Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima reveals that the company will continue to support the struggling Wii U, even after the upcoming Nintendo NX releases.
The Wii U hasn’t experienced anywhere near the level of success as the original Wii console, but Nintendo isn’t planning on dropping it anytime soon. According to an interview with the President of Nintendo, Wii U supporters can expect Nintendo to support them right back.
There’s still a lot that’s not known about the Nintendo NX, but it’s well on its way, with an estimated 10-12 million Nintendo NX units shipping in 2016. Even so, Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima has expressed that it’s important for Nintendo to remain faithful to their Wii U supporters:
“I think our first job right now is to make sure that the customers, those 10 million customers who have a Wii U at home have software to play. And we need to make sure that they are satisfied with their purchase and continue to enjoy playing on this platform. So we can’t just abandon them and say ‘Hey, it’s time to move on to the next thing.’”
President Kimishima’s position on the Wii U makes a lot of sense, since the Wii U is slated to receive major titles next year, like The Legend of Zelda Wii U, Pokken Tournament, and The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD. While there’s no exact release date for Nintendo NX just yet, it’s reasonable for Nintendo to continue to support the Wii U during the year of 2016, and based on President Kimishima’s interview with Time, possibly beyond that into the future. Since executives at Nintendo have previously stated that the console is extremely different from the Wii U, it’s also possible the two consoles may provide completely different gaming experiences.
In any case, it’s a relief to know that President Kimishima isn’t moving away from the late President Iwata’s plans to support the Wii U after the Nintendo NX is released. While the Wii U has only managed to sell just over 10 million units, a fraction of the number of Wii consoles sold, gamers who supported the company should be relieved to know that their investment isn’t going to go to waste any time soon.
One thing that remains to be seen is whether Nintendo will take a route similar to the one it took with the GameCube and Wii. The original Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, for example, released on both consoles. While Nintendo has been adamant that next major entry to The Legend of Zelda series will be released on the Wii U, that doesn’t mean that it can’t also be released for the Nintendo NX at the same time, or later on as a port.
Nintendo has a long history of supporting aging consoles and handhelds, like continuing to provide customer support to Gameboy owners and only discontinuing production of the Super Famicom in 2003. It looks like President Kimishima intends to uphold a fine tradition, and it’s an honorable decision to make, even if the Wii U hasn’t been a financial success for Nintendo.