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Nintendo ending Japan sales of Wii U, shifting to Switch

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Shoppers ride on an escalator under Nintendo’s Super Mario characters at an electronics store in Tokyo. Nintendo Co. is ending sales in Japan of its Wii U home console “soon,” although it’s not saying exactly when, and similar announcements are expected in other regions.

TOKYO >> Nintendo Co. is ending sales in Japan of its Wii U home console “soon,” although it’s not saying exactly when, and similar announcements are expected in other regions.

The Wii U, which went on sale from late 2012, is being replaced by Switch, set to go on sale globally in March 2017. Nintendo says it will show it to reporters in Japan on Jan. 13.

The Japanese video game manufacturer behind the Super Mario and Pokemon franchises has already shipped Wii U machines for U.S. sales through March, company spokesman Kenichiro Matsuura said Friday.

Kyoto-based Nintendo has scored success with the remake of its 1980s FamiCom machine, called NES Classic Edition, which goes on sale Friday in the U.S. for $59.99.

Japanese have been snatching it up since it went on sale Thursday.

Much smaller than the original machine, it comes packed with popular 30 game software titles, such as “Donkey Kong,” ”The Legend of Zelda” and “Super Mario Brothers.”

Another recent hit the company has scored is “Pokemon Go,” an augmented reality game that can be played on smartphones.

Nintendo’s earnings have suffered from lagging sales of the Wii U, as well as its 3DS handheld.

After years of scoffing at the threat from smartphones, Nintendo did an about-face last year and entered that sector. Pokemon Go is the first big success for Nintendo since that decision, underlining the company’s potential.

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  • Nintendo has the opportunity to buck the trend and quite possibly gain a huge market share of the gaming retail by going into the fray head-on against Sony and Microsoft by providing the same caliber console instead of ones that are more geared for young children. They need to be more inclusive. At the same time they need to go with what worked to begin with as in their novelty controllers. But if they can put out a game console that has the same technological power as the Playstation 4 and Xbox One, but offer free online gaming without the requirement of a monthly or yearly fee to play the online portion of games, they stand to get back in the fray. Many consumers, like myself, are put off by these fees that should not be. When you purchase a game you should be able to play it without being charged to play it online. We’ll see what the Switch is all about and if there is anything about Nintendo, they may come up with something that will change the tides on their downward trend.

  • If Nintendo is to succeed in the market they will have to offer a gaming console that will be just as powerful as the current gen consoles. But if they want to become contenders, they will have to offer something the other two don’t and that is free online gaming.

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