The video game world seems to have forgotten about the potential of the Wii U, or perhaps it just does not care. It is no secret that Nintendo’s current generation console has seen hard days, even leading to several meetings about the company’s direction and new business plans for the future. Nintendo has announced that its CEO will be taking a 50 percent pay cut to make up for losses, however. They still remain firm, though shaken, in the wake of Wii U’s poor numbers.
On nearly every website that covers video games, it seems as though every single person has the solution for Nintendo’s issues with the Wii U. While plenty of commentators are rallying for Mario and Pokémon on their iPhones, Nintendo has already stated that they will not be putting games on mobile devices, and will instead stick to apps based on the brand.
Nintendo, however, does not need fixing, or a solution. Nintendo needs games for their home console. The Wii U might be taking a big hit, but Nintendo’s 3DS has exhibited great sales numbers and has really come to show off its true potential. But what has made one better than the other? Games. The 3DS library showcases long-time favorite franchises Zelda, Pokémon and Fire Emblem, as well as a variety of indie games through the eShop. The Wii U might have gotten a brief boost from the Wind Waker HD sales, but players need more to hold their attention; after all, it is likely that most of them still own Gamecubes, and would rather play the classic title on that. Where is the new Zelda title? Where is the new Metroid? What about a home console Fire Emblem? Or Pokemon Stadium X & Y? The Wii U has the potential to be great, but it needs the games to do so first. Without titles, the Wii U might just be on its way out, before anyone has even seen the best it can do.
If that is the case, perhaps the last gasping breath of the console will be the new Super Smash Bros. title. Even the most shallow gamer with Call of Duty for a brain and Xbox logos for eyeballs played (and enjoyed) Super Smash Bros. With any luck, this release can at least spark some Wii U sales, especially if Nintendo manages to properly host an online service for it. In a perfect world, the inclusion of classic Nintendo characters in one game would garner some interest in playing the actual games they star in. But the world is not perfect, and it is likely that the Wii U may fall into the realm of failed consoles that could not live up to their proper potential in time.
Perhaps the main reason why people are having such a hard time finding interest in the Wii U is because Nintendo has done great things in the past. Think about the N64 and the way it felt to sit down with friends and explore Hyrule in 3D for the first time, or the feeling of finally understanding how to properly use Ness in the first Super Smash Bros. game. The Gamecube gave players the experience of seeing the world through Samus’s eyes in Metroid: Prime. The Wii was the first console to properly integrate motion controls, and sparked Microsoft and Sony to explore the same direction. Players are used to having great gaming experiences come from Nintendo’s home consoles, so of course, they are disappointed with the lack of games on their current generation effort. The Wii U might be a late bloomer, but the potential to give players a proper Nintendo experience is still there.
Opinion by Michael Foster