The news spread like wildfire today when Japanese news outlet Nikkei reported that Chinese factories have been given orders to stop assembling Wii U consoles in a few months. Nintendo released a statement this afternoon denying what the report said, but Nikkei has a good track record with exposing company secrets. Instantly, the gaming community declared the Wii U “officially dead” and therefore a waste of money. Not so fast.
Nikkei said they have orders to stop IN THE FUTURE — they’re still making them NOW. And furthermore, the Wii U is a great system at this point. I’ve honestly had more fun with it than I ever had with the Wii or the Gamecube, and it’s tragic few people on Earth are sharing in this joy. 2016 also has some great games yet to be released such as Star Fox Zero (I would mention Zelda, but there’s no way they aren’t bringing that to NX too). If you still don’t have one, get one already.
What we do know is this:
- The NX is likely very, very close to being revealed. Third parties have had dev kits since last October, and rumors are abound that NX consoles will be manufactured soon for a targeted Holiday 2016 release date.
- Nintendo does not keep underperforming machines on the market for long when they have a new alternative to lean on. Once the Wii was on the market, first-party releases for the Gamecube ceased nearly immediately. Support for the N64 also stopped the moment the Gamecube showed up. When the Game Boy Micro bombed, Nintendo removed it within months — because they had the DS.
Given this, it’s possible we will not be seeing new first-party games released for the Wii U beyond 2016, and given that third-party releases are extremely scarce, this would render the Wii U virtually dead in 2017. Why make more consoles?
So if the report is correct, it’s in line with past behavior from Nintendo and not all that surprising. But if you consider yourself a serious gamer, you are missing out by not having a Wii U in your collection, regardless if the thing only lived four years.