Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Nintendo Is Not Cancelling the Wii-U Yet

So let's take a breather everyone, before we all start foaming at the mouth at the knee-jerk reactions people are having. Yesterday Japanese publication Nikki started the rumor that the Wii-U would soon be ending production during the later half of 2016. They cite reasons such as the console (I think it's safe to call it that now) having low popularity and sales, difficulty for developers to conform games to the platform, and a new system will be announced soon to overtake the Wii-U. We already know about the later, code-named "NX" will probably make an appearance at E3 this year. But having a new console is not a good reason to end another. Nintendo is known for long life-cycles with systems, just like Sony, and produced previous generation systems, Gamecube, Super Nintendo, etc., while newer units were on the market.

As it stands as of right now, nearly 8am on Wednesday morning, 3/23/16, Nintendo is not confirming the rumor. A Nintendo spokesperson spoke to Japanese site IT Media: "This isn’t an announcement from our company. From the next quarter and thereafter as well, production [of the Wii U] is scheduled to continue.”

So why are people taking the rumor seriously? Nikki has a strong track record of accuracy with Nintendo stories. And given the poor performance to the Wii-U compared to it's predecessor (the Wii sold 67 million units world-wide by it's third year, while the Wii-U has hit 12 million in the same time frame), it's not an unfair assumption to make. Even the likes of Mario Maker, Super Smash Bros., and Splatoon last year didn't boost sales as much as Nintendo would have liked. The drop of third-party support from big publishers like EA doesn't help the Wii-U's case, either. And then there's the marketing...is it a peripheral? Is it a system? I don't know, and neither did the public for the longest time.

For those who are looking into a Wii-U this year, maybe wait it out until E3 to see what Nintendo's official stance is. There is supporting evidence from their years of business that indicates that they won't drop the Wii-U until long after the new system is up and running. We also can't forget about Amiibos. The sales of those suckers are still quite well, and they currently only work with the Wii-U and Nintendo 3DS XL (unless you get the separate reader/writer accessory). I doubt Nintendo is going to drop support on a product that works with one of their top selling items so suddenly. Give it a few years...or wait until E3 when the big announcements are made.

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