Why Zelda: Breath of the Wild Being on Wii U is Bad for the Switch

Those hopeful for Wii U titles to be available on Switch may want to tone down their hype...at least for a little while.

Nintendo is preparing to launch its newest console, the Switch, on March 3 of this year. But in the midst of all the pre-release chaos, the company also gave an update on the state of its last console, the Wii U.

Unfortunately, Nintendo basically announced the death of the Wii U. This isn’t that shocking, and most fans were really expecting it. But the announcement that Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will be the final Wii U game is big news for those who are hoping to play Wii U titles via virtual console on the Switch.

The Virtual Console has been a hot topic for the Switch since it was officially unveiled last week. Fans would like to know if their digital purchases from the Wii U will carry over, or if will they have to pay all over again to play older games on the Switch. They also want to know if GameCube and Wii titles will be available on the Switch as well.

The unfortunate answer to the last question is....not for a while.

Since Zelda will release for Wii U, there’s no real reason to buy a Switch until at least the summer time. Mario Kart 8 is already on Wii U, so most people won't be able to justify buying a new system plus the game when they already have it available to them. Many fans who didn't pre-order the console will likely wait until Splatoon 2 or even Super Mario Odyssey to consider picking it up. More titles could be announced that will make Wii U owners want to buy the Switch -- but if there is still a reason for people to play certain games on the Wii U console, then Nintendo doesn't have much motivation to bring those games to the Switch. At least not yet.

I’m not saying the Wii U gaming library won’t eventually come to the Switch. I'm just saying that only when Nintendo stops seeing a return on the Wii U and its exclusive titles -- or rather, when they finally sell out the last of their Wii U stock -- will they start considering porting that library to the Switch.

Until then, people will get the last amount of usage out of their Wii U systems while waiting for a reason to upgrade. If Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild isn’t it, then they could be waiting for a while.

The Nintendo Switch releases on March 3, 2017 for $299.99. Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild also releases on March 3 for $59.99, and wll be available for Wii U and Switch.

Published Jan. 20th 2017

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