Nintendo has denied reports from earlier this week indicating that it would end Wii U production in order to focus on its next home console, reaffirming its support for the platform’s dedicated player base.
“This isn’t an announcement from our company,” a Nintendo spokesperson stated in response to recent claims (translation via Kotaku). “From the next quarter and thereafter as well, production [of the Wii U] is scheduled to continue.”
Speculation flared this week when Japanese newspaper Nikkei reported that Nintendo would cease production of its current-generation console by the end of 2016. The outlet additionally reported that Nintendo had already halted production of several Wii U accessories ahead of a broader sunsetting process for the console.
Nintendo has waged an uphill battle in its attempts at replicating the success of its previous-generation Wii console. To date, the company has sold 12.6 million Wii U consoles since the platform’s launch in 2012. The original Wii, in comparison, has sold 101 million units worldwide as of 2015.
Among other issues, the Wii U failed to earn the trust of third-party publishers throughout its troubled lifespan. Publisher Ubisoft scaled back its initially enthusiastic support for the console following disappointing sales results for its launch title ZombiU. Afterward, the formerly Wii U-exclusive Rayman Legends was hastily reworked into a multiplatform title in order to quell further losses.
Publishers Warner Bros and Electronic Arts also pulled much of their planned support for Nintendo’s console after a disappointing launch. Despite a lack of third-party support, Nintendo itself continues to release new Wii U games on a regular basis, including standouts like Splatoon, Super Mario Maker, and the upcoming Star Fox Zero.
Nikkei’s report from this week suggested that Nintendo may end Wii U support in order to promote its code-named “Nintendo NX” console, which has yet to be officially unveiled. Nintendo is likely to reveal its first details regarding the NX console at the upcoming Electronic Entertainment Expo in June.
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