"How U Will Play Next"— Wii U advertising slogan
The Wii U (ウィー ユー, Wī Yū), codenamed Project Café, is a home video game console developed by Nintendo, and the successor to the Nintendo Wii. Released first in North America in 2012 and discontinued on January 31, 2017, it was the first eighth-generation home video game console and competed with the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
The console was announced in E3 on June 7, 2011. It was marketed along with the Nintendo 3DS and as a home console that would allow gamers to play games on it off-TV with a controller with an integrated touch-screen, called the Wii U Gamepad. The latter would also have other features like a movement recognition which is also present on the Nintendo 3DS, and a NFC that would be used mostly for Amiibos.
- Many of the system's exclusive titles are very good, such as:
- New Super Mario Bros. U
- Super Mario 3D World
- Super Mario Maker
- Super Smash Bros for Wii U
- Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
- Mario Kart 8
- The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and the HD versions of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker and The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
- Kirby and the Rainbow Curse
- Xenoblade Chronicles X
- Nintendo Land
- Wii Party U
- The controller allows off-TV play, meaning that you can continue playing on your controller screen while someone else is using the TV. It can also be used in local multiplayer without resorting to split-screen.
- Despite being rather gimmicky, the GamePad is comfortable to hold and is lighter than its appearance suggests.
- If you don't want to use it, you can use the Pro Controller for many games instead.
- The GamePad also gives dual-screen capabilities to the Wii U, a first among home consoles.
- The console is fully backward compatible with all Wii games, software, and accessories.
- As the last Nintendo console to feature the Virtual Console line, it offers an enormous quantity of games. It has titles from the NES, SNES, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo 64, Nintendo DS, and Wii libraries.
- It was also the last console ever made to have free online, something its competitors, and even its successor, the Nintendo Switch, lacked.
- While there was still some produced, there was much less shovelware developed for it than for the Wii.
- The Wii U is the first Nintendo console to have digital downloads licensed for an account, while downloads on the Wii were licensed for a single console only.
- The console is great to use for internet browsing.
- It had an actual, searchable friend system rather than the Wii's ludicrously convoluted system of exchanging 16-digit codes and then waiting for a central server to sync.
- It had Miiverse, which, while having some crappy rules, some toxic users and some questionable content made an easily accessible hub for the communities of games that was closely connected to features in many games, as well as individual people.
- It was Nintendo's first console to support HD graphics.
- Unlike the PlayStation 4 which had no AV port, the Wii U could be hooked up into an old TV using an AV cable, though the latter wasn't included with it.
The console received positive reviews even from critics and was well-received for the improvements over the Wii. But while it did so, only 13.56 million units were sold as of March 31st, 2017, which is lower than Nintendo's previously lowest-selling home system, the Nintendo GameCube.
While the Wii U was a big failure, Nintendo learned from the mistakes and would improve almost everything with the Nintendo Switch. The production of the Wii U was discontinued on January 31st, 2017 and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild went on to be the last first-party game released for it. Many Wii U titles, like Mario Kart 8 were ported over to the Nintendo Switch.