We knew it was coming, but today Nintendo made it official: Wii U production has halted in Japan. Questions over the Wii U’s fate caused quite a bit of confusion late last year, as reports of the Wii U’s demise were initially met with a Nintendo statement that claimed Wii U production would continue. Just a week after that, however, notices that said the Wii U would soon be exiting production began appearing on Nintendo Japan’s website.
Now, as Kotaku reports, those alerts have been changed to say that the Wii U is no longer being produced. Those notices clarify that this only applies within Japan, which for now means that other regions should still receive new shipments. Even if Nintendo isn’t ready to call it quits on global Wii U production, such a move seems to be lurking right around the corner.
As we close out January and head into February, we inch ever closer to the release date of the Nintendo Switch. Nintendo’s latest console is due out on March 3, and it will be launching alongside Nintendo’s final first-party game for the Wii U – The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
Once the Switch has released and Nintendo has its last hurrah with the Wii U, it isn’t hard to imagine the console fading into obscurity rather quickly. Of course, it’s possible that Nintendo offers one final Breath of the Wild-themed console bundle with the Wii U here in the States and in Europe, but aside from that, we can probably expect production to end soon after the Switch’s arrival.
Nintendo’s struggles with the Wii U have been well-documented over the past four years. Sales have been slow since launch, and by the time everything is said and done, Wii U sales will come in below 14 million units sold. With that in mind and the Switch on the horizon, it’s no wonder that Nintendo is moving away from its troubled console quickly.