Unfortunately it looks like the thoughts of a Wii U version of Rare Replay were just a bit too good to be true. If you haven’t been following this chain of events, it essentially boils down to the following. A fan tweeted the official Microsoft Studios account asking if there was a possibility of Rare Replay heading to the Wii U (this came about because Minecraft, another Microsoft owned property, was just announced for Nintendo’s console).
The studio responded with something other than an emphatic “No!”, saying to suggest the idea to Rare itself. This then set the internet on fire, as fans hoped and prayed that Rare would be willing and able to port the game over to the Wii U. However, Rare has responded today and the answer seems to be that emphatic “No!” that everyone dreaded.
“Lots of Qs about Wii U,” tweeted the official Rare account. “But #RareReplay’s exclusive to Xbox One, and we’re hard at work on Sea of Thieves. Appreciate the enthusiasm though!” Of course, it makes sense for fans to hope for Rare Replay to hit Wii U. Most of the games in the collection were originally released on Nintendo platforms, from the NES all the way up to the N64. However, it also makes sense that Rare, which is now wholly owned by Microsoft, wouldn’t spend time porting the game to a rival platform.
The precedent of Minecraft doesn’t really factor in here, as that was a game already available on other platforms when Microsoft purchased it. While the games within this collection were on other systems as well, the entire package is an Xbox One exclusive, and a powerful one at that. Rare Replay has been featured in hardware bundles and various advertisements as an exclusive. To go back on that now would be troublesome for Rare and Microsoft.