Game over for Nintendo’s Wii U sales on home turf

Ahead of the launch of its Switch console, Nintendo has scored a success with the remake of its 1980s Family Computer. Picture: The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images

Ahead of the launch of its Switch console, Nintendo has scored a success with the remake of its 1980s Family Computer. Picture: The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images

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Nintendo is ending sales in Japan of its Wii U home console “soon,” although it is 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. Nintendo said it will show the device to reporters in Japan on 13 January.

READ MORE: Nintendo takes on Sony and Microsoft with new console

The Japanese video game giant, best known for its Super Mario and Pokemon franchises, has also scored an early success with the remake of its 1980s Family Computer machine, called the NES Classic Mini, which went on sale in the UK today.

Japanese buyers have been snatching up the device since it launched in Nintendo’s domestic market yesterday. Much smaller than the original machine, it comes packed with popular 30 games, including 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 gaming device.

After years of scoffing at the threat from smartphones, Nintendo did an about-turn last year and entered that sector. Pokemon Go is the first big hit for Nintendo since that decision.

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