With Microsoft’s Xbox One and Sony’s PlayStation 4 on the market as of this past November, the latest round of console wars and debates is in full swing. One topic certain to produce incensed reactions on both sides is the Nintendo Wii U. Whether or not the Wii U belongs in the same generation as the Xbox One and PS4, the fact remains that it is one of the major consoles currently available. Even so, however, it has not been a particularly good competitor.
The Wii U has seen its share of trouble. Sales were relatively low when it launched in 2012, and unlike Nintendo’s handheld console, the 3DS, the Wii U’s popularity has yet to pick up to any noteworthy degree. In fact, when sales reports came out over the summer not only were the 3DS and its software vastly outselling the Wii U, but so was the Wii. The Wii U was not selling many more than 53,000 units a month—sad numbers in the gaming world. The 3DS has recovered from its uncertain beginnings, but the Wii U’s game library still suffers from a lack of noteworthy titles. With numerous fans waiting to see more high-profile games for the Wii U before they make the leap, game developers find themselves reluctant to make games for a system with such mediocre sales. Some recent Wii U games, such as Pikmin 3 and Super Mario 3D World, have gotten excellent reviews and much praise, but are they enough to save the Wii U?
As the Wii U heads into its second holiday season, it has even more competition than it did a year ago. The Xbox One and PS4 are on the market, and both newcomers have been selling well across the world. With their popularity already so high, it seems likely that most people will choose an Xbox One or a PS4 as a gift, rather than the unfortunate Wii U. It is uncertain if Nintendo’s console can overcome its difficulties in 2013—or at all.
But even if the Wii U becomes a black mark of failure on Nintendo’s record, Nintendo has no intention of leaving the console market or otherwise changing their methods, even though some analysts have suggested they do so. The success of the 3DS has ensured their financial security, and they seem to feel that they are better off in the long run when they do things their own way, even when that means they slip up and lag behind for a while. And who knows what the future might hold? The holiday shoppers could turn to the Wii U after all. It has an excellent catalog of cheats and guides for it's games (which is sure to attract novice gamer's attention) and additional price cuts could give the Wii U the added bit of appeal it needs. When 2014 hits, Nintendo could produce a line-up of new Wii U titles that send it to the head of the race. Anything is possible, and the ultimate fate of the Wii U remains to be seen.