Nintendo Switch rumors: Will the new console's release bring the end of the Wii U?

Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

For months, Nintendo has been dogged by rumors about when the company plans to end Wii U production. Is it true? Here's everything we know.

Most recently, a Eurogamer story claimed confirmation by multiple sources that production of the Wii U would end Friday, Nov. 4.

Today, Kotaku reports that Japanese website IT Media reported a Nintendo spokesperson flatly denying the rumor. 

As the Kotaku article notes, however, Nintendo has in the past denied rumors that turned out to be true, like the release of a larger version of the 3DS handheld. The rumor as proven true when Nintendo released the New Nintendo 3DS, which has a much larger screen than earlier models of the console.

Of course, the Nintendo Switch is just around the corner. It begs the question: Why wouldn't Nintendo kill off the Wii U?


Source: YouTube

With the Nintendo Switch almost here, why do we need the Wii U?

Now that the Nintendo Switch has been revealed and named, in the minds of some consumers, the new product would make the Wii U obsolete. This is usually how the console wars go. Gamers see new console, gamers buy new console, gamers either trade in or forget about the old console.

What muddies the question in the case of the Wii U and the Nintendo Switch is that they are such different consoles. The Wii U is more or less an iteration of the design of the Wii U, with added core gaming potential provided by superior graphics and a pack-in controller, the GamePad.

Still, the Nintendo Switch is different enough from the Wii U that both consoles may be able to coexist.

The Nintendo Switch, on the other hand, is a console designed for both home and mobile play — something entirely new. It's possible that Nintendo fans might take advantage of the Wii U's lower price points, which are expected close to the March release of the Nintendo Switch.

We also know that games like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will be released on both the Wii U and the Nintendo Switch, and gamers may prefer to purchase the title on the newer hardware. When we get solid specs on the Nintendo Switch's graphical performance, and/or when fans in January finally get their hands on the Nintendo Switch, the choice of console should be easy for many consumers to make.

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Dennis Scimeca

Published on Salon, NPR, Ars Technica, Kotaku, Polygon, Gamasutra, GamesBeat, Paste. Former games writer at The Daily Dot. Reach me at dennis@mic.com.

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