Well it seems that Eurogamer was right, the Wii U is dead. Or at the very least, Nintendo is ceasing production for the console for this fiscal year.
Early this month, Eurogamer reported that Nintendo would cease production of the console by Friday of that week — November 4. The following day, Nintendo denied the statement saying that the claims were “not true.”
And I suppose they weren’t true — the Friday part at least.
Today Kotaku reported that the Wii U is ending production in Japan.
The End of the Wii U
Earlier today, Kotaku reported that the Nintendo’s Japanese site updated the description for their only two models on sale. Specifically, both models had the caption “Production is scheduled to end soon. (Within Japan),” basically announcing that the console’s days are numbered.
Later on, Nintendo of America gave an official statement to Kotaku:
“We can confirm that as of today, all Wii U hardware that will be made available in the North American market for this fiscal year has already been shipped to our retail partners. We encourage anyone who wants Wii U to communicate with their preferred retail outlet to monitor availability.”
According to Ars Technica, Nintendo’s fiscal year ends in March. Meaning Nintendo won’t be shipping out anymore models for at least five months. While it’s possible for Nintendo to resume production after March, it just seems highly unlikely.
Their new console, the Nintendo Switch, will hit shelves in March of 2017 as well. And considering just how badly the Wii U performed over its life time, it makes more sense for Nintendo to focus on the Switch for now up until March. And after seeing how well the Switch does, make a decision regarding the Wii U.
Remembering the Underdog
Despite the console never doing very well in sales, it still had some very good games. Most importantly, given that it was a Nintendo console, it was the place to go to get all of your first party Nintendo IP. Here’s a list of the top 15 games on the Wii U across its lifetime, as ranked by their aggregate review scores on Metacritic.
|1||Super Mario 3D World|
|2||Super Smash Bros. for Wii U|
|5||The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD|
|6||Mario Kart 8 DLC Pack 2|
|7||Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition|
|8||Skylanders Swap Force|
|10||Deus Ex: Human Revolution – Director’s Cut|
|11||Mario Kart 8|
|12||Super Mario Maker|
|14||Mario Kart 8 DLC Pack 1|
To no real surprise, a majority of the games are party games with local multiplayer.
And it was in that regard that the Wii U truly shined. Simple and fun party games like Super Mario 3D World, Super Smash Bros., and Mario Kart 8 really helped keep the console alive.
It had its fair share of single-player games as well of course like Bayonetta 2 and Deus Ex, but local multiplayer was really the console’s forte.