A year and a six months later, is Wii U worth buying?

Wii U Screenshot - A year and a six months into the Wii U’s life

Nintendo has enjoyed a year-long head start on the competition when it comes to the Wii U. Now, by enjoyed, I mean see their console fail to replicate the success of its predecessor. I’m not here to harp on the issues the Wii U has, though. I’m here to talk about how the system has fared for the past eighteen months.

I guess that does involve talking about its issues …

The complete irony in the Wii U’s struggles is the fact that it’s a backwards compatible console that never once entertained the idea of DRM/always-on and is cheaper than its competitors. Yet here we are, wondering what exactly went wrong. It’s not hard to figure things out, though; chances are that you didn’t know that the Wii U is a backwards compatible console that never once entertained the idea of DRM/always-on and is cheaper than its competitors because Nintendo hasn’t been doing much in terms of marketing their system.

Remember the Wii’s campaign? It had identifiable characters, distinct music, and a catch phrase. The Wii U’s ad featured generic white family with generic electronic music in a generic hip setting. Try to think long and hard and maybe, just maybe, you can recall the commercial. I’ll be here in the meantime.

In the meantime, let’s move on to the games, the strength of the Wii U. You heard that right; the Wii u arguably has the best line-up of console exclusives. The issue, though, has been that one single game has yet to prove worthy of a system purchase. As enjoyable as Super Luigi U, Pikmin 3, Lego City Undercover, and Super Mario 3D World are, it’s been shown that they can’t move hardware. Maybe the upcoming releases of Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros. will fix that, but only time will tell.

It’s not easy to be optimistic though. Nintendo hasn’t really turned the corner in the marketing department. Last year’s streamed E3 video conference was a disaster, and I’m crossing my fingers that the same won’t happen again this year. And yet, I continue to (arguably) sit in a bubble and maintain that the Wii U is currently the best console on the market. It has some of the best exclusives available, has the lowest price, and Off-TV play continues to be an absolute delight.

Now if only Nintendo can go out there and find a way to tell that to you people. Maybe the Wii spokesmen should come out of retirement?

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Jake Valentine
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