Nintendo has responded to widespread reports that production of the company’s Wii U gaming console will end at some point this year.
According to a translation by Kotaku, a spokesperson for Nintendo told IT Media, “This isn’t an announcement from our company. From the next quarter and thereafter as well, production is scheduled to continue.”
This denial is a response to yesterday’s report from Nikkei, a leading Japanese financial publication, that Nintendo was closing up shop on the Wii U this year and that production on certain Wii U peripherals and accessories had already been halted. Nikkei has been a proven source for Nintendo rumors in the past, and with the Wii U console business being so unsuccessful since its launch in 2012, yesterday’s report was taken at face value.
Nintendo, for their part, is expected to announce the Wii U’s successor, codenamed the NX, at some point this year, with an expected 2016 release (although Nikkei also mentioned in the same report that the NX’s 2016 launch is not assured). Considering that Nintendo still probably wants to sell as many Wii Us as possible before focus shifts to the NX, it makes sense for them to deny any reports that suggest they have abandoned the console completely.
The Wii has sold approximately 12.6 million units since its 2012 launch and is currently one of Nintendo’s poorest-selling consoles to date, lagging far behind its predecessor the Wii, which has sold over 100 million units worldwide since 2006.