Nintendo officially unveiled their newest system, the Switch, a few weeks ago to almost universal amazement. The new system looks to be the first one to try and bridge the gap between the home and mobile space by providing a system that works in both. This also served to spell the near end of their current system, the Wii U.

Wii U's quiet end

Nintendo announced that they will officially end production for the current Nintendo system, as they begin to shift their focus towards the Switch's release in March.


Production will end soon in Japan for the Wii U, as the release date gets closer and closer.

The follow-up console to the smash success of the Wii, the Wii U was released in November of 2012 as the follow up console and marked Nintendo's first foray into the HD gaming space. Fitting in line with previous Nintendo system releases, the Wii U did not focus on the technical output of the system, instead trying to innovate on game design itself via the GamePad.


This allowed for asymmetrical game design, allowing for use of the touch pad on the GamePad itself for more second screen experiences that are built directly into the game. It also provided a second screen to allow for gameplay to continue should the TV be taken, as long as it was within range of the main system.

The numbers game

Upon the system's release in 2012, a few million systems quickly sold, with the Nintendo touch helping to get a strong early adapter base, but sales quickly began to drag as the months rolled on.

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As of September, just over 13 million units had been shipped by Nintendo since its release. For comparison's sake, the GameCube sold 21 million units during the system's life span during the early 2000s. At the same time, though, it was competing against the PlayStation 2 and the original Xbox, which were the first systems to offer DVD/CD drives, and experimenting with online play. And while the Wii U didn't have as groundbreaking opponents in the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, it was viewed as being a generation behind compared to those two and lacked third-party dev support for games, which is a key part to a system's success in the current market.

That said, Nintendo has to be hoping that the Switch will be to the Wii U what the Wii was to the GameCube. During the original Wii's life span, it sold over 100 millions units, being a cost affordable system that the whole family could play. It was also a system with features that no one had seen before, using a motion-based control scheme for several games, most notably Wii Sports, making it a huge success compared to the GameCube which, as mentioned, sold 21 million units over its life span.


The Wii U just never took off the way the Wii did, with confusing marketing about whether it was a new system or a peripheral, along with lack of third party support. While it is a shame, considering the library of well received first party games, it is still exciting to see what the future holds for Nintendo.

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