Nintendo is Erasing the Wii U

The Wii U was a failure. Specifically, it was a failure of a console, but it had great games. Those great games keep getting new homes on the Switch and 3DS, however. With each new port and multi-platform release, the Wii U has less and less reason for continuing to exist.

Nintendo is Erasing the Wii UNintendo wants you to forget the Wii U ever existed. They've been enacting this practice of "diminishing exclusivity" since before the Switch even launched, releasing games on the 3DS or porting them to the system. With the Switch's launch, its library was critically sparse, the console sold on Breath of the Wild alone (plus justified fears of low stock of the console). The Wii U, meanwhile, has a great library of games and Nintendo is doing what they can to pull those last arguments for buying a Wii U and putting them onto the Switch.

Nintendo is Erasing the Wii U - I put more hours into Hyrule Warriors than I care to admit.
To illustrate this point, I'm going to list off the Wii U games that I currently own. All of these titles were, at worst, good games, and most were great. I'll then mark those that can be found on other platforms, to show just how little reason there was to own a Wii U just for the games.

Hyrule Warriors*+ The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild**
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U* Yoshi's Woolly World*+
Bayonetta 2 Super Mario Maker*
New Super Mario Bros. U The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker***
Mario Kart 8** ZombiU***
Nintendoland Super Mario 3D World*
NES Remix*** Wonderful 101
Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze

* Released on the 3DS
*+ Released on the 3DS with added content
** Released on the Switch
*** Released on other platforms

As you can see, of the 15 games listed, only five of them were true Wii U exclusives. Some titles started off as Wii U exclusives, while others released on the Wii U and the 3DS or Switch simultaneously. Even of those five remaining games, two of them, Bayonetta 2 and Wonderful 101, are speculated to be coming to the Switch. That leaves just three entries currently on the Switch, and of those the only one I doubt will see a port is Nintendoland. If we look at the top 25 Wii U games, according to Metacritic, there are only three games that have remained exclusive to the console: Skylanders Swap Force, Skylanders SuperChargers, and Pikmin 3.  Hell, two of entries on the list are Mario Kart 8 DLC packs!

Nintendo is Erasing the Wii U - Before Breath, before Wind, this was the Zelda experience on the Wii U.
When the Switch released, it did not have a lot of games to its name, but it didn't need many, because it had the only one it needed: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. While the game was available on the Wii U on the same day, the Wii U did not exist in many households, so the title existed primarily as a Switch seller, rather than a Wii U justifier. I highly doubt many Wii Us were purchased by those who really wanted to play the new title, but couldn't get their hands on a Switch.

Sometime later, the Switch would receive a port of Mario Kart 8, complete with all its DLC plus some added content. The port was highly praised, and while I don't think Mario Kart 8 is very good nor should a port ever be regarded with such esteem for the console, I understand why it was so welcomed: not many people got to play it on the Wii U. Even those who already owned it on the Wii U were all too happy to buy it again on the Switch, just so they would have more people to play with.

Nintendo is Erasing the Wii U - The first of what will no doubt be many Wii U ports.
Personally, I never owned Hyrule Warriors, Yoshi's Woolly World, or Super Smash Bros. on the 3DS, as the decrease in performance and graphical quality didn't appeal. Even so, the ports for Hyrule Warriors and Yoshi's Woolly World came out after the initial Wii U release, with no indications they would ever exist. Given how much more content the 3DS version of Hyrule Warriors has, if I had a New 3DS, I'd have picked up the port, easily. Super Smash came out on both the Wii U and 3DS, and while there has been no indication it'll see a Switch port, it's something that many Switch adopters want.

Is this desire for more ports because the Switch lacks console-selling games, early adopters having become burnt out on Breath of the Wild and needing more, or is it a result of those same owners having never owned a Wii U to begin with and now want the opportunity to play them? It's hard to say which cause has the most effect on the situation, but both are certainly at play.

So what about those that own a Wii U, but not a Switch? Is it worth it to pay a scalper or wait anxiously on Amazon, refreshing every 30 seconds, just to play these games again? No. The games that ported to the Switch play better, but not so much that you should go through the hassle of getting a Switch, at least not right now. If Bayonetta 2 and Wonderful 101, two of the best games of their respective years and some of the strongest justifications for owning a Wii U, do get ports to the Switch, I will actually be pretty happy, and yet a little irked, as well. I could always justify owning a Wii U by listing off all those awesome games I mentioned before, but with each port announced, the Wii U becomes harder and harder to defend.

Nintendo is Erasing the Wii U - This game alone should have sold all the Wii Us they had in stock.
The Wii U was a failure. Specifically, it was a failure of a console. It's ridiculous name was both silly and confusing. Some consumers thought the Wii U was just an accessory for the Wii itself, assuming the tablet controller was the new toy they could buy. Nintendo overproduced the console out of fear of running low on stock after the Wii sold like hotcakes. Still, the console had a great library of games, and Nintendo has been attempting to save as many of them as they can and put them on platforms that more people own. Nintendo is sacrificing the Wii U so that their other platforms can continue to flourish, but also so they can share those great games with more people.

At the moment, there is nearly no reason to own a Wii U. Unless you still actively play the games on the Wii U, and do not, nor have any plans to, own a Switch, it's probably best just to sell it, and soon. The more titles that get ported from the Wii U, the less value the console has. It's a shame, I enjoyed the Wii U, despite its many console flaws, simply because it had some truly enjoyable games. If those same games are going to be coming to the Switch and/or 3DS, however, I almost feel punished for believing in the underdog.

The views expressed above are those of the article's writer and not necessarily those shared by KeenGamer.


  1. This is really nice nice to I’ll read this always special for playing Nintendo games amazing console love it also like nintendo eshop codes to play nintendo games.

  2. I still like this console. Let the salt flow in. Switch needs more original games and less rehashes!

  3. We use the Wii U mostly as a remote for Netflix, Amazon, Hulu etc. And the kids don’t know any better so we’re sticking with it for now. I knew when the Switch came out it would put the U far behind… oh well.

  4. I wouldn’t tell people to sell their WiiU and especially not some of the systems more niche games. If it ends up anything like the GameCube a WiiU copy of Breath of the Wild will be highly sort after by collectors in a couple of years.

  5. Mario Kart 8 on 3ds?

  6. The switch is just an updated version of the U. I will personally continue to own the WiiU and hope the games are still available to purchase for a long time.


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