It’s early December and the Xbox One and PS4 are selling in their droves with no doubt many people expecting one of these consoles sitting under the tree come Christmas Day. Not me. Despite having a PS4 pre-order up until a month before release, this was cancelled around the same time as the Watch_Dogs delay, simply because I had a sudden realisation that there are actually no games that interest me, at least not enough to spend around £400 on a new console.
So in the end the only reason I’d be buying it is simply to have something new and shiny. Something I’ve done with consoles before and regretted it when I realised I could’ve picked it up cheaper down the road with a larger and more diverse catalogue of games. It seems like the excitement of ordering a launch day console, tracking the order online, and joining many other people on forums shouting “OMG IT’S DISPATCHED” is more exciting than the moment the console arrives at your door. Or in the case of Yodel, a bush across the street.
So why will I be receiving a Wii U this Christmas? The answer is simple, games. It may not have the greatest of third party support (and that’s putting it lightly), but it does have something no other console does, that Nintendo magic. And while Xbox One and PS4 fans were at each other’s throats over resolution and graphical power, Nintendo threw out Super Mario 3D Land to critical acclaim. Weird that, it’s almost as if it’s the games that matter the most! Of course, one game doesn’t make it worth putting down hundreds of pounds on a new console and Nintendo’s other prime franchise is on hand.
Everyone remembers the furore that occurred once The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker was announced right? They turned it into a kid’s game they cried! Obviously under some illusion that the previous games were like Nintendo’s version of Grand Theft Auto. If you managed to overcome this and stopped weeping into your Ocarina of Time bed sheets you’d discover one of the best Zelda games around. Personally I’d actually rate it second only to Ocarina of Time in the “Best Zelda” stakes, I loved it that much. I even enjoyed the triforce quest, which was so derided it’s actually been ‘fixed’ in the Wii U version. I don’t know why, I just loved the sailing, the open ocean as you search for that last triforce piece. The only downside was using a song to change the win direction. Something which has also been fixed if what I hear is correct.
So there you have two major, critically acclaimed releases and then there’s also the games you can pick up on the Virtual Console. No doubt I’ll end up buying Mega Man X for about the fifth time due to it being the best Mega Man game ever made (yes it is, shut up) and then there is also the back catalogue of Pikmin 3, ZombiU and Wonderful101. All of which are unique, and best of all, exclusives. These are games designed for the system, making best use of the consoles capabilities and not a watered down 360 or PS3 port.
A console could in the grand scheme of things be considered an investment. You’re investing in a consoles lifespan and this is probably my biggest worry with the Wii U. It may have some great games right now, but can anyone really seeing this last any longer than two years? Even two years might be pushing it if the dire sales figures don’t pick up. There’s a new Zelda, Smash Bros and Bayonetta 2 on the horizon, but past that and it gets a little foggy. Maybe a new Metroid if Reggie’s stammering when pressed on the subject at the VGX is anything to go by.
So yeah, thus ends my little ramble. I truly hope other people have seen the light and realised there’s more to games than prettier graphics and shouting instructions at your console. Maybe the Wii U will actually pick up over Christmas, because as it stands, it deserves to be selling far better. Whatever the outcome, this could very well be Nintendo’s last holiday season to turn things around.