Nintendo denies, then confirms that it’s ending Wii U production

nintendo denies end of wii u production this week 2 version 1478097659 17 640x0
After previously asserting that the company had no plans to end the production of its struggling Wii U console, Nintendo has confirmed that the last Wii U consoles produced for North America have already been sent to retailers.

“We can confirm that as of today, all Wii U hardware that will be made available in the North American market for this fiscal year has already been shipped to our retail partners,” Nintendo said in a statement to Kotaku.

Earlier this week, Eurogamer claimed that the final Wii U unit would exit Nintendo’s manufacturing plant on Friday, ending the console’s production run four years after it launched worldwide in November 2012. Nintendo previously denied reports stating that it would end Wii U production in March of this year.

Unfortunately, even given the overwhelming success of Nintendo’s last-generation Wii console, the Wii U doesn’t share the same successful reputation despite the shared name. It struggled to find an audience in the face of competition from Sony’s PlayStation 4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One. Initially backed by a slate of third-party titles, the Wii U lost the support of many major publishers after their console-exclusive releases met with limited success and low sales.

The past year saw only a handful of first-party Wii U releases from Nintendo, including standouts like Star Fox Zero, Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE, and Paper Mario: Color Splash. Over the course of its brief lifespan, the platform also hosted HD remakes of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess and The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. The Zelda series’ next entry, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, will launch for the Wii U and Nintendo Switch next year.

Nintendo officially unveiled the Wii U’s successor last month, announcing that the Nintendo Switch will hit retail worldwide in March. The Switch promises to bridge the gap between Nintendo’s home consoles and portable platforms, serving as both a handheld gaming unit and a dedicated home console via an included docking station.

Recent rumors suggest that the Nintendo Switch will feature a capacitive multitouch display, ending Nintendo’s longstanding attachment to resistive touchscreen technology. Like Nintendo’s 3DS portables, the Wii U GamePad features a resistive touchscreen, and requires players to use a stylus for accurate input. The GamePad peripheral is widely cited as one of the Wii U’s biggest weaknesses, as developers often struggled to adapt their games to suit its limited functionality and single-touch display.

Despite the Wii U console’s seemingly low popularity as of late, independent developers have many digital releases in store for the Wii U eShop through the end of the year. Given Nintendo’s current software lineup, however, it’s likely that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will be the Wii U’s final first-party release when it ships in 2017.

Updated on 11-11-2016 by Gabe Gurwin: Added Nintendo’s confirmation of earlier reports.


Can Chrome replace your game console? Google’s Project Stream argues it can

Google's Project Stream wants to bring console gaming directly to your Chrome browser by streaming it over the internet. The beta holds much promise but also has room for improvement.

The PS5 rumors are heating up with reports of a potential 2020 release window

PlayStation 5 rumors have been circulating for over a year now but there's still plenty we don't know. Here's everything you need to know about the PS5, including rumors about its release, specs, and games.
Home Theater

Don't wake the baby! How to connect headphones to a TV

Do you need to connect a pair of headphones to your TV? Our handy guide will show you how to hook up your headphones in a variety of ways, whether you're using wired headphones, wireless headphones, or gaming headsets.

One game console is better than the rest, and we're not afraid to say it

We've seen a relatively large influx of new consoles in the last year, including the Nintendo Switch and Xbox One X, so we've updated our recommendations for the best dedicated game hardware.

From Blackout to Zombies, here's everything we know about 'Black Ops 4'

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 arrives on PS4, Xbox One, and PC on October 12. Here's everything you need to know about the game, including info on multiplayer, Zombies, Blackout, and Signature Weapons.

GameStop manager marks ‘Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’ launch by mimicking cover art

To celebrate the launch of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, GameStop stores held midnight launch events across the United States. One manager even cosplayed as the cover star from the game, complete with an accurate haircut.
Product Review

'Black Ops 4' learns a few new tricks, but it's Call of Duty to the core

Despite nods to hero-based tactical gameplay, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’s multiplayer feels as stable as ever -- even as the game trades in its story-driven campaign for the new Blackout mode.

Here's where Xur is and what he has for wares this week in 'Destiny 2: Forsaken'

The weekly vendor in Destiny 2: Forsaken always brings Exotic weapons and armor, some of the toughest loot to find in the game. Here's everything you need to know to track down Xur: Where he is, when he shows up, and what he's stocking.

Here’s our guide on how to get ‘Fortnite’ on your Android device

'Fortnite: Battle Royale' is one of the biggest games in the world right now, and it's finally on Android, even if getting set up is a bit long-winded. Here's how to play 'Fortnite: Battle Royale' on an Android device.

Put your iPad Pro to the test with these great games

Did you recently purchase a 10.5-inch iPad Pro, or are you enjoying the 12.9-inch version? If so, we've rounded up a few of the best iPad Pro games currently available on Apple's mobile platform.

Open-world video games are getting too big for their own good

As technology has progressed, open-world video games have grown increasingly bigger. What seems like a universal positive has shown problems preventing the genre from truly moving forward, however.
Product Review

The Oculus Rift is cheaper, the Vive Pro is better. Is the original Vive still worth it?

The Oculus Rift may have brought virtual reality into the public eye, but HTC’s Vive, built in partnership with Valve, does it better. Does the Vive still represent the true future of virtual reality, or are there better competitors on…
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: DIY smartphones and zip-on bike tires

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

As deaf gamers speak up, game studios are finally listening to those who can’t

Using social media, personal blogs and Twitch, a small group of deaf and hard-of-hearing players have been working to make their voices heard and improve accessibility in the gaming industry.