Japan’s Nintendo has shut down production of its popular Wii videogame console in its home market. This action was not formally announced but the company posted a notice on its own Website. In the landing page for the product on the site (in Japanese language), it displayed ‘Production Discontinued’ notice under the Wii category.
The company has already confirmed that it ceased producing Wii in Japan. However, it made a clarification that the ended production was only applicable in that country. It disclosed that there would be no change in the current status of the product in the US and in many other countries. It would still be available this upcoming holiday shopping season.
The end of an era
Moreover, this decision is perceived by many analysts as an indication of the start of the end of what is considered as an era for Wii. The gaming console has been among the most successful and most popular products from the company ever. Since its release in November 2006, it made Nintendo a stronger competitor against rivals Sony Corp and Microsoft Corp, which manufacture PlayStation and Xbox, respectively.
That time, Nintendo introduced an innovation to the industry by developing a motion sensor technology along with the revolutionary Wii controller. In contrast, its competitors instead beefed up their graphics horsepower, a move that has been proven to be less effective.
After the release of Wii, it emerged as the world’s best-selling console. It kept that status for about four years. The product became the company’s top-selling game console of all time in 2010. As of June 30 this year, it has already sold over 100 million units.
Late reaction from rivals
It was in September 2010 when Sony launched its PlayStation Eye and Move package to match the technology in Wii. Several months later, Microsoft first rolled out the Kinect sensor for its Xbox 360. Those actions helped the two companies catch up with Nintendo’s lead.
Today, the tides have reversed. Nintendo’s Wii U, the follow-up product to Wii, is not taking the world by storm the way its predecessor did. But it again proved that the company is ahead of the game. The Wii U, which was released last year, paves the way for new competitor products from Sony and Microsoft that are expected to be launched and released next month.
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