Wii U (2012)
Nintendo’s current gen console has somewhat of a bad reputation which I mostly disagree with. A console should never be judged by the number of units it sales. The Dreamcast is without a doubt, one of the greatest consoles ever produced and yet sales did not meet Sega’s expectations. Despite several price cuts, the Dreamcast sold only 10.6 million units worldwide. Of course we all know what happened next: Sega discontinued the Dreamcast and respectively withdrew from the console business. However, Nintendo isn’t Sega and the company is in no danger of closing shop. In fact, despite the low number of sales, Nintendo has already made back its money on the WiiU. From here on out, it is pure profit.
In terms of computing power, the WiiU, lags behind the field. It has practically no AAA 3rd party support, and its primary feature, the gamepad, has proven integral to only a handful of games. That said, the WiiU is still an incredible machine, if only for the games.
I’ll be the first to admit that some of the games seem developed as ideas acting in service of the WiiU technology, but the Wii U is still home to four of the greatest games Nintendo has ever made: Super Mario World, Super Smash Bros., Mario Kart 8 and Pikmin 3. The WiiU is also home to amazing HD remakes like Zelda: Wind Waker and DuckTales and surprise hits such as Hyrule Warriors and Captain Toad, not to mention the critically acclaimed exclusive Bayonetta 2. Recently Nintendo released an exciting new IP in Splatoon, a third person shooter which went on to sell one million copies in less than a month, and soon they will release Super Mario Maker, a robust level editor with the option to download and play levels created by members of the online WiiU community. And if you aren’t interested in building your own levels, the game will also include 100 pre-made courses on the disc, the most featured in any Mario title to date. Furthermore, the WiiU library includes Yoshi’s Wooly World, Star Fox Zero, Xenoblade Chronicles X and dozens of indie darlings like Shovel Knight, Adventures of Pip and Guacamelee. And lest not forget, the WiiU is compatible with most Wii games and includes an online virtual store where you can download titles from previous Nintendo systems including the NES, Super NES, N64, Gameboy, Gameboy Advance and more.
As someone who’s owned every Nintendo console, I’m not interested in Nintendo having the most powerful system. Once again it all comes down to games and the WiiU has all the above and more. The upcoming Legend of Zelda WiiU exclusive is enough to make the $250 price tag worth the investment, and anyone who doesn’t own the WiiU will surely be missing out. (Ricky D)