Nintendo denies rumor that it's putting Wii U into early retirement

Nintendo Wii U

Nintendo has denied a claim that the company is to halt production of the Wii U this year, presumably to make way for the NX.

Nintendo gave comment to Japanese website IT Media, in which it denied the rumor. "This isn't an announcement from our company," said a spokesperson (as translated by Kotaku). "From the next quarter and thereafter as well, production [of the Wii U] is scheduled to continue."

Nikkei has a so-so track record with Nintendo news but Nintendo also has a track record of denying things that later turn out to be true, so we're taking all of this with a pinch of salt for now.

Original story below...

Nintendo will be announcing its next home console, codenamed the Nintendo NX, later in 2016. But, in preparation for what's coming next, a report suggests that 2016 could also bring about the halt in production of Nintendo's current console, the Wii U.

While it's definitely not uncommon for a company to phase out the old as it puts more focus on the new (the PS2 hung out on store shelves years after the release of the PS3,) one of Japan's largest business newspapers, The Nikkei, stated that Nintendo will stop the production of its struggling console earlier than originally planned.

To date, the Wii U has sold about 10 million units worldwide since its launch in 2012. That number pales in comparison to the explosive pace of the original Wii, which sold about 100 million consoles over its seven-year lifespan. Compare that to Nintendo's previously low-water marks like the Gamecube, which only sold 22 million units, and it's clear that the Wii U's total sales figure is, no doubt, in a bad place.

That's not to say that Nintendo hasn't tried. Wii U owners have enjoyed plenty of first-party exclusive games like Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros. on Wii U, but apparently, those wasn't enough to attract gamers to Nintendo's console that, instead, went toward a PS4 or Xbox One.

Although it would be a bit sad to see the Wii U phased out of existence, it would be a wise decision from a business perspective.

Nintendo's current console was, and still is, a confusingly named product to sell to fans of the original Wii, as well as gamers looking for a traditional gameplay experience. Removing it from store shelves ahead of the NX's arrival could be the palate cleanser needed to help Nintendo hit the ground running with its next home console.

Source: The Nikkei

Cameron Faulkner

Cameron is a writer at The Verge, focused on reviews, deals coverage, and news. He wrote for magazines and websites such as The Verge, TechRadar, Practical Photoshop, Polygon, Eater and Al Bawaba.