The Nintendo Wii U isn’t dead just yet, as Nintendo has released a new firmware update for the first time in three years. The Wii U was one of Nintendo’s biggest failures, especially when sandwiched between the company’s best-selling systems and the runaway success of the Switch.
It’s unclear what Nintendo would have done if the Switch had failed to attract an audience, in the same way, the Wii U had floundered on the market. There were even fears that Nintendo would take the Sega route and move into game development. The Wii U failed to match Microsoft and Sony’s offerings during the previous console generation, especially with the PS4 becoming one of the best-selling consoles of all time. Once it became clear that the Switch was taking off, Nintendo quickly pushed the Wii U out of the spotlight. The 3DS lasted a lot longer, but the system mostly received ports during the later years of its life.
The Wii U still occasionally receives third-party games, but it’s unlikely to see any more first-party releases. This doesn’t mean that Nintendo has completely forgotten the system. The official Nintendo support website has details about the 5.5.5. update for the Wii U, which launched on March 1, 2021. The most recent patch for the Wii U that was released before that was on September 3, 2018.
According to Nintendo’s website, the 5.5.5. update for the Wii U fixes system stability and usability. According to OatmealDome on Twitter, the update made some changes to how the Wii U uses SSL verification codes, which is part of the process used when computers are connected via a network. The assumption, whenever a new patch like this is released, is that it’s meant to stop hackers. The Swapnote app on the 3DS recently received a patch for this very reason. It seems this wasn’t the case with the 5.5.5. update on the Wii U.
The Wii U is doomed to become a footnote in the history of Nintendo, especially in comparison to all of the other systems that were released around it. The success of the Switch means that Nintendo isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, and fears of a Sega-style fall from grace are gone. The Wii U lives on through the Switch, especially as most of its exclusives are on the system, giving fans across the world the chance to experience all of the incredible games that they missed during the previous console generation.