If you want to get your hands on a Wii U, you had better move quickly. Nintendo has published a note on its website in Japan, saying that it will halt production on the Wii U “soon.” That squares with previous rumors Nintendo would stop production on the Wii U sometime this year.
The Wii U, which launched in 2012, is Nintendo’s worst-performing major console of all time, with fewer than 14 million units sold. The console followed the wildly successful Wii and promised not only better graphics, but a new way of playing games both on the television and with a tablet-like controller.
However, the Wii U’s growth was stunted as Nintendo’s casual gaming base increasingly turned its attention to mobile games they could play on smartphones and tablets. The Wii U was also dogged by more-powerful competitors in the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, and had trouble attracting the same number of third-party developers as its competitors.
Nintendo has acknowledged its troubles, while arguing in past years that the Wii U could still be successful. Recently, though, Nintendo has accepted reality and turned its attention to areas like smartphone gaming — a market that it had long ignored but could become a core component in its business.
Stopping Wii U production doesn’t necessarily mean that the console will be removed from store shelves anytime soon. But it does mean that the console will remain on retail shelves only as long as stores still have them in stock.
If you’re interested in buying a Wii U, then, you should think seriously about getting one now. Or better yet, try waiting until Black Friday, when the console will likely be discounted. (Target has already teased a Wii U sale for Black Friday.)
But that’s not the only Nintendo hardware to consider. Nintendo will release its NES Classic Edition console tomorrow (Nov. 11). The $60 device is a miniature version of the Nintendo Entertainment System from the 1980s, and it comes bundled with some of the console’s most popular games.
Meanwhile, Nintendo is also working on its next major console release, the Nintendo Switch. The hardware, which was unveiled this fall, tries to make it easy for you to bring your games wherever you go. Nintendo plans to announce the Switch’s release date and price in January.