The upcoming Nintendo Switch console is set to launch in March next year, and reports had claimed that its predecessor the Wii U would be killed off.
However, new reports have surfaced in which Nintendo denies the suggestion that the Wii U will be discontinued. The denial was published by Japanese website IT Media, with Nintendo officials saying that it was “not true” that production would be halted.
The previous report was published by gaming publication Eurogamer. The report cited “multiple sources” who said that the Nintendo would make its last batch of Wii U consoles this week before shutting down.
Wii U production to be halted
These sources say that the last Wii U orders were placed yesterday, with only a “small number” of consoles ordered. This means that the company should have no trouble assembling the units this week.
The idea that the Wii U console would soon be discontinued had been previously raised in a report from Japanese financial news outlet Nikkei. It claimed that production of the Wii U would end before the new year.
At the time Nintendo denied the reports. Now the Japanese gaming giant has denied that it will end Wii U production this week. The report in IT Media reveals that the company has no set timeline for ending Wii U production.
Nintendo Switch still months away from launch
It would certainly be unusual for a console not to be produced with many games still to be released. Nintendo is still set to launch The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild for the Wii U sometime next year, and a few other games are in the pipeline.
The thinking is that Zelda is the kind of game that could inspire new users to buy a Wii U. However it looks like stock could well be limited by that point. At the same time, the game should also release at the same time on the upcoming Nintendo Switch console, which is scheduled for release in March 2017.
It might seem like a strange decision to stop production before Christmas, but Nintendo does have plans for the holiday season. The company is set to release the NES Classic Edition, a smaller vision of the Nintendo Entertainment System that was released in 1985. The modern version will have 30 games pre-loaded and ship in a package with one corded NES controller.
A similar system will be sold in Japan under the Famicom name. Demand for the systems has been so high that they have already sold out at the majority of retailers online. Now we may see the old Wii U production lines put to use producing more NES and Famicom systems.
Backward compatibility not an option
We have just been told more details about the upcoming Nintendo Switch before the Wii U apparently prepares to make its exit. According to the promotional materials for the Nintendo Switch, there will not be second-screen play or a disc drive.
This means that raw backward compatibility with the Wii U is not an option. However, it has been rumored that certain popular games could be ported to the Nintendo Switch when the new system launches.
This speculation was lent some further credibility by the Nintendo Switch promotional video. The footage appeared to show Mario Kart and Splatoon games which looked very similar to the existing Wii U games.
Excitement is building around the Nintendo Switch, although few details are known about the upcoming console. So far there has been no word on pricing or the launch lineup.
However, both gamers and developers appear to be excited by the device, which is a mobile/console hybrid. It will allow gamers to play on the move before plugging into a home hub to play on their television.