There was a time when Nintendo dominated the console market. From 2006 to 2013, Nintendo's ubiquitous Wii managed to beat its more powerful rivals from Sony and Microsoft by sheer ingenuity, selling more than 100 million of its consoles to consumers.
Unfortunately for Nintendo, the Wii's successor, the aptly-named console/tablet Wii U, has not enjoyed the same success, with critics and consumers lamenting about the console's lack of power and online functionality as well as the inferiority to Android and iOS devices of the Wii U's tablet. Indeed, since the device debuted in 2012, Nintendo has only sold 12.6 million devices, a very small number compared to its highly-successful predecessor.
With the Wii U's lackluster performance in the console market, a report from a Japanese newspaper, Nikkei, has alleged that the gaming giant is thinking of pulling the plug on the Wii U this year, probably in order to prepare for the upcoming launch of the Wii U's successor, the rumored Nintendo NX.
In a lot of ways, the cancellation of the Wii U's production makes sense. After all, if the Nintendo NX does indeed have full backward compatibility, the existence of the Wii U, which is not selling well anyway, becomes questionable.
However, Nintendo has been quick to deny the rumors, stating that the Nikkei report did not come from the gaming giant. The company also assured their consumers that the Wii U would still be available in the future.
"The Nikkei report did not come from within our company. The company plans to continue production through and beyond the next fiscal year," Nintendo's rebuttal stated.
As much as the cancellation of the Wii U makes sense, Nintendo does have a point for keeping the console available. As it is, the Wii U has recently been reported to be running low on stocks, spurred on by the popularity of games such as Splatoon and Super Mario Maker. Sometimes, in the world of console gaming, all it takes is a couple of in-demand games for a struggling console to make some much-needed profit. Who knows? Nintendo might be right. Maybe the Wii U still has some fight left.
With Nintendo's reputation for being a very pragmatic tech conglomerate, it would not be surprising at all if, by some chance, the Wii U still ends up surprising everyone.
The Japanese gaming giant is set to announce its annual sales estimates for their gaming systems on April 27 for the company's fiscal year earnings.