Nintendo says it won’t stop production of Wii U

Previously, a report from Japanese newspaper Nikkei claimed that Nintendo would stop manufacturing its Wii U console by the end of the year.

Nintendo has now reacted, with a spokesperson telling ITMedia that Nikkei’s report “isn’t an official announcement”, and that the company plans to produce the Wii U through the rest of the year.

While Nintendo’s reaction throws doubt on whether the life of the Wii U is to be cut short in 2016, Nikkei’s report has nevertheless thrown fuel on the rumour that the company intends to launch a successor console, dubbed the Nintendo NX, within the next few months.

The denial of the report chimes with Nintendo’s previous comments, also that it would not abandon current Wii U users in terms of games.

“We are working on NX and looking at the experiences we can bring to that platform,” Nintendo chief Tatsumi Kimishima told TIME last December. “But first our job at this point is to support the consumers who have purchased Wii U and make sure that they have software experiences available to them.” 

The Wii U has had a difficult time keeping pace with Microsoft’s Xbox One and Sony’s PlayStation 4, most notably in terms of third-party support from publishers such as EA. Nintendo claims to have sold 12.6 million Wii U units as of December 2015, but this is a paltry figure compared to 36 million PlayStation 4s – especially considering the Wii U launched a year before the PS4. 

An E3-time Nintendo Direct event is a likely platform for the NX launch, and you can read more about our predictions for the event here

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