It’s been a long time coming, but The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is finally set to appear on the Wii U (and Switch) on March 3, 2017. It will be a significant release not only due to its massive hype level, but also because it will mark the end of Nintendo first party support for the Wii U. In an interview with Polygon, Reggie Fils-Aime commented:
“From a first-party standpoint, there’s no new development coming after the launch of the legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. We really are at the end of life for Wii U.”
For anyone that’s been following the development of games in the pipeline and also paid attention to the Nintendo Switch news, the writing was on the wall. Nintendo hadn’t talked about any new games past Zelda for the Wii U, so we just assumed it would be the final game for the system. That doesn’t mean there won’t be any other games released after March 3. There may still be some third party or indie releases on the eShop, but for the most part if you want to continue playing new software from Nintendo, you’ll need a 3DS or a Switch.
Having owned a Wii U since launch in 2012, the quantity of quality software released for the system has been pretty great. The Wii U lasted a tiny bit longer on the market than the original Xbox did before Microsoft brought out the Xbox 360, but at the end of the day it’s still sad to see a console not live up to its potential. Hopefully the Switch gets off to a good start and keep upward momentum going to succeed where the Wii U was unable.