Japanese newspaper Nikkei reported today that Nintendo will cease production of the Wii U by the end of 2016, presumably switching to manufacturing for the mysterious NX system. Nikkei, which has accurately reported news about Nintendo's unannounced plans before, says Nintendo is ending production on Wii U hardware so soon due to the console's slow sales, which are not expected to improve.
The report, translated by GameSpot and DualShockers, does not contain any details on when the NX will launch or when Nintendo plans to stop selling Wii U hardware to consumers.
A newly substantiated rumor suggests the NX -- believed to be a console/mobile hybrid that uses "industry-leading" tech -- will launch later this year. It has also been reported that the new Legend of Zelda game for Wii U may also be released for the NX, possibly as a launch title.
We have reached out to Nintendo in an attempt to get more details and will update this post with anything we hear back.
It's no secret that the Wii U has come up short. The system, which went on sale in November 2012, has sold 12.6 million units around the world as of December 31. This as compared with more than 101 million units sold for the Wii. The Wii, of course, was a massive, global hit, and matching that success was always going to be a challenge for the Wii U.
Comparing the Wii U against its current competitors, things don't look great, either. Despite launching a full year earlier, the Wii U has been dramatically outsold by the PlayStation 4, which has moved nearly 36 million units by Sony's latest count. Microsoft does not share Xbox One sales numbers, but the console is rumored to have sold more than 18 million units.
Officially, Nintendo has said it will talk about the NX -- and presumably reveal its actual name -- later this year. One possible venue for the announcement would be E3 2016 in June, though Nintendo has yet to announce its plans for the show.
Back in October 2015, The Wall Street Journal reported that Nintendo had started to send out software development kits to some developers, seemingly signalling the company was preparing for launch.
As always, we'll report back with more information on Nintendo's NX as it becomes available.