With a new system looming, Nintendo may be getting ready to sunset the Wii U.
Japan's Nikkei reports the company plans to end production of its current flagship video game system by the end of the year. While it's likely the company would continue to sell stockpiled versions of the Wii U well into 2017, the action would mark an inauspicious end to a disappointing run.
Nintendo did not immediately reply to a request for comment, but the Wii U has never been a system that truly caught on with players. Since Wii U's release in November 2012, Nintendo has sold some 12.6 million units worldwide — making it the slowest selling hardware in the company's history. To put those numbers in perspective, Sony has sold nearly three times that many PlayStation 4s in a shorter time period.
From the beginning, nothing went especially smooth for the Wii U. The first wave of buyers had to deal with a system update that prevented them from playing games from one to five hours, sporadic system outages and delayed anticipated features. And there was never the overwhelming demand the company saw for the Wii.
That arose, in part, due to confusion about what Wii U was. The name was likely too similar to its predecessor that mass market consumers didn't realize it was a new system, rather than a peripheral. That's something the company realized in retrospect.