Just a little guy.
Back in March, a rumor claimed that Nintendo would end production on the Wii U by the end of this year. Speculation abounded that this was due to the impending announcement of the Nintendo NX (now known as the Switch) and the overall poor sales of the Wii U. Now, the rumor has been proven true, and the last Wii U units will roll off the line on November 4th- this Friday.
While some might consider it strange that Nintendo is ending Wii U production before the Switch has even hit the market, a look at sales numbers reveals the comparatively dismal performance of the Wii U. At the most recent count on September 30th, Nintendo has shipped 13.36 million units of the console. This is behind the Wii, which sold 101 million, the N64 at 32 million, and even the Gamecube at 21 million. According to Nintendo, they expected to sell only 800,000 Wii U consoles between March 31st 2016 and 2017. 560,000 of that number had been sold by September 30th, so the math implies about 240,000 other units will have been produced when the console gets put to bed this Friday.
It’s always a little sad to see a console finally exit production, but it seems Nintendo would rather pull the plug on Wii U sooner than later. Considering the console’s sales and the hype surrounding the Switch, it’s probably the right move. Perhaps history and the “retro gamers” of 2030 will be kinder to the Wii U than we have, but for now, the console is getting a send-off with little fanfare. The world is ready for the Switch (even if we still don’t know much about it), so the Wii U is being left in a shallow grave. See you, space cowboy.