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Nintendo denies report they are discontinuing Wii U production

Nintendo is ceasing production of its Wii U video game console by the end of the year to make way for the upcoming NX machine, according to a Japanese report.

Games developer to focus on upcoming project, code-named NX, according to Nikkei report

Nintendo's Wii U console has remained a distant third in sales behind Sony's PlayStation 4 and Microsoft's Xbox One. (Nintendo via AP)

Nintendo is ceasing production of its Wii U video game console by the end of this year, according to a Japanese report.

Nikkei reports that while sales of the console are "not sluggish," they are nowhere near as impressive as its predecessor, the Wii, which introduced motion controls to a mainstream gaming audience.

The report comes ahead of June's Electronic Entertainment Expo, where the 126-year-old entertainment company is expected to show off new info about its next gaming machine, code-named the NX.

While Nikkei mentioned Nintendo's plans to "announce a new game machine" this year, it doesn't clarify when it's planned to hit store shelves.

Wii U lags behind PlayStation, Xbox

Despite a handful of well-received games developed and published by Nintendo since its launch in 2012, the Wii U has consistently lagged behind the competition in sales.

As of December 2015, Nintendo sold 12.6 million Wii U consoles worldwide. That's a distant third behind Sony's PlayStation 4 at 35 million, and Microsoft's Xbox One at 19 million units, according to Ars Technica.

The Wii has sold more than 101 million units since it launched in 2006. It ended production in 2013.

Japan-based games industry consultant Serkan Toto wrote on Twitter that Nintendo has already stopped production of some peripheral accessories for the Wii U, but didn't specify which.

While Nintendo appears to be powering down on its latest console, its first mobile app, Miitomo, registered one million users a week since launching in Japan last week. It's scheduled to hit Apple and Android app stores in North America later this month.

Kotaku reports that Nintendo denied the report, telling Japanese site IT Media, "This isn't an announcement from our company ... From the next quarter and thereafter as well, production [of the Wii U] is scheduled to continue."

CBC News has reached out to Nintendo of Canada for clarification but have not yet responded.

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