Today marked the end of one of the most successful game consoles in Nintendo's history. The Wii, which launched in the fall of 2006 with the funny name and the Wii Remote controller, is no longer being made by the company as it tries to make the transition to the more recent Wii U.
Nintendo's Japanese website has confirmed it has shut down producing new Wii hardware. Nintendo has shipped just over 100 million units of the Wii since its launch, beating the shipment numbers of the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3. However, both of those consoles are still in production and in theory they could finally overtake the Wii if sales last long enough.
Nintendo had an early success with the Wii; stores all over the world could not keep up with the demand for the first several months after its launch. This was due in part to its low price (just $249 in the U.S) and the fact that the console, at least in some parts of the world, included Wii Sports as a freebie. The game, which also served as a tutorial on how to use the motion-based Wii Remote, became a critically acclaimed title on its own.
However, in terms of monthly sales, the Wii fell behind the Xbox 360 and the PS3 in the last few years of its life, thanks to their higher end hardware and more advanced features, not to mention better game libraries. NIntendo launched its successor, the Wii U, in 2012, but so far sales of that console have not come close to the levels of the original Wii.