When will Nintendo stop porting Wii U games to the Switch?
The Nintendo Switch was supposed to be a "new" console when it was released in March 2017. Two years into the console's life and we are still being peppered with ports of Wii U games from many years ago.
Just off the top of my head, I can name a decent list of Wii U first party games that have been ported to the Switch in the last two years:
- The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (originally developed for Wii U but launched simultaneously with Switch)
- Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
- Pokken Tournament DX
- Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
- Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker (also released a downgraded version for the 3DS)
- New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe
Porting games is a disservice to gamers. It can be argued that due to the low sales of the Wii U, these Wii U ports are effectively new games to many owners of the Nintendo Switch who had missed out. There were many excellent Wii U games that simply didn't get the recognition because of the lack of success the console had.
However, the manner that Nintendo is going about the porting Wii U games is a slap in the face of their loyal fans who had purchased the Wii U console and games, and supported them during their low point.
First off, the prices of these Wii U ports are mostly sold at AAA prices ($60 USD or $80 CAD), the same as a new release like Super Mario Odyssey. It feels like a shameless cash grab. If Nintendo had offered these ports at a lower price point, or offered discounts for owners of the original game, it wouldn't have felt as much of an insult.
Secondly, there are few updates or enhancements to what they call the "definitive version" of the games. If it was an enhanced remake of original Wii games to the Switch, sure that might be more worthwhile - at a minimum you would get HD graphics. But on these Wii U ports, you are more or less getting the same game at higher prices.
Finally, Nintendo is also marketing these games like they are "brand new" games when they aren't, hardly acknowledging that it's a Wii U port. Sales wise, it's working as many of these games are selling quite well. However, it's not a great look for moving the video game industry forward.
After so many ports from Nintendo and even their third party partners, what's left to port? Perhaps Super Mario 3D World and Super Mario Maker to fill some empty space in 2019?
It's time for Nintendo to step up the game and abandon this porting strategy, it's making them money, but gamers deserve a better effort from them to provide more new titles on the Switch.
Now if only there was a way that lets you play Wii U games on the Switch...