While preparing to report the sad rumour that Nintendo intends to cease production on the Wii U before the end of the year, official comments have just come in to suggest this might not be altogether true. Woo-hooo!
Despite respect for Nikkei as a reliable news source in the company’s native Japan, Nintendo has spoken to another source, IT Media, telling them – “This isn’t an announcement from our company” and adds that the Wii U will continue to be manufactured and marketed from the next quarter onwards. It never confirms or denies that the Wii U will end production at all, but at least it doesn’t seem to be something they plan to do in the very near future.
During its short lifespan since first launching in 2012, the Wii U has encountered a number of setbacks that have impaired it reaching the acclaimed statuses of its predecessors. Early on it was criticised for favouring gimmicks (ie. Gamepad) over power compared to market rivals and for this reason some developers were unable or unwilling to offer up their wares and the Wii U suffered due to the withdrawal of one-time supporter Ubisoft and also some EA titles were omitted from Wii U release. Particularly noticeable was the absence of any of the popular FIFA games – a yearly best seller which is a gamer highlight of the Xbox One and PS4 calendar.
Further to this, the lacklustre sales record resulted in price cuts and even a number of retailers stopped selling the 8GB variation of the Wii U console. This reflected in Nintendo’s financial reports and it looked like the company had gambled too much on the console and was in dire straits until the arrival of Amiibo which saw the console enjoy some market success once again thanks to the collectability of the figurines and digital/physical play format akin to Skylanders.
After 12-million units sold globally Nintendo is still pushing the Wii U and the portable 3DS console seems to be here to stay. Moving forward Nintendo will be releasing the aforementioned and much secretive NX console in the next few years and has only just branched out into mobile by launching its first app Miitomo.