It may be Nintendo Switch season to many gamers but that doesn’t mean Nintendo has forgotten about the Wii U entirely. The new Wii U update may be small but it shows that someone is still paying at Nintendo is still paying attention to it. A system update just been released in just over a year and brings your the console some “improvements to system stability and usability.”
Firmware 5.5.3 is pretty minor but it does show at least the faintest glimmer of support. The patch notes cite that say the update allows “further improvements to overall system stability and other minor adjustments have been made to enhance the user experience.”
While the Wii U never had a strong userbase – selling just over 13 million units – this update is a nice way to support those who are still playing on Wii U. Its life cycle was shorter than its audience would have anticipated compared to rivals, and forced Nintendo to enter the next generation earlier because of the Wii U’s shortcomings.
Even though this Wii U update shows that someone at Nintendo is working on the system, its still a story about a dead system. And these stories have been coming up for other pieces of hardware too. For example, Sony stopped making Vita software in May and just recently ended PS2 repair service in Japan. A new update may show some sign of activity but this is a relatively minor sign of life in a nearly dead console.
While many are surprised by the last two firmware updates being over a year apart, it seems to follow the established trend. Before last year’s update on July 17, 2017, there hadn’t been an update since January 11, 2016. And 2015 only saw two updates. The last year that Nintendo was constantly updating the system was back in 2014. We’ve been getting weened off Wii U support for a while now. The only question is when will the last update release?
So pick up your gamepad and play some that wonderful The Legend of Zelda: Windwaker HD, watch some Netflix, and enjoy that illustrious virtual console so many Nintendo Switch owners desperately want. Because even after its death, the Wii U still has some gems from the past for players to enjoy even if most of them keep coming to the Switch.