With the upcoming release of the Nintendo Switch, the last days of the Wii U are drawing closer than ever, with Nintendo having officially confirmed that the system’s last breaths will be drawn (from a first-party perspective) with the release of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
Speaking in an interview with Polygon, Nintendo’s Reggie Fils-Aime confirmed that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will be the last first-party title being developed by Nintendo for the Wii U. Specifically, Fils-Aime explained that “from a first-party standpoint, there’s no new development coming” after the release of Breath of the Wild, and added that “we really are at the end of life for Wii U.”
While Fils-Aime’s statements confirm the end of development when it comes to new projects for the Wii U, he did add that the system won’t be entirely left out in the cold when it comes to supporting several of the system’s popular online titles such as Mario Kart 8 and Splatoon, and explained that support for those titles won’t end until “quite some time into the future.” Fils-Aime also explained that “the ongoing activity from an online standpoint on [Mario] Kart and Splatoon is significant,” and that the company is “going to continue to support that.”
The Wii U originally released in November 2012 and (notably) struggled throughout its lifespan to gain traction and a large audience, with the system having sold around 13.36 million units as of September 2016. With the release of the Nintendo Switch in March, the Wii U will have had a lifespan of about 4.5 years since release.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will release for Wii U and Nintendo Switch on March 3rd, 2017.