It's hard to believe the Wii U is almost a year old. No seriously, in just two months - the Wii U will turn 1. Time sure does fly, doesn't it?
Unfortunately though, the Wii U hasn't had a very successful first year by any means. For the last half of the year - this thing has been riddled with flack. From devs announcing over and over that they won't be bringing major titles to the system, to some even slamming the ban-hammer on it. Then there's the analysts and journalists who declared so much doom-&-gloom, you'd think they were getting paid to do it (read: of course they were). And finally - there was the normal gamers ~ some cheering the system on, trying to focus on the positive notes - then there was everyone else...the much, much bigger crowd who joined in with the devs and analysts and decided to keep showering the system with 'golden-colored' words of hatred and negativity.
But alas - it seems things have calmed down quite a bit. There's very little to no doom-&-gloom articles, and the only dev who still thinks it's cool to knock on Nintendo and the Wii U right now is Bethesda. Seems like even EA has decided to shut up.
But yet, even after the major announcements of a long-awaited price cut and a roll-out of major first-party titles; people are still whining. So that's what I'm here to discuss; Five popular complaints about the Wii U that hold little to no water. Let's begin, shall we?
"Nintendo Isn't Marketing It"
~ One thing that has plagued the Wii U from since release is a general confusion as to exactly what it is. Many times, people have mistaken the system - or more directly - the Gamepad, as an add-on for the original Wii. It seems like only the 'hardcore' Nintendo fans, and other 'hardcore' gamers - who congregate on sites such as this each day to stay in the know about any-and- everything that relates to gaming ~ are the only ones who actually know that the Wii U is Nintendo's brand-new 8th-generation home system. Walk up to a random person and ask them and what a Wii U is - and more than likely - the response will be: "Oh, isn't that the new controller for Wii?"
Many have blamed this confusion on Nintendo themselves - saying that they've done a poor job at marketing the system. But in actuality - Nintendo HAS actually been doing a rather decent job. Why do I say this?
. They've held several tours featuring Wii U
. They've handed out flyers showing the direct difference between Wii and Wii U
. They sent an email out to all original Wii owners, notifying them that there's a new system and they should really think about upgrading.
. They partnered up with Best Buy to bring some of their E3 titles to the public.
. They painted Chicago's "L Train" with a 'Super Luigi U' decal.
. They sponsored TV broadcasts of the Tour de France with Wii U.
. They not only changed the design of the game cases - they painted it a completely different color.
. . . The way I see it ~ the very fact that people don't know that the Wii U isn't a new system by now isn't necessarily Nintendo's fault - it seems to lean more to the reality that most people these days don't pay attention. They need to be told things as plain and straightforward to understand. Are they dumb? No. They're just lazy. They don't want to think. They don't even want to simply Google "Wii U" - which of course will tell them in black-&-white: "Hey, look. It's the Wii U. Nintendo's brand new system."
"It's not next-gen! It's too weak!"
~ Yes - I'm going there.
Nintendo has never really been keen to announce the full specifications of their systems. They just give you the basic rundown - and leave the devs to play around with it and find out for themselves. Even though Digital Foundry "leaked" the specs of the Wii U ~ it's still considered to be more of a theory than fact. Too be honest - at this point - the only people who REALLY know what this thing can do are Nintendo and their second-party development groups. And as far as they're concerned - that's all who really needs to know. Why do they operate like that? I haven't a clue.
Either way, even though we don't really know exactly what Wii U is capable of - we DO know that it isn't as powerful as the Xbox One or PS4. There's no mystery to that statement. But it seems that some want to use this as an excuse to call it weak and "current-gen". And both those words don't add up to the full thing. Why?
Looking at history - from the 3rd generation up until now; the weaker system has always been the one to take the crown for '1st place.'
SEGA Master System < NES
Neo Geo < SNES
N64 < PlayStation 1
XBOX < PlayStation 2
PS3 < Wii
As you can see there - just as I've already said - from gen 3 straight up until gen 7 ~ the weaker system has sold in a greater quantity than the most powerful system of that generation. So as to why everyone suddenly believes that PS4 will instantaneously become king just because it's sporting the most powerful tech is beyond me. Even take a look at DS and PSP or 3DS and Vita. Both of Nintendo's handhelds are weaker than their competitors - but DS whooped PSP's backside and 3DS is currently delivering a similar treatment to Vita.
Honestly - how many people do you think buy a console because it has 'XYZ' amount of RAM, this GPU, that CPU, or 'XYZ' number of cores?
Now - I'm not saying that this means things can't change. PS4 could very well dominate. Maybe even the Xbox One might surprise us all. But just because Wii U isn't flying as high as either of them in the tech-department ~ doesn't mean it's a console made for 2nd or even last place. If Minecraft should teach you anything is that just because something doesn't look too dazzling, doesn't mean it can't be amazing and popular. Besides; the Wii U already has some impressive looking titles. Games like:
Wind Waker HD
Need for Speed: Most Wanted U
Super Mario: 3D World
The Wonderful 101
Sonic Lost World
Trine 2: Director's Cut
... These titles look absolutely amazing - and like I said before; the Wii U is only one. Take a look at games like The Last of Us, Battlefield 3/4 and GTA: V running on the near-decade old PS360. Don't they look pretty darn amazing? If devs can get games of that caliber running on those ancient things - imagine what they can do on the more powerful Wii U?
"It Needs More Storage Space"
~ In September of last year; Nintendo revealed the Wii U's official bundles. 'Basic White' which offered 8GB (4GB) of space and 'Deluxe Black' which offered 32GB (28GB) of space. Nintendo took this route so that people could have just enough space for a few demos and system updates. Is that being cheap? Not really. It's called being economical, and frankly, flexible. By only offering a budget-chunk of storage ~ those who wanted to go full-on digital could simply buy an external HDD, which mind you, aren't some type of unattainable jewel. You can get a 1TB HDD for $70 ~ $10 more than your average game.
That's why I don't understand why people are complaining about the system's limited storage capacity. Not everyone is going to go full digital. Some might prefer physical copies. Some just want the space for a few apps, VC games and demos. And if that's the case - 28GB seems alright.
"The Gamepad is Unnecessary. It Should be Removed."
~ After Nintendo announced the 2DS - it seems like that's caused even more people to give a giant thumbs down to the Wii U Gamepad and they think that Nintendo should pull a similar maneuver and release a Gamepad-less SKU.
But really; it doesn't just work like that. Why? Well the 3D features that the 3DS offers are more optional than core. That's why Nintendo put a depth-slider ~ so you can turn it on or off. The 2DS isn't necessarily a sign that the 3D-feature is pointless ~ it's just a budget-friendly, kid-resistant 3DS.
Taking out the Gamepad from the Wii U is a different scenario. That's a core feature. Imagine a Wiimote-less Wii. That wouldn't be right, now would it? The Gamepad is what sets the Wii U away from everyone else. The Gamepad is like it's ID Card. It may have the Pro Controller to fall back on - but that doesn't mean that the Gamepad should just be scrapped. I won't argue that there isn't much games that really utilize it and make it seem like a necessity - but there are a few games that show that the Gamepad isn't such a bad idea after all. Games like:
New Super Mario Bros. U
Need for Speed: Most Wanted U
LEGO City: Undercover
...come to mind. Just like with Wii ~ devs are going to have to think of fundamental ways to properly use the hardware. Put it this way; the DS has been out for basically an entire decade. 10 years, people. If devs don't have a basic idea of how to handle dual-screen gaming ~ then something isn't right.
...Wow. This was a long one. If you actually read everything, congrats. For those that just skimmed - TL;DR ~
These excuses don't hold as much water as most would make you believe. In fact, most of the people I see who actually make these complaints aren't even owners or potential owners. These are people who usually end their little rants with something like: "This is why I'm getting a PS4", or something along those lines.
Do I think that the Wii U doesn't have any problems? Nope. Of course I do. Nothing is perfect. But that doesn't mean I'm going to try and amplify tiny little problems to try and justify my choice in a rival system.
Alright then - I've given my two cents. How about you?