Nintendo's Wii U was released in November 2012, a full year before rivals Microsoft and Sony launched their respective next-generation consoles. Despite getting the jump on the competition, Nintendo's current console never really caught on with consumers for a multitude of reasons.

With its next console – codenamed NX – looming on the horizon, we're now hearing that the Wii U's days are numbered.

According to a new report from Japanese newspaper Nikkei (via GameSpot), Nintendo is planning to shut down production of the Wii U by the end of the year. Unsurprisingly, the publication cited poor sales as the reason for discontinuing production so soon but didn't mention when exactly Nintendo might stop selling the Wii U.

If true, one would reasonably assume that production of the NX would commence on or around the same time the Wii U departs.

Speaking of the NX, rumors last month suggested the new console would arrive as early as this year and sport industry-leading technology. A design patent from December details a unique controller that features just two thumbsticks; the rest of the gamepad is a digital display. A purported image of that device recently cropped up online although its authenticity couldn't be verified (some are convinced it's a fake).

Nintendo chief Tatsumi Kimishima revealed late last year that the NX is something different and unique. The executive also revealed that he didn't think there was any real meaning behind the codename which the late Satoru Iwata apparently came up with.

Lead image via Forbes