A report from Japanese outlet Nikkei claims that Nintendo is looking to end production of its Wii U gaming platform before the end of the year.
The company has been prepping a new console, codename “NX,” for a while now, and it’s expected that that new platform will get a release in late 2016, with the discontinuation of the Wii timed accordingly.
The Wii U has sold dismally in the three-and-a-half years since it released in late 2012, and not just in comparison with its 100-million-selling predecessor, the Wii. Twelve million Wii U units sold in that timeframe makes it a disaster on par with Nintendo’s Gamecube, which moved 21 million units between its launch in 2001 and when Nintendo discontinued it in 2007, a few months after the original Wii launched.
It’s not standard for a console manufacturer to discontinue an old platform soon after a new one launches — Sony, for example, didn’t discontinue the PlayStation 2 until six years after it released its PlayStation 3 in 2006, and it still produces PlayStation 3 consoles now, years after the launch of PlayStation 4. But there has been no indication that Wii U sales are picking up, and with 3DS sales also lagging the company needs to make a move. If Nintendo were to discontinue the Wii U so quickly, it would be a major cost-cutting measure.
But while the NX is confirmed, the premature death of the Wii U is not, remaining only a rumor for now. Nintendo has not commented on the Nikkei report as of yet.