Nintendo’s Suicide by Wii-U
Nintendo has for decades been a game-changer in the world of console gaming. Heck they practically, along with Atari, created console gaming. The NES, SNES, and Gameboy were not just great selling machines but cultural touchstones for many of us. The Wii introduced motion control to gaming, changing how we played as much as what we played.
So what happened? The Wii U has been a sales flop, with Nintendo choosing to slash prices to boost sales. However many are saying that it’s simply too little too late. While the Wii was innovative at the time, its technology and adoption was surpassed not only by Sony’s motion control but especially by Microsoft’s Kinect. So Nintendo added a tablet to their system which added another new level of play. The trouble is that game developers haven’t really found great ways to implement it into their games. My brother-in-law, who is a game developer who worked on some major games for Red Storm, thought that the pad could really be used well in some instances, but in real life it just hasn’t brought it. Developers have started to find best uses for it, such as in Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition for the Wii U. It uses the secondary screen as a map and weapon chooser among other things, which allows more screen space for the visuals.
The price cut to $300 also seems pricey to many, especially when superior (or at least more hyped) systems such as the XBox One and PS4 are lurking in the shadows. Both systems are hardware-wise superior at least. But compared to current systems it is a legit competitor. Take the screenshot below for example: the Wii U has better texture and lighting than the PS3.
It’s tough comparing game catalogs though, as there often is not much overlap between Nintendo Wii titles and those for other systems.
You do have the benefit of the Nintendo catalog, which produces games strictly for its own systems and have their own cult followings. Nintendo is also more friendly to independent game creators. However the catalog for the Wii U is simply pitiful at this point. The 3DS has more titles than the Wii U and is a heck of a lot cheaper.
So is the Wii U a mistake or an underrated contender? Is it a victim of poor marketing or poor adoption by game developers?