Wii U: A Look Back

Posted on Mar 5 2017 - 2:57pm by Simon Smith
Wii U: A Look Back

Nintendo has had a rough run through their many years in the game industry, going from one console to the next they saw varying levels of success with some consoles becoming huge hits among the gaming public, while others failed to live up to the companies hopes. The biggest success for Nintendo was of course the Wii, by completely changing their strategy and opting to go down the path of a weaker system while offering what was at the time innovation was a risky move that payed off with the system selling over one hundred million units by the end. But this success was not to be replicated.

The company believed that they could cash in on the brand name alone, they thought that by following up with the Wii U that they would see the same level of success which was not to happen. Many who played the Wii were from the casual market, those that would move on when they grew tired of the Wii gimmick and quickly flocked onto the worse mobile industry.

This left Nintendo without the core demographic which cemented the Wii in history and instead left the Wii U to crumble into dust, people just did not get if the Wii U was simply an expansion to the original Wii or was something new. To the actual game players the difference was clear, but to the casual market everything about the system such as the name just confused them and made them wonder why we should pay all that money for an expansion.

What never helped with this factor was that Nintendo never properly marketed the system, there was never an advertisement that presented people with an overlook of the systems critical features and blatantly said that the Wii U was its own entity. To look over the history of the Wii U we have to consider that Nintendo made so many bad decisions and never tried to actual unbury themselves from the pit that they had placed themselves in, after a poor start nothing was going to help this system especially as its rivals picked up more steam.

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It was such a shame as behind the flaws, terrible ideas, and lack of games from major publishers stood an incredible system which I have never regretted buying even once. Unlike so many others I didn’t come from a generation of owning all the biggest games and systems, my major companions for my adventures were my DS, Wii, Playstation 2, and Nintendo 64, so for me the Wii U was this exciting prospect. I loved my Nintendo Wii and had spent the better part of five years enjoying the charm of Wii Sports and Super Mario Galaxy, but finally it was the time to be up to date.

When I learned about the Wii U in 2012 I was excited, another wonderful idea from Nintendo that showed innovation surrounding the core principal of fun. Then after researching what they had lined up for the console I was even more excited, there was so much that I had not played like Batman Arkham City which I could not wait to try, and with this console I wanted to branch out and explore new genres.

I counted the days and finally it arrived, as soon as I could I had my parents take me to EB Games where I had preordered the system and excitedly picked it up making this my first ever day one purchase of a console. With it I got a copy of Ubisoft’s Zombi U, as well as Nintendo Land which I could not wait to try, and after turning everything on and setting up the system I was on my way.

This was the start of a new journey and it was very exciting. I loaded up Nintendo Land and simply played for hours, enthralled in the worlds that Nintendo had created within this minigame collection I soaked in every moment. This was my new Wii Sports, from this moment I was truly proud to own a Wii U, and there was so many moments that I looked forward to in the future.

The initial line up was one major point that caused concern for most game players and in looking back I am able to see why, the system was a mixed bag of games that were already aged and Nintendo’s personal offerings were lacking. Yet, I looked at this system with the same optimism and love that a child in the 90’s felt when they picked up a new toy, I didn’t care what it offered I was excited to play everything.

Call this a lack of knowledge from years of being a Wii enthusiast, or call this general excitement that didn’t choose to judge the system for what it had to offer, there may have been some bad games among the batch but the fun factor was what mattered and the Wii U had that.

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I have always seen a console as an investment, like anyone who puts money on something such as a stock in a company my Wii U was an investment for the future. I didn’t actually care what was coming up, I had bought the Wii U in the mindset of investing in my future adventures and being excited for the future’s surprises and this was also a moment where the system suffered.

Why can’t people step into something like a game console unaware of the future, or just keep the system even though nothing has arrived that they want. Sure there have been a few gaming droughts but this investment was one that paid off so many times, and if more people went ahead with my own personal perception perhaps the console could have been better.

Every company always said we need people to buy the system to justify releasing our games, and blind investment would have done so well, sticking through the bad times, laughing through the good and in truth there really was more good than bad. Despite all the problems, Nintendo gave us a great time with this system, they delivered time and time again and the history of amazing games shows.

The Wii U may not be the best selling console by a long shot but whenever I look back over my time with the system I can’t help but smile, the Wii U was undoubtedly the best investment I ever made and it is likely the best console I have ever played. Because of this reason I made a similar investment in the Nintendo Switch, I still dream of the future but I bought the next system with uncertainty for peoples own fickle minds. At least for Nintendo’s next system the future is looking much brighter and I hope it does get a good run.