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Why the Nintendo Switch doesn't have too many Wii U ports

Photo By: Nintendo


Francesco Corso, Staff Writer

The Nintendo Switch has developed quite the name for itself in the nearly two years it’s been on the market. The handheld-console hybrid currently holds the record for the most sales of a console in its first year on the market. This success has come as a blessing to Nintendo as 3DS sales have been slowing down over the past couple of years and the commercial failure of the company’s previous home console, the Wii U. Yet despite this, the system has been bogged down by the same recurring complaint, that being the abundance of games in the system’s library that are ports from other consoles, most notably the Wii U.


The first thing to establish with this complaint is to catalog the list of games that are its source. The full list of major Wii U exclusive releases on the Switch is as follows: “Bayonetta 2,” “Captain Toad Treasure Tracker,” “Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze,” “Hyrule Warriors,” “Mario Kart 8,” “New Super Mario Bros. U” and “Pokkén Tournament.” Yes, while this is a fair amount of games, those seven games were released over the course of 22 months. Furthermore, other major Wii U tiles such as “The Wonderful 101,” “Star Fox Zero” and “Super Mario Maker,” among others, are nowhere to be seen. In addition, the system has its fair share of new releases from major franchises such as “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild,” “Super Mario Odyssey,” “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” as well as new IPs like “ARMS” and the absolutely charming “Octopath Traveler.”


Despite the Switch’s library being much more than just a bunch of old ports, it might be worth taking a step back and looking into why all of these ports exist in the first place. As mentioned above, the Wii U was largely considered a failure only selling a total 3,301,555 units in it’s roughly 5 year lifespan, whereas the Nintendo Switch has sold 10.5 million units under half of that time. That means that there are at least roughly 7.2 million Switch owners who never owned a Wii U, thus it would make sense for Nintendo to port as many of their games to the Switch as is possible as many Switch owners missed the games the first time around. This is compounded by the fact that each of the ports listed above all received largely positive acclaim when they first released. That would mean that these games would turn a profit fairly easily for Nintendo with very little time investment required, thus making them a smart business decision all around.


As I have hopefully demonstrated, there is no issue with the abundance of Wii U ports. In fact, as far as I’m, concerned there are not enough of them. Regardless, the Nintendo Switch’s first party library is a perfect balance between old games with new and exciting releases coming out at a consistent rate and ports in between to help tide gamers over. At the end of the day, the Nintendo Switch is a hit and is likely to continue to do well throughout the rest of its lifetime.