Wii U has ended its support life, with Nintendo no longer repairing - The UpStream

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Wii U has ended its support life, with Nintendo no longer repairing

posted Sunday Jul 7, 2024 by Scott Ertz

The Wii U was certainly Nintendo's most controversial console in history. It divided people from the moment it was announced at E3 2011. Would the screen make the gaming experience better, or would it simply be a distraction? In the end, the console nearly sank the company, with record losses hitting their bottom line before recovering with the Switch. Now, the company has finally put the console out to pasture, as official repairs have ended at Nintendo.

The Legacy of the Wii U

In 2012, Nintendo unveiled the Wii U, a console that aimed to bridge the gap between casual and core gamers. It was the company's first foray into HD graphics, promising a unique gaming experience. But how did this ambitious system fare, and what is its legacy?

The Wii U's journey began in 2008 when Nintendo recognized its limitations with the original Wii. The perception that it catered solely to casual players prompted a rethink. The Wii U emerged as a response - a console that would appeal to both casual and dedicated gamers. Its standout feature was the Wii U GamePad, an embedded touchscreen controller that allowed innovative gameplay possibilities.

Upon release, the Wii U faced mixed reviews. While some praised its creativity and potential, others found it confusing. Among our staff at the time, the reception was certainly mixed. While some were excited about the video of the remote screen, hoping that there would be the possibility of one for each player, others including myself saw the reality of the price meaning that there could only possibly be a single screen creating an inconsistent gaming experience.

The GamePad's dual-screen setup intrigued developers, but third-party support remained limited. Sales struggled, reaching 13.56 million units worldwide by 2019. Consumer interest was clearly not with the new console, as the other consoles of the generation thrived and the Wii U did not. Yet, gems like "Mario Kart 8" showcased the system's strengths.

In 2017, Nintendo shifted focus to the Nintendo Switch, leaving the Wii U behind. Many of its exclusives found new life on the Switch. Despite its challenges, the Wii U remains a unique chapter in gaming history-a console that dared to innovate, even if its legacy is bittersweet.

The future is dim

As with all hardware, eventually official support ends. This week, the end of support for the Wii U is complete, as hardware repairs are no longer offered by Nintendo proper. This follows the company shuttering the Shop for the console in late 2023. Now, if you have a console, you'll need to keep it in good working order or it cannot officially be repaired.

Fortunately, there are other ways to get hardware repaired, though unofficially. Local repair shops can often times repair older consoles, either through aftermarket parts or salvaged parts from irreparable consoles. So, there is a future for this much maligned, though still loved legacy Nintendo console.

Were you a Wii U lover or hater? Let us know about your experiences in the comments.


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