Is the Wii U destined to fail?
I recently wrote an article about the Playstation 4 announcement, in this article I wrote about “people excited about the next generation of video games”. Arguably this has already begun in the form of Nintendo’s latest home console the Wii U. So why does it feel like despite actually already being released there is not as much excitement for Nintendo’s newest platform?
Now before I get started it is important that I say I have not purchased a Wii U console. I believe that there is not anything that appeals to me to make it a must buy purchase, especially as I live in the United Kingdom and one of the most interesting features “TVii” is not available.
The original Wii console has shipped almost 100 million at this time of writing, everyone and their dog wanted to buy them at one point. I own a Nintendo Wii, it sits on the dusty shelf longing to be played one day in the future and perhaps it will be one day. This is one of the reasons I believe Wii U has been lacklustre thus far. Everyone remembers the games that came out on the Wii or more specifically how many games that outright were tripe were released. Why would it be any different now just because of a fancy Gamepad, which oddly leads me to my next point.
The advertising campaign for Wii U in the UK has been thoroughly confusing. The adverts have the same jingles as the original Wii ads from yonder year and feature some of the worst dubbing I have seen in a long time. One ad shows people playing with Wii-Motes and another on a Gamepad so the initial reports of parents just wanting to go to the shop and get the “Gamepad add-on” are completely understandable. The adverts should be easy for parents to understand that this is the next system by Nintendo and not just an add-on. Not in a dumbing down sort of way but something that helps ease them into the next step in the Wii family and yes it probably could’ve been avoided by calling it a not so unexciting and unique “Wii 2”.
When it comes down to it though, the thing that will get consoles selling will be new games that help define a console, for instance the critically acclaimed “ZombiU” by Ubisoft helped showed that the tablet add-on can work to help create a better experience. While that is a good start more is needed. The launch lineup was ok but do we need another “New Super Mario Bros” game? I think not and now that the once Wii U-exclusive game Rayman Legends is now slated for a multi-platform release it appears even developers are seeing less reasons to build Wii U specific games.
It has been reported some retailers have decided to slash the price below the RRP in hope to try and shift some units because they are most likely having an annoying time moving them around the warehouses. I however applaud them for this move as more consoles sold should mean that more games get made, a similar sentiment could be made about the Playstation Vita. That however is a completely different kettle of fish, although to Sony’s credit the Vita has started outselling the Wii U in Japan through a price drop although numbers are pretty poor from both.
It’s interesting to see what Nintendo do with the Wii U in the future, hopefully the disappointing launch will not stifle the other consoles like the Playstation 4 and the next Xbox. One thing’s for sure, it’s never been a more interesting time to follow video games then right now.