• Nintendo Wii U

Nintendo Wii U (Photo : Facebook )

Nintendo has confirmed it will end production of its Wii U console about four years after its 2012 launch.  The Japanese gaming giant first denied the rumors but sales of the home console have been among the lowest in the company's history compared with the NES, Super NES. Nintendo 64, GameCube, and Wii. Nintendo Switch is the company's hybrid console that is set to launch in March 2017.  

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The Wii sold more than 100 million units globally. Wii U, meanwhile, has only sold about 13.36 million units since its North American launch in November 2012.  

Only a few other Nintendo home consoles had lower sales than Wii U.  The Color TV-Game in the 1970s was only sold in Japan, and the Virtual Boy 3D console was mostly powered by AA batteries, according to Tech Radar.

Nintendo officially announced the Wii U in 2011. It seemed the new dual-screen setup including a Gamepad display and ability to work with Wii accessories would continue Wii's sales success.

Third-party game developers including Ubisoft, Electronic Arts, and Activision also promised to create software before the 2012 launch. Wii U's first titles such as "Nintendo Land" and "ZombiU" included features like using the Gamepad to tap in codes, and mini-games featuring Mario and Luigi.  

There were a few solecisms that could explain the Wii U's low sales. One problem is that Nintendo customers did not receive a clear message that Wii U was a brand new gaming system and not part of the original Wii.

Another issue is that early ads focused on the Wii U's off-TV play yet many Nintendo fans only played games on huge HD screens.

Wii U's hardware also created some issues. For example, the game's unique selling point (USP) of the dual-screen play had limited range and the Gamepad controller had a short battery life.

On the plus side Wii U featured some of the top games of the past decade including "Super Mario 3D World," "Mario Kart 8," and "Super Smash Bros." This made the console's low sales seem worse.

In related news, Nintendo's launch of the fast-selling NES Classic Edition has resulted in a low supply of the $60 retro gaming console at retailers.  Some physical and online stores sold out of the mini-NES in minutes or seconds. It is even hard to find at Amazon and the Nintendo Store in New York City, according to Tech Times.

Here's a Switch trailer: