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Nintendo Is Ceasing Production of The Wii U

November 14, 2016

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By: Max Cannon

Though it's not immediate, Nintendo has announced plans to wrap up production on the Wii U. This isn't a big surprise because of the imminent release of their follow up, the Nintendo Switch, but it's definitely surprising to here this information so soon. 

Switching Off The Wii U

Nintendo's Wii U was far from their most successful console, releasing a full year before the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One should've been a huge head start for a next gen console but Nintendo has always played by their own rules. The original Wii is one of the most successful consoles of all time, and though it's critical reception was rough amongst hardcore players and seasoned reviewers, it became a staple of the casual gamers entertainment center - heck my Grandma even gave Wii Sports Bowling a try.

Nintendo Switch Announcement Trailer

 

But the Wii U found it tough to cash in on that same love and loyalty. While the hardcore audience will support your platform through thick and thin - see the PlayStation Vita - the casual community doesn't feel any of that brand loyalty, they're just looking for a fun time. Nintendo clearly tried to bring the Wii branding along for the ride in hopes that it could reignite the same fire, but it really just caused confusion. Most consumers thought that the Wii U was an extension to the original Wii, a gamepad that would work on the console you already own. When people figured out that they would need an entirely new console it seemed to quickly turn them off. 

The console sold poorly, and though there were a few standout games like Splatoon and Super Mario 3D World, the library just couldn't compete with the competition - especially when taking third party support into consideration. The passionate Nintendo fanbase may have given some support to the struggling console but it wasn't enough to ward of dying sales and a very vocal internet. 

Splatoon is one of the few Wii U games to strike gold.Splatoon is one of the few Wii U games to strike gold.Courtesy of Nintendo

Packing Up The Console

Reports of the final days of the Wii U's production were initially coming from Eurogamer just a couple of days after the announcement of the Nintendo Switch. A cease in production simply means that a company is no longer making brand new consoles, that doesn't necessarily mean that support is over in terms of patches and additional games - though Nintendo will obviously shift much of its focus over to the Switch.

The new Legend of Zelda game running on the Switch's handheld.The new Legend of Zelda game running on the Switch's handheld.Courtesy of Nintendo

What's surprising about this news isn't that it is happening, but that we are hearing report of it so soon. Though many claim that 2018 will hold the date of the final factory manufactured Wii U, rumors are swirling of Japan ceasing early next year. The Wii U's low sales numbers may to be blame for the quick turnover as the PlayStation 2 was still in production toward the end of the PlayStation 3 generation and the final Xbox 360 was pushed out of the factory earlier this year. It doesn't mean you won't be able to pick one up, but Nintendo won't be restocking store shelves anymore.

But this is for the best. Put the struggles of the Wii U behind us and move onto the promising future of the Nintendo Switch. 

One of the highlights of the Wii U was Super Mario 3D World.One of the highlights of the Wii U was Super Mario 3D World.Courtesy of Nintendo
Have Your Say!

Are you still holding onto your Wii U? Did you have any favorite games on the system? Share your thoughts in the comments!