Being a Nintendo fan, as I have said before, often puts me at the bottom of the pile in terms of gaming opinion. In fact, a lot of gamers who solely use one of the other two major platforms often look with scorn upon any Nintendo creations, seeing them as ‘children’s consoles’ or ‘more as toys’. That is why, with absolutely no shame, I gloated over Nintendo Wii’s phenomenal success over the Sony’s Playstation 3 and Microsoft’s XBox 360. Over thirty million more units sold worldwide than it’s nearest competitor (PS3), unbelievable considering the fact that many wrote off Wii, and the concept of motion gaming, before it was even released (even more laughable now that there is also Kinect and Move).
Then there was the 3DS, admittedly a commercial disaster for Nintendo. The price was too high, the launch range left a lot to be desired (I bought a game with it simply because I felt like I had to, as a fan), and the console simply didn’t sell well. Nintendo then re-assessed their standpoint on the handheld, choosing to lower the price after only 6 months. Also, during this time (and in the months that followed), several high-profile 3DS titles were released (such as Ocarina of Time 3D, Mario Kart 7, Super Mario 3D Land). So, after being written off, Nintendo’s floundering handheld rose like a phoenix from the ashes and is currently the fastest selling handheld console (out-selling Sony’s even-further-floundering PSVita by a long stretch). It has even been popular enough to warrant Nintendo releasing a new version of it, with bigger screens, and a new overall design.
That obviously brings us to Wii U, and the trouble that it may or may not be in. Personally, I love my Wii U, and thoroughly enjoy playing the games I have for it. However, a problem I noticed that gave me cause for concern was the lack of post-release support the console has had. Since the release of Wii U in November last year, there has been no major releases for the console, leaving the gamers hoping for more releases during the (already generous) launch window sorely disappointed. The big titles such as Pikmin 3 and The Wonderful 101 (which were said to be released by March) were being pushed further and further back, and still have no set release date.
Also, earlier this week, it was announced that Rayman Legends, the Wii U-exclusive was not only now longer exclusive, but is delayed too. This news has obviously caused an uproar among fans of Wii U for losing an exclusive, but has also caused those who are both fans of the console and not to question if Wii U should be abandoned before it sinks. This fact couldn’t be farther from the truth, after all, have these people not learnt from both of Nintendo’s last creations?
Wii U, as it currently stands, is incredibly underrated. A marvellous little high definition console with a controller that (although not to the same level as it’s predecessor) changes the playing field in gaming once again, and has already been used in some remarkably clever ways. What excites me about that is that, as the console is still a fledgling, developers will begin using the GamePad for progressively inventive ways as time progresses. There is so much potential there, it would be a shame to waste it.
Then there are the games, by far the most important aspect of any gaming system. Obviously, and a little to my disdain, Nintendo have wasted no time announcing that a new 3D Mario is in the works, along with a new Zelda and Mario Kart. These titles will sell, in huge quantities, and that fact is completely undeniable. But it is the lesser known titles that have me excited and will prove to be the string that Wii U needs to it’s bow. Titles such as Bayonetta 2 for instance, which is a massive victory for Nintendo. A popular title that showed no sign of returning that Nintendo have got behind to secure a sequel. This announcement was such a shock for the wider gaming community that XBox/PS3 gamers threatened that they would boycott Wii U, being foolish enough to not realise that there was a clear reason for this decision.
Other titles like ‘X’ (which I got very excited about in a previous article), and the forth-coming games LEGO City: Undercover and Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, are all shaping up to be solid, incredible (and Nintendo-exclusive) titles too. There are many more games than this of course, but these are just a few that come to mind. There is a lot of support for Wii U coming from both Nintendo, and third-party publishers, the only shame is that we have to wait for it.
The Wii U isn’t doomed, not yet, and it will take a lot more to take it down than the minor setbacks it has suffered. Trust me when I say that all it needs is time. It all worked out for them before, and with the amount of potential in Nintendo’s new box of fun, there is absolutely no reason why it won’t again even with a PS4/NextBox looming. Sony, Microsoft, bring it on.
Do you have a Wii U? What do you think of it? Were you disappointed by the Rayman news? Let me know @reubenmount on Twitter, or drop a comment at the bottom.