I’ve heard a lot of talk lately about whether or not the Wii U will survive once the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One launch this holiday season. Some developers are saying that they will not develop for the console as they don’t think it’s a wise investment. Bob Summerwill of publisher Electronic Arts (voted the “world’s worst company” by the Consumerist for the past two years), thinks the system is “crap.” The Internet is littered with people telling other people not to buy the Wii U because it “sucks.”
I have very mixed feelings about the Wii U and about Nintendo as a company, but I love my Wii U.
I bought the deluxe set of the Wii U on launch day. I have loved Nintendo for over 14 years; I didn’t know it as a child, but I missed out on a lot of games because I was so faithful to Nintendo. When the Wii happened and I started dating my now-fiancé who had a PlayStation 3, I realized that the Wii did not have enough games to satisfy my hardcore gaming needs.
Many Wii U owners feel the same way. It’s a great system. The GamePad is extremely innovative and has lots of potential. But riding on Mario and Zelda sales is only going to work for so long.
Nintendo seems to be focusing on the 3DS a lot more than its newest home console. Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon would be perfect on the Wii U. The controls would be awesome, and the graphics would be better. Luigi’s Mansion is a beloved franchise, and releasing a Wii U version would be a really smart move for Nintendo. Even though I’ve played through most of it on the 3DS, I would love to play through it again in my living room.
It’s as if Nintendo is ignoring its new console and then wondering why system sales are poor. Release games that people care about, and the system will sell. Thankfully, there are many great titles coming to the Wii U this year and early next year, including Mario Kart 8, Super Smash Bros. Next, and Super Mario 3D World. A new Zelda is in development for the Wii U, but it was not mentioned at the Electronic Entertainment Expo this year. But how long can Nintendo survive on Mario and Zelda sales? Where’s Metroid? Where’s F-Zero? Where’s Star Fox? They own so many great franchises that they could do so much with. And while first-party games are great, Nintendo needs to have strong third-party support for its system to thrive.
There are a lot of other problems with the Wii U besides the lack of games. Firstly, the name is part of its downfall. The name of a console normally isn’t that important, but in this case, it is confusing consumers. “Wii U? Does it play Wii games? Is it just an HD Wii?” These are things that I have actually heard while perusing GameStop and the gaming section of Best Buy.
I believe Nintendo should have given its new console a whole new identity with a name that no one would’ve expected. Personally, I like “Revolution,” which was the codename for the Wii. “Wii U” is confusing a lot of ignorant consumers. Some people still don’t know just what this console is. Associating their new console with the Wii is not convincing hardcore gamers to buy it; they are scared that it’s just going to be an HD version of the Wii with a bunch of terrible kiddie games.
Another big problem is that Wii U versions of popular games, like Call of Duty, aren’t getting the same downloadable content as the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions. This is aggravating gamers because they are trying to enjoy their new Nintendo console, but they feel like they are missing out on things that PS3 and 360 gamers are getting. Nintendo really needs to strengthen its relationship with developers and publishers if it wants to survive this generation.
It’s 2013, and Nintendo has yet to release a console that plays CDs or DVDs. This may not seem like a big deal, but it is. Games are most important for a home console, but it’s nice to be able to watch Blu-rays or DVDs when you want a break from games.This forces Nintendo loyals to go out and buy a PS3 or 360 or even just a BD or DVD player when they shouldn’t have to. At least we have Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Amazon Instant Video on Wii U.
The graphics are good, but they aren’t going to stand a chance against the PS4 and Xbox One. If Nintendo can deliver on games, maybe, just maybe, the Wii U will be able to compete with the gorgeous graphics on the PS4 and Xbox One. Graphics aren’t everything.
Currently, the price is too high to justify buying the console when there are so few games for it. People have no incentive to buy the Wii U when they can spend their money on a 360 or a PS 3 and have hundreds of great games to choose from. Plus, people are now saving their money for the PS4 and Xbox One.
Do you own a Wii U? What is your opinion of it? What upcoming Wii U games are you most excited to play?