12.23.2019 10:00 PM

Gaming

‘Drop It: Block Paradise’ is the unlikely death knell for Wii U

The two-year-old game is finally available in the U.S.

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Remember Wii U? Nintendo's unpopular yet capable console was discontinued in 2017, the same year the game Drop It: Block Paradise launched in Europe. Though the puzzle game would hit other consoles, it's only now, at the end of the decade, finally made it to North America — and to Wii U. A handful of mostly arcade games hit the defunct console this year, but this “new” addition could signal the official end of Wii U.

What happened to Wii U? — In short, Nintendo cannibalized itself. Wii U couldn’t live up to the Wii’s popularity, selling less than 14 million in its five-year run compared to the Wii’s 101 million units. Confusion about the Wii U’s purpose and news of the impending Switch in March 2017 likely dissuaded gamers looking to upgrade, and as time has shown, they were right to wait.

In just nine months, 10 million Switches were sold and Nintendo hit nearly 37 million units sold two years after launch. In addition to eclipsing the Wii U, the Switch matched the PS4’s growth on the same timeline. Despite having a smaller library of games available, updated Mario-centric games and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild have proven significant boons for Nintendo.

With the company’s focus clearly on the Switch and the newly minted Switch Lite, it’s safe to say that this game drop could be the last one for the Wii U.