Market Overview

Nintendo Stops Producing Console That's More Popular Than Wii U

During the June quarter, Nintendo (OTC: NTDOY) sold 210,000 units of the seven-year-old Wii game console.

Wii U, Nintendo's newest game console, sold 160,000 units during the same period.

Despite the sales discrepancy, Nintendo has decided to throw its weight behind Wii U and cease production of the original Wii console.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Nintendo has stopped producing Wii -- which has sold 100 million units worldwide -- for the Japanese market.

Wii Mini (the lower-cost iteration released in Canada) will still be produced. Consumers will also be able to buy the original Wii in other markets, but its availability could be limited now that Nintendo is ceasing production in one territory.

Nintendo has not released a major Wii game in the United States since The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword arrived in November 2011. On Nintendo.com, most of the promoted games -- New Super Mario Bros. Wii, Mario Kart Wii and Donkey Kong Country Returns, to name a few -- are at least three years old.

Related: Wii U Sales Hurt By Retailer Confusion, Misinformation

While Nintendo has shifted its development resources to Wii U, the company has been slow to release new software for the system. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, the follow-up to DKC Returns, was recently delayed from December 2013 to February 2014. Before that, Nintendo held back the release of Pikmin 3 for nearly one full year before it was released.

The DKC delay leaves only a handful of games in Nintendo's holiday lineup: The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD (which is already in stores), Wii Party U (out this week), Super Mario 3D World (due November 22) and a downloadable version of Wii Fit U. Nintendo will also publish two games from Sega: Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014 and Sonic Lost World.

Meanwhile, Sony (NYSE: SNE) will publish three games -- Killzone Shadow Fall, Knack and DC Universe Online when PlayStation 4 arrives on November 15.

Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) will publish three games for Xbox One when it is released on November 22: Forza Motorsport 5, Ryse: Son of Rome and Killer Instinct.

Third-party developers will also provide both new consoles with a variety of games, such as Call of Duty: Ghosts from Activision (NASDAQ: ATVI) and Battlefield 4 from Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: EA).

Disclosure: At the time of this writing, Louis Bedigian had no position in the equities mentioned in this report.

Louis Bedigian is the Senior Tech Analyst and Features Writer of Benzinga. You can reach him at louis(at)benzingapro(dot)com. Follow him @LouisBedigianBZ

Posted-In: Battlefield 4 Call of Duty: Ghosts Donkey Kong Country Returns Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze electronic artsNews Global Tech Best of Benzinga

 

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