Nintendo's troubled Wii U may soon be making way for the Nintendo NX. The Japanese gaming giant may cease production of the disappointing console by the end of 2016, according to a report from Nikkei. The Japanese newspaper's report indicates Nintendo decided to end the production run of the Wii U after concluding that it would not recover from slow sales.
To date, just 12.6 million Wii U consoles have been sold worldwide. Sony's PlayStation 4 has sold close to 38 million units while Microsoft has sold approximately 19 million Xbox One consoles. The Wii U's predecessor, the Wii, sold 101.63 million units worldwide.
The Wii U, which features a tablet that doubles as a controller and second screen, was released Nov. 18, 2012, a year before the release of the PS4 and Xbox One. Reception was mixed, with many critics noting the poor battery life of the GamePad. Another source of frustration was the inability to use two GamePads with the Wii U or purchase an additional GamePad. Additional players would need to use a Wii Remote. A broken GamePad required a call to Nintendo or the purchase of an additional Wii U.
An additional blow to the Wii U was the lack of software. The release schedule was often barren for Wii U owners, with only a handful of titles released over several months. From November to March 18, only seven new games were released for the Wii U, one of which was "The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD" remake.
That's not to say the Wii U did not have great games. Games like "Splatoon," with its unique shooting gameplay, and "Super Mario Maker" are considered among the best games of the current console cycle. Just under one-third of Wii U owners, 4.06 million, purchased "Splatoon."
With the possible end of the Wii U in sight, gamers will turn their attention to Nintendo's mysterious NX console. Some patent files suggest a screen-based controller similar to the Wii U's GamePad, but oval in shape. Many expect Nintendo to reveal the NX at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in June.