Update: Nintendo Everything has passed along that Japanese website IT Media NetLab reached out to Nintendo on the story and Nintendo’s response was that it was unequivocally not true. they said that the report didn’t come from Nintendo and that the company plans to continue producing hardware units into the next fiscal year and beyond. Also noted was the performance of key hits like Splatoon and Super Mario Maker.
It is worth noting however, that Nintendo has denied rumors in the past, right up until the day before they happen. In particular, the DS Lite was denied by Nintendo UK the very day before they sent out an announcement about it, so take both the original report, and the denial with a grain of salt.
Japanese newspaper The Nikkei has today reported that Nintendo are to cease production of the ever-struggling Wii U at some point this year. No statement has yet been made on the implication this might have on the release date of Nintendo’s latest device, currently dubbed the “Nintendo NX”.
The Wii U has been a commercial flop by any measure. Figures released by Nintendo last year show just how disappointingly the home console has performed alongside previous devices, selling just a tenth of the units of it’s predecessor, the Wii. The Nikkei also reports that accessories and peripherals for the device are being discontinued with immediate effect, a veritable nail in the coffin for the system.
As we wait for official comment from Nintendo, all eyes turn to the Nintendo NX. Very little is known about the device besides speculation, rumour and a recently leaked photo of what could possibly be the device’s controller. Whilst a 2016 release is unlikely given the lack of information released thus far, it is not impossible.
What’s certain is that Nintendo is changing direction. With the recent release of their first mobile app, Miitomo, that launched to huge success earlier this month, this may be sign of a new approach regarding Nintendo’s latest strategy to compete for market dominance once more.
It’s sad to see the thing go so soon. Gamers talk about the Wii U with fondness though I can’t say I know many people who actually own one. It had some good games; Splatoon, the inevitable Smash-Bros-that-isn’t-Melee, Super Mario Maker, though nothing with much staying power. Given that it was discontinued so quickly, the NX will hopefully have some backwards compatibility to try and squeeze the anticipated financials out of the Wii U games that can never be widely received without a console to play them on. Nintendo have been reluctant to share media, engage with YouTube content creators or really engage with the community in general for some time now. Let’s hope the NX marks a fork in the road; I’m not sure any of us want to see Nintendo die.