The Wii U stands nervously, knees buckled and back hunched forward. It stares intently at the polaroid it holds with both hands. It hopes the plan worked. Yet as it gazes at the photo of itself with the Wii and the Gamecube, it's older siblings, the hand holding the picture begins to fade along with the Wii U's place in the photograph. Panicked, the increasingly translucent console looks up to see its papa and the Switch shaking hands and trading briefcases. It tries to call out for mercy to anyone who would listen, but nothing comes forth. The Switch casts a glance toward a lone photograph, gently falling onto the ground. The freshly imbued console snatches the picture from the dirt and dust of the ground. It's a photo of the Wii, the Gamecube, and the Switch, though it never remembers taking such a photo.
The Wii U has been erased.
Of course, the less dramatic truth is not so entertaining, but the result is the same: Nintendo wants you to forget about the Wii U. At this point, the Wii U was just a Switch demo console. It may as well have come with a copy of Nintendo Power.
Back in July of 2017, I wrote an article about how Nintendo was erasing the Wii U after seeing how much from the black sheep console had been ported, already, to the 3DS, Switch, and beyond. After the mini-direct on Thursday, this theory can comfortably be called fact. Bayonetta 2, Tropical Freeze, and Hyrule Warriors are all coming to the Switch. That leaves the Wii U with four exclusives: Super Mario 3D World, Nintendoland, Pikmin 3, and The Wonderful 101.
That leaves two questions. The first is, is this a good thing? Looking at the unpopular sales of the Wii U itself, the answer is yes. It still stings for those early adopters, like myself, of these games to see the Wii U's corpse picked clean, delegitimizing any reason we had to purchase it in the first place, but in the grade scheme of things, this is a positive move. The Wii U had an awesome library, just wasn't very popular as a console, so fewer than ideal got to experience the catalog of greatness. While it would be amazing to be able to turn these games in for Switch copies, given the situation, that's very unlikely. Thankfully, most of the ported titles are not only worth playing against, but buying again. Hyrule Warriors especially, with all its DLC, has more than enough hours of content to warrant another $60 purchase. Hell, it would warrant a $120 with how many hours I put into the Wii U version.
So, the next question is: what comes next? Those remaining three titles it seems unlikely we'll see them ported over to the Switch. The Switch already has the Odyssey, so 3D World is almost unnecessary, though it is a different experience. Nintendoland is something of a console preview game, much like 1-2-Switch. Given how unpopular both the former and latter were, it'd be surprising to see the theme park based mini-game collection make it onto the Switch. While it would be wonderful to see the 101 on the Switch, given another chance at a bigger audience, its lower numbers also mean it's not exactly first in line for anything except unemployment. That just leaves Pikmin 3, which is a strong contender to get a Switch port. I'd almost say a Virtual Console on Switch featuring Wii U games could be a way in for the final three, but the fact that it's a final three means there's little reason to have the feature.
And what about those who purchased the Wii U and have all these games already? Should they buy them again for the Switch? That comes down to personal preference of course. If nothing else, you can get these titles on the Wii U for much cheaper than on the Switch, letting them act either as bargain alternatives, demos, or a means of making the wait for the port release that much easier. The Wii U and its library could also be sold toward making payments toward rebuilding the same library on your Switch, or even as a nice gift to that special someone who can't quite afford a Switch.
You made some solid efforts against slipping into that good night, Wii U, but now it is time to rest. Though you'll live on as little more than a footnote in the Nintendo console timeline, it was a hell of a ride while it lasted.
Good night, sweet prince.