Like the title of this blog asks, does Nintendo's Wii U really deserve all the criticism it receives? Whenever I am reading through comments related to the Wii U, I always see people calling the Wii U a "joke" and people say, "it has no games." I am a Wii U owner, and a damn proud owner at that. I use my system more than I use my PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita. I will admit that Nintendo has poorly marketed this console and has done a poor job at making the Wii U known as a legitimate home console for gamers, which has led to some issues I have with how Nintendo has put its console out there. But does it deserve to be the laughing stock while the PS4 and Xbox One receive far less criticism? I certainly don't believe so. Here are my thoughts.
Poor marketing: Over a span of two years, I have seen fewer than ten commercials for the Wii U. I also have not seen any advertisements at my local GameStop except for Mario Kart 8. If I am a casual gamer, how am I supposed to know that this console exists? For the commercials I did see, they were around families playing together in a casual manner. Who is your demographic, Nintendo? The families with young children? The gamer that has loved Nintendo for years, like myself? Establish whom this console is aimed towards! I have had friends come over and they did not even know what a Wii U was. These friends, who happen to play video games often, did not even know there was a new Nintendo console. A parent who walks into a store might not know the difference between the Wii and the Wii U. This is a huge issue for me. Nintendo has not provided the Wii U with an identity. Hopefully Nintendo will work on marketing the system - especially when Super Smash Bros. is ready to be released. I feel the major lack of marketing has greatly hurt the ability for the Wii U to sell. Look at the picture below. Are they still trying to attract casual gamers, or do they want the hardcore gamer?
Year One Comparisons: You could argue the Wii U had a pretty decent first year for games, though many of the games - at least at launch - were ports of older games already released on other systems, which annoyed me because I wanted current ports or more exclusives ready at the system's launch. But aside from these ports, the Wii U had strong first party titles for its first year. The Xbox One and PlayStation 4 also have strong first year games that are continuing to grow. Why does the Wii U get ridiculed?
Wii U First Party Titles: New Super Mario Bros. U, Pikmin 3, The Wonderful 101, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD
Wii U Third Party Titles: Assassin's Creed 3, Mass Effect 3, Darksiders 2, Batman: Arkham City.
Xbox One First Party Titles: Forza Motorsport 5, Dead Rising 3, Killer Instinct, Ryse: Son of Rome
Xbox One Third Party Titles: Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition, Thief, Titanfall, Watch_Dogs, Wolfenstein: The New Order
PlayStation 4 First Party Titles: Resogun, Outlast, Killzone: Shadowfall, Knack, Infamous: Second Son
PlayStation 4 Third Party Titles: NBA 2K14, Call of Duty: Ghosts, Rayman: Legends
The Xbox One and PlayStation 4 for the most part have very similar third party libraries. Like the Wii U's third party games, a large number these games can be played on the previous generation of consoles, like the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One are getting remakes of games that aren't even five years old. The Last of Us: Remastered makes sense because people have bought PlayStation 4s and did not experience the game last year. But Sleeping Dogs? Metro Redux? I understand that developers are still trying to understand the hardware of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, but I want new games; fresh, next generation games that will blow me away. Late 2014 and 2015 will 100% offer that, but I do not want my library to feature games I could have played a few years ago. The Wii U's third party games have the same issue, but why does the Wii U specifically get flak for having older games? It just does not make sense to me.
Can The Wii U Turn It Around? - I don't believe the Wii U will ever surpass the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in sales, but I do believe it can show life and can turn itself around with quality games, which will lead to sales. While this is entirely my opinion, I believe the the Wii U currently has a strong library and this year looks to have some good games to finish the year. Games like Hyrule Warriors, Bayonetta 2, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, which looks ADORABLE and most importantly, Super Smash Bros. Wii U will be the biggest releases for the system. I personally think Hyrule Warriors will be successful because Dynasty Warriors and The Legend of Zelda have such large fan bases. Super Smash Bros. Wii U will be THE game to own this holiday season and will sell many consoles. 2015 looks even better for the system with games like Zelda Wii U, Xenoblade Chronicles X, Yoshi's Wooly World, Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem, Mario Maker and more. The Wii U has games, people! My biggest issue with Nintendo, though, is the time between major releases. In February we received Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, in May we got Mario Kart 8 and we will get Hyrule Warriors in September. That is too long of a wait period between major releases on the Wii U. Hopefully Nintendo will fix this major annoyance. And hopefully if the system picks up sales and improves, third party support will grow and Nintendo will take advantage of third party games on their system.
Final Thoughts: I do believe the Wii U does deserve some of the criticism it receives, but it does not deserve to be the joke among the video game community. The Wii U, like the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, has its issues. The system has games, is getting games and is not a flop. These are simply my thoughts on why I feel the Wii U does not deserve to be the punching bag. Share your thoughts!