The inevitable has happened: Nintendo is cutting their losses with the Wii U ahead of the March launch of the Nintendo Switch. This confirms previous reports that production on Nintendo’s unsuccessful console would be coming to an end very soon. Production for the Wii U in Japan has already come to a full stop, as Nintendo announced on their Japanese website that both of the SKUs available for the console in the region are “ending production soon”.
While Japan is confirmed to be ending Wii U production, it looks like North America is not far behind. In a statement to IGN, Nintendo of America said:
As recently posted by Nintendo on the Wii U website in Japan, Wii U production will end in the near future for the Japanese domestic market. We have nothing to announce in terms of exact timing. 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. We encourage anyone who wants Wii U to communicate with their preferred retail outlet to monitor availability.
Nintendo’s fiscal year ends in March 2017, right when the Nintendo Switch launches. If Nintendo has made all the Wii Us they will make for the US until that point, it certainly isn’t a good sign for the console’s outlook in the region.
The Wii U launched back in November 2012 as a followup to Nintendo’s successful console, the Wii. However, the Wii U has not captured that success, only selling 13 million consoles worldwide in the four years since its launch. Nintendo is currently planning to release their follow up to the Wii U, the Nintendo Switch, this March.