I’m sure that many of you are blissfully unaware that Nintendo’s latest console and the original next-gen release – The Wii U, celebrated its first birthday the other day.
Happy Birthday to you….
Well let’s just be grateful that the console has made it to a year because in case you hadn’t noticed the console has not sold very well and apparently this reason is why you should avoid it at all costs.
If time has taught us anything with gaming machines it’s that not all the ‘greatest’ consoles are the best at shipping units. Take the SEGA Dreamcast or the GameCube for example which have since been recognised as a couple of the best made consoles, but they didn’t fare so well in the consumer market.
For me personally the Wii U is a great piece of hardware that bridged the gap between current gen consoles with what we could expect to see from next-gen machines at a time when everything was hear-say and people were arguing over whether an image of a PS4 and Xbox One controller was real or not.
The fact that Nintendo recently admitted to not marketing the machine correctly could have proven the gaming giants biggest mistake. The Wii U seems to have suffered the same issues that many sequels suffer from. People expect more of the same as the original only to find things are not what they once were and no explanation why?
Instead of controlling games by flailing your arms around it was replaced by the relatively large Wii U controller. This is not a down fall, but Nintendo failed to educate the mass public why it was replacing the nun-chuck with a controller that had two analogue sticks, a built in screen and a greater array of buttons – therefore the mass appeal from the owners of the original Wii was lost.
If this wasn’t bad enough, the Wii U has suffered from a lack of gaming titles.
Granted, at launch time Nintendo decided to avoid the mistakes of not including the Mario Bros franchise as they did with the launch of the GameCube. The introduction of New Super Mario Bros enabled users to get involved with the Italians exploits early.
However the title was more of an upgrade and lacked any of the revolutionary elements of a Mario title that has defined each console it has represented.
After this, there was approximately 6 months of nothing at all.
Zombi U and Rayman were decent launch titles, but failed to capitalise on the new hardware and controller set-up and did not boost sales as intended.
Since then a few poorly ported titles have made their way across from the Xbox 360 and PlayStation3. Some exclusive editions of titles such as Dues EX have made it across offering alternative content, but this was hardly a compelling argument for gamers to part with their Xbox or PS3 in favour of a Wii U.
Moving on – with the first year of hardship behind Nintendo’s flagship console, the company are now concentrating on an array of (hopefully) quality games.
The Zelda Wind Walker HD remake and Pikmin 3 attest to this new focus, while over the weekend Super Mario 3D World was released and has received higher review scores than any Xbox One or PS4 exclusive.
Throw in the now guaranteed release of a Mario Kart title, Donkey Kong and Super Smash Bros, the second year for the Wii U looks to hold a lot of promise.
If people can adopt the fact that the Wii U has abandoned the gimmicks of the original Wii and is focusing on releasing classic Nintendo titles and the addition of some AAA releases making use of the controller and system. Maybe this time next year Nintendo will be celebrating the consoles second birthday with a little more flair.
Would you be tempted to buy a Wii U with better titles? Tell us your thoughts below