The Wii U ( WEE YOO) is a home video game console developed by Nintendo as the successor to the Wii. Released in November 2012, it is the first eighth-generation video game console and competed with Microsoft's Xbox One and Sony's PlayStation 4.
The Wii U is the first Nintendo console to support HD graphics. The system's primary controller is the Wii U GamePad, which features an embedded touchscreen, directional buttons, analog sticks, and action buttons. The screen can be used either as a supplement to the main display or in supported games to play the game directly on the GamePad. The Wii U Pro Controller can be used in its place as a more traditional alternative. The Wii U is backward compatible with all Wii software and accessories. Games can support any combination of the GamePad, Wii Remote, Nunchuk, Balance Board, or Nintendo's Classic Controller or Wii U Pro Controller. Online functionality centers around the Nintendo Network platform and Miiverse, an integrated social networking service which allows users to share content in game-specific communities.
The Wii U was met with a generally positive reception, which included praise for its innovative GamePad controller, improvements to online functionality over the Wii, backwards compatibility with existing Wii software and peripherals, and relative affordability. However, the Wii U was also criticized for the GamePad's short battery life and issues with the console's user interface and functionality. The Wii U was met with slow consumer adoption, with low sales that were primarily credited to a weak lineup of launch titles, limited third-party support, and poor marketing. Wii U production officially ended in January 2017. On March 3, 2017, Nintendo released its successor, the Nintendo Switch, which notably retained and refined concepts that were first introduced with the Wii U.
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