As if the very existence of the Nintendo Switch wasn’t confirmation enough that the Wii U was living on borrowed time, Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime has confirmed that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will be the last first-party title to be released for the ill-fated console. Speaking to Polygon following the conclusion of last week’s Switch event, Fils-Aime confirmed what many had already assumed to be the case.
From a first-party standpoint, there’s no new development coming after the launch of the legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. We really are at the end of life for Wii U.
Expected, but no less disappointing to hear. With third-party developers having all but abandoned the Wii U not long after it launched in 2012 and Nintendo now following suit, there’s essentially little reason to hold on to (or buy) the Wii’s successor once the dust has settled around Breath of the Wild. In fact, if IGN’s current release schedule is accurate, there are just six titles currently planned to release for the Wii U throughout the entirety of 2017, none of which sound particularly appealing.
So, there may not be any notable new software on the way to Wii U ever again, but Fils-Aime says support for online play isn’t stopping anytime soon.
From our standpoint, sunsetting is quite some time into the future. The ongoing activity from an online standpoint on [Mario] Kart and Splatoon is significant. We’re going to continue to support that.
Splatoon and Mario Kart 8 were two of the most successful games released on Wii U, both of which helped to shift units of the console, although the former’s release came a little too late for most. From the word go, Nintendo had always been fighting a losing battle with the Wii U, its confounding name and less-than-impressive hardware already leaving it at a disadvantage before it even hit retail. All we can do now is hope that the Switch manages to recapture the magic that has somewhat diminished over the last few years.
Fingers crossed, eh?