Is The Wii U The Worst Console To Ever Be Designed Ever? (Part 1)

black1In my 30 years of existence, I have owned exactly one console which is a bizarre fact for someone who has gamed since he was six years old. Oh wait, I lie. I owned a Game Boy back in the day, does that count?

For the most part I was a PC gamer in my youth and teenage years though I sank countless hours into my friends’ Golden Chinas, SNESes, Playstations and Playstation 2s whenever the opportunity arose.

At the ripe old age of 29 I finally decided to buy my very own console and what did I go with? Did I pre-order a PS4 or X-Box One? No, I bought history’s worst thought-out, named and marketed console, the Wii U.

I did it at the spur of the moment because my buddy Graum called me up and said Toys R Us were running a special launch promotion where they were selling a limited amount of Wii Us at select stores for the ridiculous price of R1 000.

When they launched, the consoles cost somewhere between R3 500 and R4 000 (no idea what they are now) so getting one for R1k was a total bargain.



We planned our attack meticulously, anticipating hordes of slavering geeks queuing outside the Toys R Us at Canal Walk overnight in anticipation of the launch of this “game changing” console. When Graum and I lived together he had a Wii and we played the shit out of that thing, it was a dynamite little console.

So logic dictated that the Wii U would be even better right?

The night before launch I carefully studied a floor map of Canal Walk to find the entrance closest to Toys R Us so that the minute the doors opened we could sprint towards the store and hopefully get close enough to the front that we could each buy one of the 12-odd consoles they had left for R1k.

By 5am on the dot, we had parked and were at Canal Walk. Turns out the entrance I found never actually closes so we just walked straight in and a minute later found ourselves in front of the Toys R Us, the only two dumbasses in the place.



Still though, we were stoked. It sounds like the dorkiest mission you could ever imagine but it was actually pretty fun. Half an hour later other people started arriving and by the time 7 rolled around there were at least 20 people queuing outside the store.

The store manager, who I would place in her late 50s / early 60s wasted no time in cracking all kinds of jokes along the lines of “Do your parents know you’re here?” and “Are you sure you’ve got enough pocket money to afford this?” and “Are mom and dad waiting in the car for you?”

Which I thought was a bit rich considering she was the one working in a goddamn toy store for a living but that’s probably exactly why she was taking such sick pleasure in ripping us all off.

The store eventually opened at 8 and within minutes, Graum and I were both proud owners of shiny new Wii Us.



I considered pulling a sicky for the rest of the day and just curling up under some blankets to play Nintendo Land, the game that comes standard with Wii Us, but my guilt got the best of me and I ended up going to work.

Back at home that night I gleefully plugged the console in and fired it up. It went through the usual rigmarole of connecting to my WiFi, updating, asking me to create a Mii character, etc, etc.

So far so good. Then I started playing Nintendo Land, a collection of cutesy, adorable little games that feel like they were designed for 6 year-old kids. In total I think I’ve spent 4 hours playing Nintendo Land, if that much.

I ventured into the online Nintendo eStore to check out what additional games they had there and found some pretty cool looking ones, only problem is the good ones were the same price you’d get them in store (upwards of R550).

There were some old Nintendo classics also for sale in the eStore starting at R50 but I didn’t feel like playing any of them. Instead I bought The Cave, a kind of puzzle game by the team who used to work on Lucas Arts games like Monkey Island, Day Of The Tentacle and Grim Fandango.



The game was ok. I played it for about 2 weekends and then I let the Wii U collect dust for the next 5 months, all the time promising myself I would get rid of it on Gumtree and try turn a profit before the rest of the world realised how horribly crap this console is.

But why exactly is the Wii U so crap? How did Nintendo manage to fail so dismally after getting it so right with the Wii? What will the future bring for Nintendo now that they have very clearly lost the current console war before it’s even really started?

All these questions and more I’ll answer in “Is The Wii U The Worst Console To Ever Be Designed Ever? (Part 2).

Laters yo.


4 Responses to “Is The Wii U The Worst Console To Ever Be Designed Ever? (Part 1)”

  1. 1 Seerower
    February 21, 2014 at 9:02 am

    The Wii was the one-eyed king in the land of casual, social and motion-control gaming. The Wii U is that same guy with big ungainly glasses. Glass?

    I am interested to see how you answer your question. Worst ever is a big call. Especially because there is one very bright light at the end of its tunnel. What could that be you ask? Your question will be answered after you post part 2… See it’s not that nice when it happens to you 🙂

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