Why We Need More Wii U Ports on the Switch

It shouldn’t come as a revelation to anyone to hear that the Wii U was an anomaly of a console. It was an oddly-innovative successor to the wildly-popular Wii, but the way it was marketed left many confused as to why they needed to buy one. A lot of people got the impression that it was just an updated Wii system with a funky tablet controller, and by the time it was clear that this was Nintendo’s new mainstream console it was largely too late. While the Wii U enjoyed a limited run with some popular third-party titles, it mostly had to support itself with a stellar library of in-house software. Unfortunately, their games weren’t played by nearly as many people as they should have been.

Yet, now we have the Nintendo Switch, an extremely popular (and versatile!) new console that has been getting fantastic first and third party support across the board. Since it’s release in March of 2017, we’ve seen some pretty solid ports of existing Wii U titles, getting some nice upgrades along the way: Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (one of the Switch’s best-selling titles so far), Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (a stellar platformer with some nice upgrades in terms of graphics and gameplay features), and Captain Toad: Treasure Trackers (featuring all-new levels based on Super Mario Odyssey). These are, of course, all excellent ports and more than worth the money to pick up if you haven’t already done so, but I feel like Nintendo still has so much more that they could port over in future.

The Switch has a lot of good things going for it: it’s extremely popular and has a very solid install base, it has a whole new audience that never got a Wii U, and it’s very versatile due to its ability to be played both docked and as a portable console. Even for those who own a Wii U and some of the titles that already have been or could be ported to the Switch, there’s a certain appeal to being able to take some of your favorite Wii U games and play them on the go. There’s also an appeal to having your Wii U library on your Switch, keeping all your favorite games in one easy to access place (that you can take anywhere, too). So, it seems to me that it’s only in Nintendo’s best interest to keep these things in mind when it comes to the Wii U’s existing library.

Obviously, not all Wii U games are worth porting, but there are a few stand-out titles that I think are definitely worth considering:

  • Super Mario 3D World
  • Super Mario Maker
  • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD
  • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD
  • Xenoblade Chronicles X

In fact, even if we don’t get any of the others on this list, if Nintendo ported Super Mario 3D World and Super Mario Maker (or at least did an upgraded version of the game), I don’t think there’d be much of a reason to play the Wii U anymore, at least other than to play your original Wii games if your Wii console has since stopped working! Also, not all of these games would have to see a physical release as even eShop versions of them might be nice to get.

Anyway, I’m pretty certain that Nintendo has plans for at least the two Mario games getting an eventual Nintendo Switch version, and I also have no doubt that we will continue to be surprised by what Nintendo has to offer on its ever-popular hybrid.

Jessica Brown

Retro Games and Technology Editor. She'll beat pretty much every Mega Man game without breaking a sweat.