Nintendo ending Japan sales of Wii U, shifting to Switch

Nintendo ending Japan sales of Wii U, shifting to Switch
In this July 13, 2015, file photo, 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. 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. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara, File)

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 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 that can be played on smartphones.

Nintendo ending Japan sales of Wii U, shifting to Switch
In this June 11, 2013 file photo, attendees play video games on the Nintendo 3DS at the Nintendo Wii U software showcase during the E3 game show in Los Angeles. 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. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

Nintendo's earnings have suffered from lagging 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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