Yes, that headline is correct. Nintendo has just released a brand-new system update for the Wii U. That’s significant because the system has without a doubt been completely eclipsed by its new ‘half-brother’, the Nintendo Switch which launched back in March. Even before the Switch launched, the Wii U scene was growing steadily quiet and then Nintendo completely ‘switched’ (pun entirely intended) as 2017 kicked off. To put it into perspective, this is the first Wii U system update since January 11th, 2016.
So, what’s up with this new update anyway? Well, unsurprisingly it’s nothing major. It kicks the firmware up to version 5.5.2 and is required in order to access the eShop. Nintendo’s patch notes are as standard and vague as ever, simply stating that the update:
“Further improvements to overall system stability and other minor adjustments have been made to enhance the user experience.”
It’s become quite obvious that these vague “stability improvement” updates are just a sly way of saying “We found a security exploit and now it’s gone. Carry on.” The 3DS has been getting these often as the hacking community grows ever bigger. The Wii U hacking scene is also advanced, and one particular exploit allows the system’s internals to be accessed via the Web Browser.
Looks like Nintendo still sees keeping its now infamously quickly-replaced home system safeguarded from hackers, at least for the time being. In terms of regular support, maintenance of the online servers is regularly carried out each month for Wii U, in addition to Switch and 3DS.
Wii U production was discontinued worldwide a few months ago, and remaining stock mostly consists of refurbished and pre-owned units. The console sold a little over 13 million units worldwide between 2012-2016.