Is the Wii U Really in Trouble?
It's no secret that lately there's been a boatload of doom and gloom articles relating to the Wii U. Some of them are claiming that Nintendo is going down like the Titanic and they should just start over with a new console. I however, would beg to differ. First off, I can't hide that I'm a Nintendo Fan, but let me say that I'm not trying to be a blind fan-boy here. I'm not going to argue that the Wii U is some powerhouse console, I'm not going to argue that Nintendo's exclusives are better than Microsoft's or Sony's, and I'm not going to make any excuses for the Wii U's clunky launch. Instead, I'm going to try and provide objective proof that the Wii U is going to pick itself back up to some degree.
Currently, the biggest problem with the Wii U is the lack of games. If a console has no must-buy exclusive games then it's not a console worth investing in, simple as that. If a console does have good exclusives, most gamers can get past problems of slow-load times, crappy online play, or even lack of power to play a few priceless games. On Metacritic, the current highest rated Wii U exclusive is New Super Mario Bros. U...and it only has an eighty-four! That's not even one must-own title for the system. In fact, that hardly even ranks as a should-own title. But I believe that, starting soon, Nintendo is going to be bringing us some gaming that actually make the console worth owning. Looking at any and all confirmed Wii U titles, I am going to highlight for you thirteen exclusives that should all be arriving over the next two and a half years (plus a few other low-profile titles.) That's a great game every ten weeks for the next two and a half years straight.
The Wonderful 101, which comes out soon, is possibly the most exciting game coming out for the Wii U in the near future. A completely original game from the minds behind Viewtiful Joe, Bayonetta, and Okami is sure to be a hit. Add in that Platinum Games has proven itself to be a formidable studio with its recent games and it's understandable that anyone would be excited. But that isn't the only game coming from the studio, Platinum Games also has the sequel to the hit 2010 game, Bayonetta coming exclusively to the Wii U. Much of what applies to the Wonderful 101 applies to Bayonetta 2. On a more subjective optimistic note, one can only hope that Nitnendo was listening when Platinum Games Tweeted "I want Nintendo's staff to come to Platinum, stick guns at us and tell us 'You guys make a new Star Fox'."...
However, by far the biggest game coming to Wii U will be the new 3D Mario game. Even if you claim to hate Mario with a burning passion, you can't deny the greatness of Mario's 3D console adventures. The last two, Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario Galaxy 2, are two of the highest rated games of all time. The only other two entries in the "series", Super Mario Sunshine and Super Mario 64, aren't quite as acclaimed, but they are highly acclaimed nonetheless. Though the game hasn't been officially announced yet, a recent Nintendo Direct confirmed it to be playable at E3. One can only assume that it will be releasing not too long afterwards.
Yoshi's Yarn, Game and Wario, and Mario Kart Wii U may not be quite as exciting as the other titles mentioned, but they are exciting nonetheless. Yoshi's Yarn is compelling simply because of it's art style, but there's not much else going for it. Game and Wario may be a collection of simple minigames, but it's funky style has earned previous entries quite a bit of acclaim. From early previews it also looks to be making creative use of the gamepad. Mario Kart may not be for everyone, but it's undeniably a blast to sit down and play with a bunch of friends. I can only imagine the asymmetrical multiplayer modes they could pull off using the gamepad.
Of course it's impossible to get through a list of Nintendo games without mentioning Zelda. Coming later this year we have an HD remake of Wind Waker, which is considered by some to be the best Zelda game ever made. But even more exciting will be the inevitable new Zelda game coming to Wii U. In this case it's not so much about whether or not it will be good, it's more a question of when it will come out. In an Iwata Asks session, Skyward Sword director Hidemaro Fujibayashi said this: "I'll think of something that can happen in three years!" Being that that was back in November 2011, that would give us a release of Holiday 2014. Nintendo also recently issued a press release saying "Beginning in March and continuing through the rest of the calendar year and into 2014, Nintendo will release a cavalcade of strong, fan-favorite software titles for both Wii U and Nintendo 3DS. New entries in the Mario Kart, Super Mario, Legend of Zelda, LEGO City, Wii Fit and Pikmin franchises will help Nintendo regain momentum for Wii U." which provides more evidence pointing towards a 2014 release.
To mention some other titles without going into too many details: There's Pikmin 3, Monolith Soft's new game, Super Smash Bros, and Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem. Anyone with even a rudimentary knowledge of video games would be excited for those games. Lastly, we also have Retro Studios new project. Retro studios has only ever developed four games, together averaging a 91.5 on Metacritic. They were also one of the first developers to get a Wii U development kit and have presumably been working on their project ever since. Whatever they're working on, we can only guess that it's going to be something big.
On a less exciting note, there are a few other low-profile exclusives coming that should appeal to a more casual crowd. Pokemon Rumble U, Wii Party U, and Wii Fit U should be coming out this year. There's also the chance that we'll see a localization of Dragon Quest X, which would be pretty huge. Add in that Nintendo probably has some unannounced surprises up their sleeves and the Wii U looks to have quite the lineup in the coming years. It may not be enough for the Wii U to thrive, but it's certainly enough for the Wii U to survive.