(Pocket-lint) - Nintendo has confirmed that after The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is released, the Nintendo Wii U will be effectively dead. There will be no more first-party development for the console.

It's all Switch or nothing for future Nintendo games.

Speaking to Polygon, Nintendo of America boss Reggie Fils-Aime explained that, after little more than four years, the Wii U's lifespan is over: "From a first-party standpoint, there's no new development coming after the launch of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild," he said.

"We really are at the end of life for Wii U."

The 13 million existing Wii U owners shouldn't worry about online services being cut off though. Nintendo will continue to run its online storefront. It will also continue to sell existing Wii U stock. It's just that there will no longer be any new games for the machine, first-party at least.

"From our standpoint, sunsetting is quite some time into the future. The ongoing activity from an online standpoint on Mario Kart and Splatoon is significant. We're going to continue to support that," added Fils-Aime.

This will be of particular interest to those thinking of buying a Wii U instead of a new Nintendo Switch to play the new Zelda game. While the game isn't massively different across platforms - 900p on the Switch in docked mode, 720p on the Wii U, in graphical terms - one machine will continue to get releases while the other will not. Food for thought.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will be released on Nintendo Wii U and Nintendo Switch on 3 March.

Writing by Rik Henderson.