Many an article on N4G keeps getting posted (almost each week it's one after another) saying how the Wii U or even Nintendo requires saving and how that can be done. Some have even gone to say that the Wii U and its launch are failures in their own right.
Evidently the Wii U has had a strong start and has started to dwindle in sales as of late; the past few weeks numbers along the lines of 50,000 units a week were being reported. This is obviously not great and Nintendo needs to find a way to up the game and make more people want the console. But I think there are some things people need to get straight.
1. The Wii U launch was not a failure.
Obviously the Wii U's launch software was not considered by many to be "must have," largely due to the biggest games for it being New Super Mario Bros. U, Nintendo Land and ZombiU.
Anyone I've met who has given any of these three games truly critical reception in most cases had only played them for a few minutes. These are not bad or low quality experiences. But unfortunately, these are side experiences that should have been holding up AAA "must have" experience for the console.
Despite all of this, the Wii U launched with quite a few more games than its predecessor, including some blockbuster third party games that could suffice if the purchaser did not already have a 360/PS3 or (like myself) specifically enjoys the Off-TV play feature. But it lacked one big thing that the Wii had at launch; a big AAA game. In that instance it was the Wii version of Twilight Princess.
Does this make it a failure? No. It started with some sufficient content and managed to sell units more quickly than its competition did. That doesn't mean it's GREAT. At worst, the launch can be arguably seen as "adequate" or just okay.
2. The Wii U has some issues to iron out... it's not the end of the world.
A lot of the complaints surrounding the Wii U make it seem as if people will take minute excuses to label the Wii U as the spawn of Satan despite them being prevalent on other platforms.
Long load times comes to mind, and I'll concede that the Wii U does take some time to buffer when switching between game and main menu due to the OS being sluggish. But the wait times are not excruciating. My Wii U has never taken longer than twenty seconds to load something and the times have dropped to lower numbers after the post launch patch. Is that the same for everyone? No. And those who do experience longer load times have a right to complain.
But this is not a Wii U exclusive issue. My PS3 has given me some loading issues (as well as rather long download times) and the 360 I used to own had a laggy OS, particularly when I was playing a game. I never heard people talk about this often, so I assume it's a rare occurrence.
But on top of ALL of this, Nintendo has already confirmed that they're going to speed the OS up even further than they did before. With that in mind, how is this still a viable complain and only for Nintendo?
There are other issues to iron out, such as how the Nintendo IDs and purchased game content are tied to a games console. In this day and age, Nintendo NEEDS to change this and pronto. It only leads to horrible issues and complicated scenarios which results in customers getting screwed over. This CAN be fixed, but it only happens when Nintendo gets on it.
3. Not many games coming out in the near future, but there will be soon.
Like with the 3DS, the Wii U has started out without a great deal of AAA content and suffered in sales because of it. Nintendo banked on the remake of OoT to keep the platform afloat and that was only so effective. The sales did not really pick up until after the combination of a price cut and two brand new games, Mario Kart 7 and Super Mario 3D Land, both of which sold more than a million copies by the end of the year.
In the Wii U's case, with its current sales numbers slow but not abysmal, Nintendo ought to focus on bringing out more content and convincing third parties that the Wii U is a viable platform, as well convince their current userbase to go and check out those third party games (all of course while bringing out the new Zeldas, Marios and everything in between).
Here's the idea; Nintendo can offer advertisement to third party publishers through Miiverse. Updates and news can be forwarded to users and, if properly updated, could offer a way for the developers/publishers to interact with fans. Maybe have a section of "upcoming games" somewhere in the Miiverse hub that shows images of random games and news in regards to their development.
That's the big thing here; Wii U owners should be made more aware of the third party content and said content needs to be produced more consistently. First party is obviously not an issue, and the Wii U (having recently lost Rayman Legends) still at least has Bayonetta 2 and The Wonderful 101 (both of which look to be shaping up pretty well).
In conclusion, I do think anyone saying that this console, which has only been out for a handful of months, labeling it as a failure really have jumped the gun or had no intention to give it a fair shake to begin with. It's by no means perfect and it does have some rough times ahead of it this year, but it's not a failure and it's certainly not a bad investment, especially if you're interested in Mario and Zelda franchises with some goodies in between. It DOES require improvements as far as the software and OS are concerned. But as history repeats itself, people forget it all too easily. The 3DS started with a lesser OS and a lack of good content. Look at where that platform ended up a year or two later.