Nintendo Confirms Wii U Production Ending Soon in Japan, Shipments to NA Retailers Stopping
"Production is scheduled to end soon."
[UPDATE] A spokesperson for Nintendo told Game Informer that Wii U shipments to North American retailers for this financial year has now ended. The spokesperson added that Wii U production will end in the "near future" for Japan, though specific timing was not mentioned.
"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," the representative said. "We encourage anyone who wants Wii U to communicate with their preferred retail outlet to monitor availability."
The original story is below.
A notice on Nintendo's Japanese website appears to confirm that Wii U production, as rumored, is ending in Japan soon. Kotaku discovered that a statement on the site reads, 近日生産終了予定 (kinjitsu seisan shuuryou yotei), which the site translated to, "Production is scheduled to end soon."
Bear in mind that this announcement was made on Nintendo's Japanese site and specifically pertains to production supposedly ending "within Japan." Whether or not production is also ending for other markets remains to be seen.
Multiple sources told Eurogamer this month that Nintendo would end production on the Wii U on November 4. A day after the report came out, a Nintendo spokesperson denied that production on the Wii U would end at that time.
"There is no change to our continuing [Wii U] production," the spokesperson said, stating that they were not aware of the specifics of the original report.
"Even though the Nintendo Switch is slated to go on sale, [Wii U] production is scheduled to continue," the spokesperson went on to say, adding that more Wii U games are on the way, including The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
In March, Nikkei reported that Wii U production would wrap up by the end of 2016, a claim that Nintendo later denied. A month later, in April, Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima apparently suggested Wii U production would end by March 2018. Also that month, Kimishima concretely stated that Nintendo plans to "greatly reduce the amount of Wii U systems produced and shipped."
It's no secret that the Wii U has come up short. The system, which went on sale in November 2012, has sold 13.36 million units around the world as of September 30. This compares to more than 101 million units sold for the Wii. The Wii, of course, was a massive, global hit, and matching that success was always going to be a challenge for the Wii U.
The Nintendo Switch console is slated to go on sale in March 2017. It's a console/mobile hybrid device that you can play at home or on the go. The console's price, system specs, and launch lineup will be announced during an event in January 2017.
This story has been updated.