A look back at the Wii U’s history
Remember way back in November of 2012 when the Wii U was released? It felt like they were launching way too early (or perhaps too late after letting the Wii languish for years) and they only had New Super Mario Bros. U as a major launch title. Surely they should have had more major launch titles? I do recall there was some sort of Zombie U game that I never heard from again. The Skylanders game proved to be very popular with the younger crowd, and there was a small window there where major cross platform games like Black Ops II actually were better on Wii U as opposed to PS3 or Xbox 360.
However, at that time there just wasn’t enough to entice people (other than the huge Nintendo fans) to purchase the Wii U. We all were watching/reading what Microsoft and Sony had to say about their upcoming consoles, and it just seemed like the Wii U was going to be so far behind them in terms of capabilities and graphics. I don’t think I trusted Nintendo to put out many great exclusives any more, after what had happened with the Wii.
The numbers perhaps didn’t really back up that “feeling,” as the Wii U did sell out in North America fairly quickly, much like the Wii had. However, a lot of consoles were available for purchase online at slightly higher than retail prices, and anyone that really wanted a Wii U was able to buy one immediately, which wasn’t the case when the Wii came out. Wii U software was almost immediately discounted in stores as sales were slow. Reviews of the Wii U at launch also were fairly low, with most sites giving mid-range scores, citing a lack of games, networking problems, but also saying the system had potential.
More Wii U Games in 2013
A year after the Wii U launched (so in 2013), they did put out some more games to try to compete with the new consoles that were coming out that fall (the PS4 and Xbox One). Those games included Smash Bros. U, Super Mario 3D, Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD, Rayman Legends, Super Luigi U, and Wii Party U. That was a really good offering of exclusives and most had really good review scores, but we had brand new consoles running amazing new games, and I think a lot of gamers were way to excited about that to notice that the Wii U was actually shaping up really nicely.
Great 2014 Wii U Games
In 2014, Nintendo continued the streak of releasing a ton of great exclusives. Super Smash Bros. U, Bayonetta 2, Mario Kart 8, and Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze all were released to critical claim and achieved high review scores essentially across the board. They may not have had the most exclusives (that would be PS4) but all the Wii U exclusives were of very high quality. Not only that, but they appealed to the general public in a way that not all games do. Children, grandparents, and really anyone might enjoy Mario Kart. The same can’t really be said about games like Destiny or any of the modern shooters or zombie games flooding the market.
Despite the plethora of exclusives and high review scores, the Wii U continued to lose market share to the PS4 and Xbox One over 2014. The PS4 has to date sold around 19-20 million units, the Xbox One has sold around 12-13 million units, while the Wii U has sold just around 9 million units to date (it also was out for an additional year compared to the other two).
Opinion: The Wii U is the best console
I’m not really prepared to say that the Wii U should have sold more units. Perhaps the number that they’re at is fair, especially when you consider that the other systems are technically better in terms of processing power, graphics, memory, and more.
Many big games don’t come out on the Wii U (Grand Theft Auto 5, Destiny, Evolve) and thus you’ll need a non-Wii U system to play them. You can choose between the Xbox One, PS4, or PC for most games, as most (or at least a lot of) games come out on all three. However, if you want to play these amazing Wii U games listed above, you have to have the Wii U. Sure, the other consoles have some exclusives too. The Order: 1886 will be out for PS4 soon. Xbox One had Titanfall and Horizon, and will have Halo at the end of this year. However, I would argue that there are more quality, must-play exclusives for the Wii U than either of the other two consoles. The PS4 might have more exclusives, but they don’t have anywhere near the same number of highly rated exclusives.
I think it is almost getting to the point now where gamers will need to choose between a PS4, Xbox One, or PC, and then they also will need to buy a Wii U to get to play the amazing Wii U exclusives. There is another whole batch of Wii U exclusives coming out in 2015, including Mario Party 10, Yoshi’s Wooly World, Mario Maker, Star Fox Wii U, Xenoblade Chronicles X, and Legend of Zelda Wii U. All of those games look like they could be really, really good.
Based on the games, in terms of quality and quantity, I think the Wii U might be the best console currently on the market. Sure, it might not technically be as good in terms of the tech, but the games are amazing. It also plays old Wii games (and upconverts), has free online multiplayer, free Hulu Plus, and all for less than either of the other two consoles (the games and accessories are cheaper too!). I would recommend that everyone check out the Wii U. If you passed on it in the past, now just might be the time to reconsider.
The 32 GB Black Wii U with two games, the critically acclaimed Mario Kart 8, and Nintendoland.