26
Feb
14

Is The Wii U The Worst Console To Ever Be Designed Ever? (Part 2, The Final Part)

skyward-sword-failIf you missed Part 1 of my personal experience with Nintendo’s newest console, click here for the lowdown. I ended that part by asking a few pressing questions about this console that have been bothering me.

Those questions were: Why is the Wii U so crap? How did Nintendo manage to fail so dismally after getting it so right with the Wii? What does the future hold for Nintendo now that the Wii U has tanked?

In answering these questions I actually got off my lazy ass for a change and did some reading up about the Wii U and here’s what I found.

The most telling article I read was published on Eurogamer.net and is entitled “The Secret Developers: Wii U – The inside story”

It’s a helluva long but interesting read and gives some scary insights as to why the Wii U turned out the way it did. It’s brilliantly written by an anonymous third party developer and is a must-read if you’ve got 20mins to spare.

To begin with, when Nintendo first started pitching the Wii U to developers, they said their goal was to build a console that was the same size as the Wii and wouldn’t make much noise so that “mum wouldn’t mind having it in the living room.”

 

 

This is a problem because, as the article explains, to make the hardware quiet you need to have minimal fan noise. Minimal fan noise means cooling is limited. Limited cooling means you have to keep the clock speed on the Wii U’s CPU low and, you guessed it, low clock speeds mean poor overall performance when trying to run next gen games.

What Nintendo ended up building is a console that sits uncomfortably between the past generation of consoles (ie the PS3 and Xbox 360) and the new one (PS4 and Xbox One).

I say “uncomfortably” because the Wii U is only marginally better than the previous generation of consoles. The new generation of consoles leave the Wii U so far behind they lapped it before it even had a chance to start the race.

Here are some numbers:

Now Nintendo is in some seriously stormy weather because third party developers are jumping ship like there’s no tomorrow.

 

 

The reason why is simple. It costs too much to develop games that are compatible with the Wii U. The developer who wrote the piece I referenced above said by the time his studio had finished reworking one of their titles so that it could run on the Wii U, it had cost them so much time and money that it honestly wasn’t worth the effort.

This means that while the PS4 and Xbox One blaze a trail into the future of gaming and as the games that developers write for those consoles become more and more intense, the likelihood of them making Wii U versions of those games is exactly zero.

I think the fuck up on Nintendo’s part was their reliance on the assumption that the Wii U would do for gaming what the original Wii did when it was launched.

The Wii’s graphics were a long way behind the PS3 and Xbox 360 when the Wii was launched, but that didn’t matter. The innovative control system that relied more on motion than it did on physical buttons proved a massive hit with the casual gamer market and perhaps even defined this important audience.

 

 

The Wii U on the other hand comes with a controller that looks like the bastard child of a Sega Game Gear and a typical X Box / PS controller. To a casual gamer the controller will feel nothing like the original Wii and to hardcore gamers the controller will feel too gimmicky and cheap for them to ever take it seriously.

I mean it comes with a fucking stylus fer chrissake. A stylus! Who the fuck has time for that?!

 

 

Sure, you can buy a Wii remote (as long as it’s a Wii Plus remote) and nunchuck for an additional R800-odd and use the Wii U like a Wii but personally I see this as a gigantic waste of money.

So the audience that Nintendo so expertly marketed to with the Wii was completely forgotten with the Wii U.

Worse than that, the marketing of the Wii U was so bad that in most instances, consumers thought it was just an add-on to the Wii instead of the next generation console it’s supposed to be.

It’s even come under fire for its ridiculous name. They went with “Wii U” to show that not only can “we” all play on it, but so can “you” just sitting there by yourself wandering why the fuck you bought this ridiculous console.

 

 

Lastly, the Wii U has no extras. It can’t play BluRay discs, it’s not a media hub and though you can use it to browse the internet, you’d get more joy out of eating glass.

Sure, the games that Nintendo itself has developed for the Wii U (the new generation of Mario, Zelda and Donkey Kong titles for example) are all brilliant and a lot of fun to play. I say this having bought only two games since getting the console six months ago – The Cave and Super Mario 3D World.

Super Mario 3D World truly is fun and looks amazing in HD graphics and I’ve read good reviews about some of the other titles that have been released for the Wii U, but sadly the general consensus is that this console is a giant mistake on Nintendo’s part.

So what next for Nintendo? Will this dramatic decline in sales force Nintendo out of the console wars for good?

 

 

The simple answer is “no”. Nintendo is totally fine. I read in one piece that the company has enough money to stand losses like the one it’s currently suffering for the next 20 – 30 YEARS!

In the greater scheme of things, this won’t hurt Nintendo at all. What concerns me more is what the hell I’m going to do with this piece-of-shite console that’s now just acting as a giant paper-weight in my living room.

I’m secretly hoping that indy game developers will see the potential that this console could offer them if used correctly and will start releasing some cult classics to tide us over until the next Nintendo console is released.

In the meantime, unless you’re a die-hard Mario / Donkey Kong / Zelda / Super Smash Brothers / Metroid / Mario Kart fan I would not recommend buying this console.

Which is the long way of saying “Kids, don’t do what Tiger Don’t does” Winking smile

-ST


1 Response to “Is The Wii U The Worst Console To Ever Be Designed Ever? (Part 2, The Final Part)”


  1. 1 Seerower
    February 27, 2014 at 9:32 am

    This video explains a lot. Really well. In a really funny way.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vAJRw4flK40

    The Wii had some fun games because it had great potential to work with and big limitations that developers had to work around at the same time.

    It was the Jack Russell of the gaming world and you didn’t compare it with the Xbox and PS3 Rottweilers because that would just be silly. You played with it differently and you enjoyed it for what it was.

    The Wii U seems like the same Jack Russell that has been given one dose of steroids and an uncomfortably big collar before being thrown in the ring with the bigger dogs.

    And that controller… Worst executed best idea ever.

    On the flipside, the Wii U makes a great retro-console. Mine is hacked and used solely to play N64, SNES and MAME games. At least it does that really well.


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