Last month, Nintendo unveiled the Switch, its new console which can be played on the go or connected to a TV via a docking station. This week, a report claimed that the company was planning to end production of its Wii U, ahead of the new console's launch.
The Wii U went on sale in November 2012, but Nintendo ended up revising the projected sales for its 2013 fiscal year from 9 million down to just 2.8 million. Sales have remained similarly weak in the years since then - for example, last month, the Wii U grabbed just 2% of the UK console market. Nintendo has predicted global sales of just 800,000 units worldwide for the entire year ending in March 31, 2017.
Ending production of the Wii U with the launch of the Switch now just months away certainly seems to make sense - but Nintendo insists that reports of the older console's demise are inaccurate.
A spokesperson for the company told IT Media that "there is no change to our continuing production" of the console, and while they were apparently unable to refer directly to the specific's of this week's report, the spokesperson emphasized that the claim about Wii U production ending this week "was not true", adding: "Even though the Nintendo Switch is slated to go on sale, [Wii U] production is scheduled to continue."
But as Kotaku pointed out today, and as Business Insider also noted in March, Nintendo has a habit of categorically refuting reports, only for the information to later be proved accurate. The company denied claims from Nikkei in 2012 that it was lining up a larger version of the 3DS, and then launched the 3DS XL a few months later.
Nikkei also reported earlier this year that Nintendo was planning to end production of the Wii U before the end of 2016, which the company said at the time was false, insisting that it would continue production beyond March 2017. But just one month later, Nintendo's president admitted that it would "greatly reduce the amount of Wii U systems produced and shipped".