Nintendo’s most recent attempt at a game console didn’t exactly send people rushing into stores to buy one. From the moment it was announced, the Wii U sent a confusing message to consumers. Now that it has been out for over a year, it might be time to consider adding one to your home entertainment centre.
There’s no nice way to say it – Nintendo completely botched the Wii U launch. The announcement didn’t even make it clear that this was a new console, a lot of the games included at launch were gimmicky, and it wasn’t until months after the launch that they even got the underlying operating system where they wanted it to be.
Fast forward to today and there’s not only a lot of great reasons to own a Wii U, but there are even more on the way. While it may be convenient to look at the current console climate and claim that it’s too late for the Wii U, consider for a moment what the next few months in the console world are actually going to look like.
Microsoft and Sony are going to spend the next six months fighting for meaningless limited time game exclusives while gamers move to the Xbox One and PS4. The launch list for both consoles was unimpressive, and it’ll be a while before games companies are really ready to put out games that actually challenge the hardware in these consoles.
Sony and Microsoft’s social networks will both be in a strange limbo for a while as users and their friends update to the latest console, and streaming services will be added slowly. Is it worth spending £350 to £430 on one of these consoles yet? If you’re not sure, it may be time to consider a Wii U.
Nintendo has finally got its act together with the Wii U. The Miiverse social network is nicely active, the Wii U Shop is filled with interesting content, and you can get various streaming services for the console, from Netflix through Lovefilm to iPlayer. The Wii U Gamepad perfectly embodies a lot of the features Sony and Microsoft are trying to bolt onto their consoles right now, with a full web browser for example, and you can use it as a TV remote. Plus, being able to play entire games on just the Gamepad is still incredibly cool, whether it’s you or a child playing while someone else is watching TV.
Unlike every other console manufacturer, Nintendo’s exclusives are actually capable of selling consoles. The remake of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD and DuckTales was a huge deal for a lot of fans, not to mention the incredible job done with the recently released Super Mario 3D World. It’s not just Nintendo’s core games that draw you in, either. The Wonderful 101, Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, ZombiU, and Little Inferno are all fantastic titles. If you’re a fan of the classics, the Wii U Shop is filled with the old school Nintendo favourites as well.
The last two months have given these publishers more than a few reasons to change their minds, and the games on Nintendo’s roadmap for the next few months should only serve to be an even greater example of why the Wii U is a great console – but if these publishers continue to look elsewhere it could be disastrous for the platform.
So, should you spend the money on one of Nintendo’s machines? Absolutely. The Wii U is an incredible console, and it is only going to get better over the next couple of months. At around the £200 mark currently (or just over), it’s much less expensive than the Xbox One or the PS4 – less than half the cost of the former, in fact – and it’s just plain fun to use. The console’s multiplayer titles are a blast, the streaming services work great, and once you have used it for a day or two the Gamepad becomes surprisingly comfortable.