The is a home video game console created by Nintendo and the successor to the Wii. The system was released on 18 November 2012 in North America; on 30 November 2012 in PAL regions; and on 8 December 2012 in Japan. As the first entry in the eighth generation of video game home consoles, it competes with Sony’s PlayStation 4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One. The Wii U is the first Nintendo console to support high-definition graphics. The system’s primary controller is the Wii U GamePad, which features an embedded touchscreen. The screen can be used either as a supplement to the main display (either providing an alternate, asymmetric gameplay experience, or a means of local multiplayer without resorting to a split screen), or in supported games, play the game directly on the GamePad without using a television. Games can support any combination of the GamePad, Wii Remote, Nunchuk, Balance Board, or Nintendo’s more traditionally designed Wii U Pro Controller for input. The Wii U is backward-compatible with most games released for the Wii. Online functionality on the Wii U centers around Miiverse, an integrated social networking service which allows users to share content in game-specific communities. The Wii U was released to mixed reception: critics noted issues with certain aspects of the console’s user interface, the fact that the Wii U was presumed to be less powerful than competing eighth-generation consoles, and a weak lineup of launch titles. These shortcomings resulted in initial poor sales for the console: critics began to question the future viability of the Wii U, and some third-party studios (including, most prominently, Electronic Arts) began to downplay their support for the console in comparison to the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One as part of their multi-platform strategies. Wii U adoption began to gain momentum following a price cut in August 2013, and the release of several major first-party titles for the system over the following months—including new installments in the Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros. franchises. Mario Kart 8 would go on to become the best-selling Wii U title worldwide, selling over 4.77 million copies , while Super Smash Bros. for Wii U would sell over 490,000 copies in the United States in its first three days of availability, making it the fastest-selling Wii U game in the country.