Nintendo says it could continue manufacturing Wii U for another two years

It has slashed its sales estimates and has virtually nothing on its release schedule, but Nintendo reckons Wii U manufacturing could continue for another two years.

President Tatsumi Kimishima today told investors, as per Reuters and the BBC, that Wii U production could cease by March 2018. That’s a year beyond the release of the NX in March 2017.

Nintendo says it expects to sell just 800,000 units in the 12 months ending March 31st 2017. That compares to sales of 3.2m units for the machine in the financial year that has just ended. There’s very little on the way to the console, either. In triple-A terms, the new Legend of Zelda won’t be here until next year – and will also be released on the new NX, which is also due in 2017.

The only other games currently on the Wii U release scheduled are Paper Mario: Colour Splash and the as of yet undetailed Project Giant Robot. And most recent Wii U release, Star Fox Zero, has so far failed to perform commercially.

800k sales would, if achieved, only just beat the numbers achieved by the GameCube in its final full year. By that stage the machine had been out for six years and sold over 21m units. Wii U, by contrast, has been available for four years and sold a total of 12.8m units.

Wii, meanwhile, was available for nine years before sales fell that low, before which stage it had sold over 100m units.

The Wii U is currently Nintendo’s second worst selling platform ever behind the Virtual Boy, which sold fewer than 1m units. Wii U also has by far the lowest software sales of any Nintendo machine bar the ill-fated headset.

It trails behind the GameCube (21.74m), N64 (32.93m), SNES (49.10m) and NES (61m). It’s also worth noting that the 3DS, which has sold 58.85m units, is its worst selling handheld. The Game Boy remains its highest ever selling device (118.69m).

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