Wii U, RIP

Steve Anderson : End Game
Steve Anderson
The Video Store Guy
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Wii U, RIP

And so, that's it. One of the shortest hardware generations of all time has kicked off the beginning of the end, such as it was. The Wii U is done, and already, some are talking about the Nintendo NX and just what will happen with this new system...and other developments.

Word from the Nikkei newspaper in Japan spelled it out; production has officially shut down on the Wii U, or at least some of its accessories, with others--including the system--to follow. Nintendo will then refocus its efforts on mobile games and the new Nintendo NX device, reports suggest.

The Wii U suffered difficulty on several fronts, starting with an unusual design and followed up by a drought of games so marked there would be lengthy lags between single releases in some case. Worse, when it emerged a year before its competitors at Sony and Microsoft, it actually proved to be, power-wise, only on par with those last-generation systems, and were thus quickly swamped by the releases of the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One.

Yet there were successes. Releases like Splatoon, Super Mario 3D World, Mario Kart 8, and of course, the almost shockingly innovative Super Mario Maker helped make the Wii U a mixed bag rather than an utter failure.

Hopefully, when the NX emerges, Nintendo will have learned from the mistakes of the last generation, enlisted third-party support right away, and prepared a backlog of games for release in short order. In many ways, the Wii U was a disaster. In some ways, it was a welcome addition to the gaming landscape. But it's gone, and its descendant may well be poised to seize a chunk of the market well before Sony and Microsoft's systems have even hit their stride.

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