Nintendo's President and CEO has stated that the console manufacturer could halt production of the Wii U by 2018 - a year after the scheduled release of its next home console codenamed the Nintendo NX.

Tatsumi Kimishima confirmed the news to Reuters during a Q&A session, where he discussed the Japanese gaming giant's previous fiscal year. Kimishima also discussed the NX as well as its upcoming release schedule for the remainder of 2016.

According to Nintendo's latest financial report, the company predicts that it will sell 800,000 units of the Wii U in 2016 — a dramatic decrease 2015's 3.26 million units.

The total Wii U sales number is now hanging at 12.8 million units. Its predecessor — the Nintendo Wii — sold 101.6 million units since its launch in 2006. Currently the Wii U is on track to surplant the Nintendo GameCube as the Kyoto-based company's worst-selling home console.

Reports had previously suggested that Wii U production would halt this year, however Nintendo denied this claim.

Focusing its production and developmental efforts on the NX rather than the Wii U also makes sense for the company in light of its recent earnings announcement. Nintendo reported a 24 billion yen (£147m, $216m) loss for the January to March period, bigger than the loss it reported the previous year.

Unfortunately for expectant fans, the NX console will be not be present at the E3 2016 event in Los Angeles. Instead, Nintendo plans to make its upcoming take on the The Legend of Zelda the company's main focus at the popular exhibition, despite the announcement of the game's delay until 2017.

Nintendo revealed yesterday (27 April), that the next installment in the franchise will launch on both the Nintendo NX and the Wii U after months of speculation. The game previously referred to as 'Zelda Wii U' will also be the only playable title Nintendo brings to the E3 show floor in June.

The company also announced that it is working on smartphone apps based on major Nintendo IP such as Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem which will arrive later this year.