The Wii U One Year Later: The Sweet Moves and Fatal Mistakes
About a year ago and a week or two ago New Yorkers were still struggling to get through the after math of Super Storm Sandy. My power was out for two weeks which meant no internet. So I would spend my time playing my 3DS, which my dad would charge for me at his office, or use my phone. If I wanted to use the internet I would have to use my phone. The point of all of these details is that for half the day I would watch videos on my phone. All of those videos were on the Wii U.
I had been excited for the Wii U since its debut at E3 2011. High definition graphics, 2GB of RAM, a tablet controller? Heh, I won’t complain! The console was developed on the aim of changing the public perception that the Wii system caters for a “casual” audience. Shigeru Miyamoto (happy belated birthday) admitted that the consoles lack of HD graphics also contributed to this stigma. Nintendo decided that the Wii would have significant changes.
There was a lot of debate within the gaming giant over the idea for the 8th gen console. The idea for the screen came from the blue light that would illuminate on the Wii when you had a new message. At first the screen was going to be small, just big enough to gie game feedback and statuses. Later in development, the screen was expanded to what it is now, capable to display a whole game.
I was looking forward to the Wii U very much. New Super Mario Bros. U, Nintendo Land, Scribblenauts Unlimited, and Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed showcased the power and potential of the upcoming console. I demoed some of these titles and New York Comic Con 2012, and I was very pleased with what I had experienced.
Two sets were made available. The Basic Set, which was priced at $299.99, and the Deluxe/Premium Set, which was priced at $349.99. I planned on getting the Deluxe set, but there were no more pre-orders available for it. I pre-ordered the basic set with only one thing left to do, wait.
The big day came. I showed up at the location of my pre-order, Target, and took the console home. I unboxed it as quick as I could, hooked it up to my TV, and played it all day. It was a great experience. You can never go wrong with Mario, Nintendo Land was entertaining and had amazing visuals, Scribblenauts was quirky in a good way, and Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed provided a challenge at the end of the day.
After about one month of playing the launch lineup, I stopped playing. Games like Assassins Creed III and Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 had already been out so I didn’t buy those again. It wasn’t until March when things started to pick up again with titles such as Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate and in April with Injustice: Gods Among Us. Then it didn’t pick up again until August with the release of Pikmin 3 and Disney Infinity, which led the fun until mid-September. Wonderful 101 came out on September 15th, and that led the fun up until mid-October. Batman: Arkham Origins came out on October 25th, Assassins Creed IV: Black Flag came out on October 29th, and Call of Duty: Ghosts came out on November 5th. The whole point of me listing all these tiles is to show that things have only started to pick up about a year later.
Now to give Nintendo some credit, consoles usually take time to pick up after its launch. Despite this, the time that the Wii U starts to pick up might be too late. The PS4 and Xbox One are launching now. All the media attention, hype, and coverage is all aimed towards those two consoles. So even though the Wii U is improving, its not going to get as much attention as it may deserve. There are some fatal mistakes Nintendo made did with the Wii U that I highlighted below.
The Launch Date.
I have to say with the way things have played out, the launch date has not helped the Wii U at all. Now say the Wii U had been pumping out great titles starting 3 months after it was released with the 1 year leg up on the other next-gen consoles. And even now with the trend the Wii U set the media and video game fans would have advised against the Wii U because of it’s weak releases. Launching it one year after the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 may have benefited it’s first year. Think about it, adding Bayonetta, Super Mario 3D World, Super Smash Bros., and other awesome upcoming titles to the mix would make a significant difference for it’s first year.
1st Year Titles
The titles following the Wii U launch for the first year should have been stronger. I get that it takes time to develop for games, so why not take it slow and release the console later? More development time for games, and possibly more money for waiting. Great things come to those who wait!
The Pro Controller Setup.
In order to use the Wii U Pro Controller, the Wii U’s pull for the “hardcore” gamer, you must have the GamePad hooked up. At first this doesn’t sound bad but having to turn on the console with a controller you won’t be using every time gets annoying. Nintendo should have made it so that the Pro Controller could be a controller on its own, without the help of the GamePad.
And some sweet moves.
Under the Hood.
The Wii U has some pretty significant improvements from the Wii, specification wise. It has 2GB of DDR3 RAM, and a Radeon GPU. You can have either 8GB or 32GB compared to the Wii’s 512GB.
This was not a step into the future for Nintendo, it was a leap. MiiVerse provides a centre or hub for Nintendo fans to discuss games, which is a great thing to have.
The Wii U now supports 1080p HD. Playing Mario, amongst other games, in crisp quality doesn’t hurt. It also supports 1080i, 720p, 480p, and 480i.
Overall the Wii U had a rough start and is currently in an OK position. There may have been a better approach that Nintendo could have taken, but we will see how this plays out. I look forward to the upcoming titles on the Wii U and to see the best of the console.