With The Wii U a little under a month away now, many gamers are anticipating the launch of Nintendo’s next generation console. With pre-orders sold out, and a slew of fantastic launch titles to pick from, Nintendo finds themselves in a much better situation with the Wii U launch, than the R4i 3ds launch over a year ago. There has been growing concern among some gamers about the longevity of the Wii U graphics and will it be able to stand up against the PS4 and 720? Wii U doesn’t have to compete graphically with the 720 and PS4. It just has to have fantastic games that appeal to ‘all types’ of gamers. And Nintendo has proven they can definitely do that.
I’ve already written articles on how I don’t think Microsoft and Sony’s next systems will be vastly superior to the Wii U graphically, however, a growing number of gamers seem to think differently. Even if the PS4 and 720 are superior graphically to the Wii U, it won’t make much of a difference. Just like the Wii, PB2, PS1, SNES, NES, Gameboy, Gameboy Advance, and Nintendo DS all proved, it’s not about the power, it’s about the games. When was the last time the most powerful console sold the most? The Wii U will win the console war because of its games. You can only play Wii Fit U, New Super Mario Bros U, ZombiU, Nintendo Land, Bayonetta 2, Zelda, Animal Crossing, Smash Bros, and so many other franchises on Wii U. The first party franchises Nintendo already has, along with the exclusive blockbuster 3rd Party franchises like Monster Hunter and Dragon Quest, has Nintendo is setting the Wii U up to be the ‘Super Nintendo’ of this generation. Not the strongest or prettiest, but damn did it have some awesome games.
Games have always sold any piece of hardware no matter how weak or powerful the console is. Nintendo understands the essence of gaming. Nintendo knows gameplay is king. Whether your playing Metroid Prime or Mario Galaxy, Nintendo’s core franchises seem to deliver time and time again, even after all these years. Nintendo’s range of IPs in different genres has been key to their success over the past three decades. Want a hardcore strategy rpg? Check out Fire Emblem on the GBA, Gamecube, or Wii. Want a fun party game? Mario Kart and Mario Party can do the trick. Want to blast somebody, jump on a goombas head, or play a puzzle-twitch based boxing game? Nintendo has Metroid, Mario, and Punch Out to suit those needs. Want to get a workout in? Wii Fit for soccer moms and casuals alike. Nintendo’s games stand the test of time, yet innovate in their own ways with each new release. With the Wii U, Nintendo’s IPs are bound take the industry and sales charts by storm. There are some gamers who feel the casuals won’t jump on the bandwagon like they did with the Wii. While I can’t say for sure this isn’t true, I think Nintendo will give plenty of casuals reasons to pick up the Wii U. Games like Just Dance 4, Wii Fit U, and New Super Mario Bros have proven to be bonafide system sellers. There is no reason to believe casuals won’t want more Wii Fit and Just Dance 4. Nintendo R4 R4i 3ds can always Repackage Wii Sports, slap HD on there, add some new games, and release that, which is highly likely based on their E3 Wii U videos.
With the soaring costs of development on current generation consoles, many developers will opt to develop their games on the cheaper Wii U console. This is already happening in Japan, with previous Sony exclusives like Monster Hunter and Dragon Quest moving over to Nintendo. Microsoft and Sony need to be really careful about how much power they put into their systems. The 360 and the PS3 had system problems due to overheating. Of course Microsoft’s red ring of death was far more prevalent, but the yellow light of death struck a lot of PS3′s as well. The Wii U has been confirmed to have some solid heat sink technology. Nintendo could have the most reliable next generation system, which could of course affect sales in a positive light for Nintendo.
Xbox Live is awesome, PSN is solid, Blue Ray playback is useful, apps are handy, DVD playback helps, but in the end, it’s the games that decide the next generation battle. Games sell consoles and Nintendo’s games sell the best. Microsoft and Sony don’t have one exclusive IP that can put up the numbers New Super Mario Bros or Wii Fit put up. Halo can get up there, but no cigar. Nintendo has Mario, Mario Kart, Super Smash Bros, The Legend of Zelda, Animal Crossing, and Pokémon. Between these five franchises Nintendo sold a staggering 144 million units this generation! This is leaving off games like Wii Sports Resort, Wii Fit, Wii Sports, Wii Play, and Donkey Kong Country Returns. As of now, Microsoft and Sony have better 3rd party support. But the Wii U is fast gaining 3rd party supporters. Square Enix, EA, Ubisoft, Warner Bros, Gearbox, and many other companies are looking to put their games on Wii U.
Nintendo is doing a fantastic job at snagging up some non-traditional exclusives like Lego City Undercover, Bayonetta 2, The Wonderful 101, and Rayman Legends. Sony has Killzone, Resistance, Uncharted, The Last of Us, Ratchet & Clank, Sly Cooper, Starhawk, and a few others but none of those games have the mass console selling power like New Super Mario Bros or Smash Bros. Microsoft has Xbox Live, Halo, Kinect, and Gears of War, but they are going to need more than that to beat the Wii U. Especially because you have to pay for Xbox Live and Kinect is not that popular with core gamers. Nintendo has the franchises that people buy to win the console war. Nintendo has the Wii U Gamepad that can reinvent games like Animal Crossing, Pokémon, Wii Fit, and Zelda. Industry analysts like Pachter think differently than me but let’s be honest here, Pachter was dead wrong about the Wii and R4i 3ds. I say, let’s wait and see, because Nintendo proved industry analysts wrong with the Wii and are proving them wrong with the 3DS. The Japanese 3DS sales are skyrocketing due to fantastic software like Project X Zone, Bravely Default Flying Fairy, Monster Hunter 3G, and New Super Mario Bros 2. Wait till Nintendo releases the Pokémon game on 3DS that links up with a Wii U version of the same game. Yes, that will happen, mark my words.
The Wii U might not match the sales of the Wii, but if Nintendo plays their card right, Nintendo should sell a ton of Wii U’s. The Wii U has excellent 3rd party support, Nintendo’s classic 1st party titles, and a versatile/robust system that gives developers enough power to deliver awesome games while not breaking the bank. I feel a lot of people are selling the Wii U short. Nintendo still has some tricks up their sleeves. Remember, two Gamepad play is coming next year. That could create more new gameplay options on top of what the Wii U already offers. The Wii U is poised to win the next generation war, but like all previous console wars were going to have to have a wait and play approach.