On this day 6 years ago, the Wii U, Nintendo’s sixth home console, was released in North America.
The Wii U was the successor to one of the bestselling home consoles in history – Wii. Wii U was the first console to support HD and had a unique controller called the Wii U Gamepad, allowing gamers to experience asymmetrical gameplay.
There were many excellent games released on Wii U, such as Mario Kart 8, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, Pikmin 3, Bayonetta 2, Super Mario 3D World, and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
Despite the hard work put in by Nintendo, Wii U was seen as a failure by the industry. Nintendo couldn’t keep up with the pace of first party releases, leading to the dreaded “drought” seasons. The Wii U name confused many people, with segments of the general population thinking the Gamepad is a new add-on for Wii.
As the Wii U wasn’t a compelling enough system for third party developers and customers, sales were disastrous – by the end of 2016, it had only sold 15 million systems worldwide. The bad sales and poor perception of Wii U led to Nintendo going into the red for the first time in many years.
Still, we have to remember that without the Wii U’s failures, Nintendo wouldn’t have learned their mistakes and make the Nintendo Switch, which is the product everyone actually wanted them to make.
So let’s show our appreciation for Wii U today, and perhaps power it on and play some games if you still have one.
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