Is Nintendo killing Wii U production before year end?

Here’s a big gaming industry rumour: the less-than-impressive Nintendo Wii U could find itself dead and buried by year-end, according to Japanese site Nikkei.

If Nintendo does cease production of the Wii U before 2017, it will make it the shortest-lived home gaming console in Nintendo’s storied history.

But while Nintendo dismisses the rumour, it’s clear that the Wii U isn’t exactly the thriving gaming platform its parent hoped it would be. It makes no real financial or business sense to keep it on life support, especially since Nintendo’s real promise now lies in mobile gaming and, more importantly for home users, a new console.

The moment Nintendo announced that it’s working on a the Nintendo NX — what is effectively the Wii U’s replacement — the Wii U was as good as dead.

The expected arrival date of the NX seems to support the Wii U death knell rumours too. The Nintendo NX will likely launch before mid 2017. Other information (or lack thereof) of titles like the all-new The Legend Of Zelda Wii U game hasn’t really been concrete (with the last trailer launched back in 2014), suggesting that Nintendo could be hard at work already developing titles for the future console, or possibly, moving Zelda to the NX entirely.

Also, would continuing production make financial sense? Nintendo has sold just under 13-million Wii Us since its launch, which definitely makes it the company’s weakest console performer ever. In terms of its competition, the PlayStation 4 is touching 36-million, while the Xbox One is well beyond 10-million too. And as for the Nintendo Wii? It hit 100-million with ease.

If Nintendo does kill the Wii U this year it will be a sad day for lovers of the strange console, but it’ll likely mark the beginning of something much bigger for the company.

Feature image: ze_bear via Flickr

Andy Walker, former editor


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