Discussing: Is The Wii U A Niche Console?


Yesterday, I posted a blog where I discussed the Wii U and whether it was a failure. I landed on the thought that Nintendo itself would be fine but the Wii U itself would be a failure. However, I pointed out that I wanted a Wii U. Most of the comments disagreed with me but one brought up the game X that’s being developed by the same studio that made Xenoblade Chronicles. That made me think about the reasons why I want the Wii U and the consoles strengths. So in this post, I’m going to talk about what kind of console the Wii U could be. There are three points I would like to make, same as last time.

  • Nintendo Games

This first point could actually be a negative thing but I have hope because of one game and it’s not even on the Wii U: The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds. On the last blog, I mentioned how Nintendo games are essentially the same thing over and over now. We’ve heard from a lot of people of how they’re disappointed with the recent Zelda games, how Nintendo is just making the same Mario game over and over, and how franchises like Metroid, Star Fox, and F-Zero are being ignored. Nintendo games aren’t necessarily bad but they’re creatively bankrupt. However, A Link Between Worlds is seriously a wonderful game and while its not an epic game, gameplay is front and center and it’s the most fun I’ve had with a Zelda game since Ocarina of Time.

This makes me hopeful that Nintendo is ready to do something different with their franchises. Maybe the Legend of Zelda game that comes to the Wii U will reflect the lessons learned from ALBW. Maybe the fact that the next Smash Bros is being made by Namco Bandai will make it change for the better. I would love to see a brand new Paper Mario for the Wii U, managing my badges on the touch screen. Ever since New Super Mario Bros Wii, I haven’t been excited for most releases from Nintendo. The only one that comes to mind is Pikmin 3 (which I still want to play). However, ALBW gives me hope that Nintendo is finally ready to change aspects of their franchises and get out of its comfortable rut its been in. And of course, those games will only be on the Wii U.

  • 1080p, 60 FPS

One of the big issues right now with games is whether or not the game is in 1920 by 1080 progressive resolution and whether it runs at 60 frames per second. Several games were not able to do this on the Xbox One where the PS4 was and some were not able to do this on either. Meanwhile, the Wii U does this consistently. I know the graphical quality is nowhere near the quality of the Xbox One and PS4 but what this does show is that games that do run on the Wii U run like a charm and its nice to know that you will at least have a reliable experience when playing a game. You rarely hear about bugs or required patches from Wii U games either.

  • Japanese Titles

This is the biggest strength Nintendo could have. It’s the most potential I see in the console. Coming to the console are games like the aforementioned X, and Bayonetta 2. Nintendo also has a good relationship with Sega, which just acquired Atlus. Even on the 3DS, we have games like Braverly Default coming and the Shin Megami Tensei series has found a nice home on the 3DS. If Nintendo plays their cards right, they could be the console you can get your small, relatively unknown Japanese games on. A drastic change from the N64 days but we could see some weird Japanese games and a bunch of JRPGs.

Last night, I couldn’t get the idea of Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, a sequel to that game or a similar game being on the Wii U. Managing your familiars on the touch screen like Pokemon, that beautiful game running at 1080p at 60 FPS, easier switching of your familiars in battle using the touch screen; there are so many improvements. I’ve heard good things about Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate on the Wii U as well. All these games are not something mainstream audiences or a lot of hardcore players will be attracted to. However, if they were to focus on this and bring in that niche audience, I think it could make the Wii U profitable, if not competitive with the PS4 and Xbone.

For a long time, people say that you buy Nintendo consoles for Nintendo games, not third party games. However, the Wii U has proven that is not enough. The Wii U is not going to compete with the PS4 and Xbone. The most it can hope for is third place that doesn’t include discontinuation. However, if Nintendo mixes it up with their franchises, showcase how well their games run and dip into the niche Japanese games audience, they can save the Wii U, make it profitable and live comfortably in third place. At that point, it would be like another GameCube, although with a different stable of games. Hell, even like the GameCube, it can still have multiplatform games like Assassin’s Creed and Call of Duty, so even those who only have a Wii U can still play the biggest mainstream games. I think Nintendo needs to do something like this sooner rather than later or else risk the Wii U truly failing but there is a chance for the Wii U if it accepts that it’s not going to be a major player in the console wars and satisfy its small but loyal audience with niche, Wii U only titles.


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