As their recent console, the Wii U, struggles to get sales, Nintendo could be planning to take their best selling platform, the Nintendo Wii off of the market.
The average life cycle for a post-2000 released games console is a rather long one. While consoles like the 2000 release of Sony PlayStation 2 enjoyed 12 years of production (Sony officially discontinued the console in January of this year) and with the Xbox 360 and the PS3 still enjoying 8 and 7 years (respectively) of sales success, it would seem unusual to cut the life of a games console short. However, it seems that that’s what Nintendo are preparing to do, as, after their console the Nintendo Wii has reigned in sales for just under 7 years, with over 100.04 million sales achieved globally (as of June, 2013) they could very well be considering ending Nintendo Wii production altogether.
The speculation comes after Nintendo have taken the surprising decision to end Nintendo Wii production in the company’s home country of Japan where the console has seen sales of over 12.5 million. The confirmation came after a translator, Twitter user Cheesemeister, tweeted the news from an update on Nintendo’s website, this was then followed up by Eurogamer who received an official confirmation from Nintendo. The official word from Nintendo is as follows, “Yes, NCL did update their website on 29th August with a small notice to state that Wii hardware production will stop in the near future. This specific message was referring to the Japanese market. No specific time frame has been stated yet.” The Nintendo spokesperson also said that there we no updates on whether or not Nintendo Wii production in Europe would continue, leaving fans of the console in the dark about whether the console will continue to be available.
Nintendo have also failed to provide a reason for discontinuing Japanese production of the console, but some are pointing towards the increasing sales of Nintendo’s highly successful handheld console, the 3DS, as a reason. The 3DS recently made headlines as it surpassed the Wii’s Japanese sales figures, with the handheld selling over 12.7 million units in comparison to the aforementioned 12.5 million of the Wii. Others are also suggesting that Nintendo have chosen to stop producing the aging console due to the fact that some consumers are confusing the 2006 released Wii and the newer console that was released in 2012, the Wii U, as the same console but with a different name. Despite the fact that the two are completely different, the confusion is understandable and so perhaps if the Wii is no longer on sale or being advertised, the confusion for consumers will not be so great and sales of the Wii U can improve.
We’ll keep you posted once we know more.