anywhere. In an article on Eurogamer, a Nintendo spokesperson was quoted as saying
There is no change to our continuing [Wii U] production. Even though the Nintendo Switch is slated to go on sale, [Wii U] production is scheduled to continue.
In the response, the spokesperson also noted that games, such as Breath of the Wild, are still scheduled to be released for the Wii U. However, many don’t believe that Nintendo will go through will production of the Wii U after their new console, the Switch, is scheduled to be released in a few months.
With mediocre Wii U sales, which are faltering more and more with time, it seems like it would make sense for Nintendo to cease manufacturing of the Wii U and focus its attention on the Switch. Although, its possible that they will continue to ship several more units to markets outside of Japan, but this may not continue for any longer.
The Nintendo Switch is set for a debut in March 2017, and according to Nintendo, there is still much more announcements to be made about the console’s hardware.