Wii U is officially dead as Nintendo runs out of parts for repairs

Wii U is officially dead as Nintendo runs out of parts for repairs

The Wii U died so the Switch could live (Nintendo)

Nintendo has run out of parts to fix broken Wii U consoles, as the failed format takes its final step towards the grave.

The Wii U was such a failure it broke the entire concept of console generations. Released in 2012, as a follow-up to the hugely successful Wii, it was a complete disaster from the very start, with a poor line-up of games and bafflingly little marketing.

Despite the success of the Wii, most people didn’t even know the console existed, with the original model being discontinued in 2015 and all production ceasing in 2016.

In 2017 it was replaced by the Switch – Nintendo’s second console of the generation – and apart from a steady supply of ports, of the Wii U’s small selection of exclusive games, the console was quickly forgotten about – until now, as Nintendo announces that it’s ending all hardware support for the format.

Nintendo already closed the Wii U’s eShop last March, but they were still offering free repairs in Japan, until they announced that they’ve run out of spare parts.

There was already a warning last May that support would only last as long as the spare parts did, with repairs in the West already having stopped due to a lack of demand.

Although few will mourn the passing of the Wii U it does take with it a number of very good exclusives. For reasons that remain unclear, the excellent Xenoblade Chronicles X still hasn’t been ported to the Switch. Some assumed it was being held back to fill in the current period before the launch of the Switch 2, but it still hasn’t been announced.

Xenoblade Chronicles X doesn’t make any particular use of the Wii U GamePad, which makes the lack of a port all the more confusing, but most of the other games that haven’t made the journey do.

「Wii U本体および周辺機器の修理終了予定に関するお知らせ」を掲載しました。 https://t.co/FZBd6VD8yW pic.twitter.com/ggEZifGUeN

— 任天堂サポート (@nintendo_cs) May 23, 2023

Star Fox Zero could perhaps be retro-fitted to use normal controls but the poor reception of the original (even though we liked it) makes that unlikely. Which means pack-in Tower Defence game Star Fox Guard is also lost to history.

On the other hand, no one likes Paper Mario: Color Splash or the dreadful Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival, so they’re no loss. There have been rumours that Kirby And The Rainbow Paintbrush will be making the leap to the Switch but given how intrinsic the Wii U GamePad was to it, it seems impossible that Game & Wario will ever be ported over.

Again, Game & Wario isn’t very good, so few people are going to lament it disappearing, but arguably the greatest loss is launch title Nintendo Land.

A compilation of asymmetric multiplayer games, the likes of Mario Chase, Animal Crossing: Sweet Day, and Luigi’s Ghost Mansion were amazing fun and yet without the Wii U’s very specific hardware set-up they can’t work on any other format – or at least not with only one console.

Nintendo Land’s games had very little longevity, but they were excellent party games and it’s sad to know they cannot be experienced on a modern format, or any console once the world’s supply of Wii Us all break down.

However, it’s not impossible that a few of these games, especially Xenoblade, could appear on Switch before the release of the next console, or even after it. The Wii U remasters of Zelda: The Wind Waker and Twilight Princess would require very little effort for Nintendo to port over and so they also seem relatively likely.

In terms of hardware though the Wii U is now officially a dead format and while its early demise gave birth to a far better console it’s sad to see it take so many unique games with it.

Why hasn’t Xenoblade Chronicles X been ported to the Switch? (Nintendo)

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