Feature Article

Why You Should Buy a Wii U in 2014

Knowing Wii, knowing U.

by

Join us over the next few days as we look at all of the leading games consoles and platforms out right now and try to convince you why you should spend your hard-earned cash. Today, Martin Gaston tells you why the Nintendo Wii U is the console to buy in 2014.

It's a new year, provided you subscribe to the Gregorian calendar, and I think you should buy a Wii U in 2014. Wait! Don't go! Sure, the machine is woefully underpowered, the sales numbers are dire, and Nintendo's latest device will almost certainly go down in history as one of the most troubled and unloved consoles of modern times. But… I still think 2014 will be the year to invest in the Wii U.

I know, I know, but let's relax for a minute. It's natural to be suspicious. You can't go two clicks on the Internet without somebody referencing the fact that the human body is naturally immune from catching Wii U fever, and it's all too easy to get caught up in all that doom and gloom. But let's sidestep the dry issue of financial reports and whether some executives are going to get their Christmas bonus, and talk about Mario, Zelda, and whether we'll see another decent Metroid game in our lifetimes.

The Library

A common criticism of the Wii U is that, with an almost complete lack of third-party support, the Wii U is home to first-party Nintendo games and nothing else. That's fair. I doubt we'll see many, if any, major third-party announcements this year. If you ask me, that's the primary reason why the Wii U can't compete with the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One as your living room's main gaming machine. Sorry, Nintendo. But there's an opportunity here for the Wii U to take more of a complementary role, because of this: the Wii U is home to first-party Nintendo games.

Super Mario 3D World. It's way better than Knack!

Nintendo games, you see, are wonderful. They are! Some are better than others, of course, but the company manages to add a distinctive, adorable, and unique stamp to everything (Steel Diver and any Nintendo game that ends with 'Party' excluded) it produces. And, sure, it would be nice to see the company take a few more risks with new characters and games, or even just make another Metroid (come on, please, it's been ages) but, at the end of the day, I would hate to live in a world without Nintendo in it. Last year's Super Mario 3D World is phenomenal, Pikmin 3 is worth anybody's time, and the HD update of The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker is a loving restoration of a classic, even if I think the game's always had a few problems.

The Wii U's Virtual Console is also home to Earthbound, one of the most celebrated cult titles in gaming history, and one now finally available to play legitimately (without shelling out a small fortune on the cartridge and hooking up a SNES) if you're prepared to stomach Nintendo's shockingly archaic digital account management.

Upcoming Games

If Bayonetta 2 is as good as its predecessor, then it will be another utterly essential game that nobody plays.

One of the reasons I think 2014 will be the year to buy a Wii U is because we'll actually see some more titles released. So far, Nintendo's 2014 slate includes Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, Mario Kart 8, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, and Bayonetta 2. While I'm aware that Platinum Games' oeuvre seems to have about as much commercial appeal as a Tiger Woods book on monogamy, despite them being almost universally excellent, I'll be there on day one. While we're on the subject of potentially excellent games that almost certainly won't sell, Monolith Software's upcoming RPG X also fits the bill.

There is, of course, also an untitled The Legend of Zelda in the works. I'm not talking about Dynasty Warriors spin-off Hyrule Warriors, either. And that should be exciting news to anybody, even if the end result is a dud on the level of Spirit Tracks.

If you're a fan of wacky races, precision jumps, bright colours, and zippy action--if you like videogames, essentially--then just the thought of that lineup should make your heart flutter.

Nintendo is also bound to announce a new thing or two over the next few months. So if we all cross our fingers and wish for a new Metroid game simultaneously, it might just happen.

The Hardware

I don't own a Wii U yet, but that's okay: nobody does. But I'm going to buy one this year, instead of relying on the one parked in the GameSpot office. And while I personally think that the current $300 price tag is offputting, there is absolutely no way (in my opinion) that price isn't going to come down before the holiday season. If Nintendo doesn't do it officially, the retailers will.

The blue shell has no redeeming qualities, and should be banned as part of the Geneva Conventions.

Nintendo has rarely been one to compete on raw horsepower, but it's safe to say the Wii U lacks the punch of the latest consoles. But many Wii U games, despite the lack of CPU, GPU, and RAM, can actually capture the full range of the colour spectrum, which is more than you can say for anything on Xbox One. I can't see how anyone can take a peek at Super Mario 3D World in action and not think that it looks like twenty years of everything good in their lives rolled up and stuffed into a game where you can dress Toad up in a cat outfit. The idea of somebody not enjoying that just doesn't make any sense to me.

Then there's the GamePad, which lets you play games away from the TV, which is probably quite useful in some circumstances, but is rarely something I experience as a twenty-something man child who still lives like an isolated student. All I can really tell you is that the thing needs charging more than I would think possible and, yes, I do feel a little silly when holding the big, bulky GamePad as a controller, too. But it makes me no more awkward than sitting in a dark room playing Call of Duty with a little headset microphone, mind.

Other Stuff

If we're lucky, the new Zelda will be as good as this.

Elsewhere you've got Miiverse, Nintendo's game-by-game community portal that lets players attach pictures and leave messages. It's actually a lot more fun than it looks, and quite often I've ended up down the rabbit hole of Miiverse, scrolling through reams of messages. There's also a brilliant Twitter account that has taken to cataloguing the more bizarre Miiverse posts, often before Nintendo's stellar community team takes them down. While the rest of Nintendo's online offering--online servers generally seem poor, and your digital purchases are bound to the console rather than an account--is patchy at best, Miiverse is a triumph.

The Wii also carved out an enviable niche as a must-have device for family gatherings, but Nintendo's efforts to recreate this in the Wii U have yet to pay off. Nintendo Land doesn't have the universal appeal of Wii Sports, although my family would be more than happy to play a few games of Mario Chase on Christmas day. Wii Party U, Wii Fit U, and Wii Sports Club really don't do much to excite, however. Or that Wii Karaoke U game. Jesus.

All in all, I think too many people are too hard on Nintendo--it feels like longstanding gaming fans are relishing the opportunity to kick the company when it's down. The Wii U is by no means an essential piece of hardware, but quality software is starting to trickle in and nobody else makes games quite like Nintendo. A curious machine, then, but one I think we should all think about buying in 2014.

Discussion

1011 comments
drummer131
drummer131

Mario Kart 8 will be a system seller for me. 

stephenferris88
stephenferris88

This system will for sure rock once Metroid U and Zelda U are released.  Not to mention that Smash Bros, Mario Kart and Bayonetta 2 will be released this year.  This is why I am very excited about Wii U releases.  PS4 only interested in Indie games nothing else of interest for this year.  Hence it is not worth paying $400 for the system, maybe $200.  XB1 main attraction is the Xbox Fitness and its not completely fleshed out (2 or 3 of P90X and Insanity workouts).  Similar to the PS4, I am not interested in paying more than $200 for this system.  

chyng85
chyng85

Hope this console can survive~

jonnyturtleneck
jonnyturtleneck

Not paying for internet usage or Miiverse help make the Wii U great. Also, I watch movies with my roommate while I continue to play the Wii U game on the gamepad. 

Halloll
Halloll

I already have a Wii-U but I'm really looking forward to the LOZ trailer for the system, not the game but the trailer, I remember the first time I saw Twilight Princess trailer by brain shoot through my skull and hit the roof. hurry up Nintendo and give me the trailer.

yixingtpot
yixingtpot

why are we only seeing British guys reviewing our games in America? get them off... I bought the Wii U a couple of days ago, LOVE IT... but I still think it's a joke I had to buy a Wiimote and Nunchaku just to play old Wii games, it's stupid to have the gamepad in my hands and I can't control the game on the gamepad screen lol, it's just stupid and an obvious money pit to get people to have to buy older controllers for easy money add on profits for Nintendo. I am looking forward to the games like MonolithSoft's X and I should get the RE Revelations i ordered i a few days. 

greek5
greek5

I am buying a Wii u this week. Why? well Super Mario 3D World and Pikmin 3 are enough reason for me at the moment to get one, 

northArrow
northArrow

Personally, I just don't enjoy playing Nintendo games anymore. 

I do prefer their business policies, no paywalls, no day one DLC, no season passes, no ads on the dashboard, etc. I'd buy a Nintendo console because of this if they could get third party support and get some games I'd play. Hopefully Nintendo turns things around

Shantmaster_K
Shantmaster_K

It seems worth it now since a lot of the big games are finally coming out. Might wait until next year. 

mkdms14
mkdms14

We still don't have a Zelda game yet.

Quique85
Quique85

Not till the big guys join the party... give me Zelda, Metroid, StarFox, Smash and Mario Kart then i will jump on board... sadly 2014 doesn't seem to be the year for most of these... try again in 2015... the true nintendo experience is in the 3DS right now. wanna play mario 3D worlds... try 3D land (3D does help with the weird perspective), want Zelda... Link between worlds is where this is at... Starfox64 3D is an awesome remake for the generations who missed out. there is also DKCountry3D and Mario Party/Kart7, Animal Crossing and Smash is also coming to the 3DS... so i might just wait a bit longer, maybe another price drop.

DagetAwayMaN421
DagetAwayMaN421

You clearly forgot about Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem, which has the potential to pull in more money than the next Smash Bros. installment

rennanvale
rennanvale

Gamespot is behaving like their own community ( the most toxic and dumb community of all videogame sites ).

Good Job on trolling gamespot, now you are in the same pathetic level of all morons that come here only to spread hate and say stupid things. 

Jinzo_111887
Jinzo_111887

The only two consoles of Gen 8 that I'm interested in are Wii U and Steam Machine. The Xbox's online multiplayer fee is what kept me away from those systems. The PS4 joined it when Sony decided to use PS+ as an online multiplayer fee as well.

simplypowerfull
simplypowerfull

i dont have big grop now to play party games, so i will sai, no thanks. I will play Wii u in my friend house :P


But i love nitendo games, and i love Smash Bros

daikkenaurora12
daikkenaurora12

Nah, no thanks.  The game library isnt going to be anythng more than Mario and some other characters that i no longer care about except for Link (adult not that kid version) and Metroid.  So I cant buy a system when at most, 2 games will be made for it that I would play.  I might get the 3DS or 2DS though.  I am interested in Bravely Default.

StHapns247
StHapns247

They'd do good to remove the gamepad and take $17-$100 off the price. Let people buy the gamepad if they want a game that absolutely requires it. You don't need a new gimmick peripheral every generation. It worked with the Wii, but that was undeniably a fluke.

AlwaysRunning
AlwaysRunning

I think I'll go try to 100% Super Mario Sunshine, instead.

That game was pretty cool.

GameCube was pretty cool.

What happened?

jesot
jesot

I REALLY want Nintendo to give me a reason to want to buy this thing, but I don't think they will.

ggregd
ggregd

Some of you guys need to lighten up. They're doing one of these articles for each system, so whoever writes it needs to come up with reasons to buy one.  This one's not that easy, but it's a lot easier than hawking the 360.  It's not like these are Papal Decrees and Gamespot is officially trying to get you to buy now.  Take them all with a grain of salt.

dazedman00
dazedman00

Let me start with, I own a Wii U and LOVE it. The time I do get to play games are very enjoyed on the Wii U. I do not have much time since the majority is for my family, and sadly work but the rare and cherished free time is used to play the Wii U. I do not sit and play Call of Duty (anymore) or other “HardCore” games but the Wii U has what I want. I know there is lack of DLC on most Wii U titles but I don’t even buy DLC on my PS3. I am sure the option would be nice but again, I won’t use it. I am sure others would want it.

Where else do you get the innovation that is put into the market? They take chances that others don't want to and they are received well and used even by Sony and/or MS. So why continue to bash them when you probably don't own a Wii U to truly give a factual opinion. The system is powerful but yes, it’s not a PS4 or Xbox One but it does freaking amazing. Nintendo is new to this HD gaming world. Everyone has to learn at some point and there is always a learning curve. Also yes, there network is not great and has its issue as well but it gets better every day. PSN and Live didn't start out like they are today. They had to have the growing pains. Nintendo is growing into the HD gaming world.

The gamepad is not stupid, awkward, or just added cost with no return. It provides developers more diversity other consoles CANT offer. The battery life is not great but how is that iPhone, iPad, tablet, or laptop doing? Don't they always die at the worst time too? That's why there is a power cord that is small and long. Plug it in. I don't know gamers that are walking around their house at extended periods of time while gaming. Most of you sit in a gaming chair or couch. Stop being so damn petti and jealous your PS4 or xbox didn't come with it. You’re right; I do not own a PS4 or Xbox One. I may buy one in a few years but I doubt it. The Wii U has enough games now and coming out that are truly enjoyable, fun and addictive to play. Thank you Nintendo for taking a risk on the Wii U and providing many hours of enjoyment.

I am sure I will get flamed and bashed but let people enjoy and try it without your negative opinion that may or may not have hands on I own it.

geminontraveler
geminontraveler

nintendo is basically out of the console business at this point. the 3DS is the only thing keeping them afloat... and is the only thing they are really supporting at this point. the WiiU has sold so badly, and has had so little advertising and hype, that i think it is completely out of the consumer mind at this point and not recoverable.

geminontraveler
geminontraveler

why you SHOULDNT buy a WiiU in 2014:


no games, just like the Wii....


last gen technology


gamepad is more annoying than helpful


Nintendo is a sinking ship

Tacanacy
Tacanacy

What an utterly meaningless review. Absolutely no actual reasons to why I would buy a Wii U. Something I despise about reading people's reviews, are their subjective opinions. This article has no credibility.

Halloll
Halloll

I didn't even own a Gamecube!

funderburk93
funderburk93

@yixingtpot  What do you mean you can't control the game on the gamepad screen? Also I agree with you about the Wii remote and nunchuck, that should have been included. But after I saw the prototype gamepad, I actually assumed that those wouldn't be needed.

funderburk93
funderburk93

@Quique85  Nintendo said a few weeks ago that they are going to have a much larger presence at E3 this year. Maybe they'll announce a new Metroid and Star Fox game there. Those two will be game changers for the Wii U. They'll be Nintendo's answer to some of the games that they aren't getting and they have the potential to show just how great the gamepad can be.

Nev3rtime
Nev3rtime

@Quique85  Many say they'll only buy the console for the big name franchises are out. Then others complain that Nintendo focuses to much on they're big name franchise. Nintendo can't win.

Nev3rtime
Nev3rtime

@DagetAwayMaN421 I doubt it. Fire emblem only has a niche following. Before awakened the franchise was set to be cancelled. Awakening was a surprise success.

Shin Megami Tensei also has a small die hard fan base but I don't think any of the games ever sold more than a million. The cross over might help promote the two franchises to each others fan bases and sell a few hundred thousand Wii U's to avid fans. That's the best we can realistically hope for unless the games a surprise success like Awakening.

Smash bros could well be the biggest selling game the Wii U will ever gets.

jnader
jnader

@Jinzo_111887 That makes no sense.  You pay for PS+ for PS3 and Vita and you get free games...


You pay for PS+ on PS4 (same price) and you get the same as above and better online functionality than any of Sony's platforms have ever had...  Don't see your argument...

Nev3rtime
Nev3rtime

@StHapns247 Also the wii wasn't a fluke it was a very skilled piece of marketing. Skill they obviously forgot with the Wii U.

Nev3rtime
Nev3rtime

@StHapns247 The gamepad isn't expensive to manufacture. I don't think many people grasp that. Removing it and replacing it with a pro controller would be pointless and wouldn't reduce the price by even as much as $17. Going from parts and the scale of mass production the gamepad probably costs them about $20-$25 to make.

dazedman00
dazedman00

The core aspect of the wii u is the gamepad not just HD graphics. Removing the gamepad removed games you can't play anymore that require it. This would also not help developers to make game content that use the gamepad. It is extra complexity that wouldn't be worth it if it was "extra".

StHapns247
StHapns247

I meant $75 not $17. Although, that would make for an awesome GameSpot headline.

dazedman00
dazedman00

@ggregd You're right but I figured I would help by adding my two cents since I truly enjoy my Wii U. So many bad comments, I wanted to add something positive for a change.

simplypowerfull
simplypowerfull

@dazedman00  Give this dude 1 cooky ^^, to bad i dont have big grupo to play party games, now that i work i cant have that friends funny momentes in game. Only online

funderburk93
funderburk93

@geminontraveler  That's not true, I can think of a few products off the top of my head that failed early on but after going through a quick re-branding phase became successful. 


All Nintendo has to do is show people that the Wii U isn't a $300 add-on to the Wii, and advertise more than one game on TV. And on those advertisements show some of the reviews, such as: Super Mario 3D World which doesn't have a single average review, Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze which has been given perfect scores by some cites, etc.


I did not see a single Wii U add or add for a Wii U game until November of 2013 and Nintendo didn't have a large presence at the 2013 E3. That's a problem, that is why the Wii U is failing. People wouldn't care about the hardware if they tried some of the many games out on the Wii U right now.


It all comes down to marketing, it's not even a stretch. I've seen many failing products become successful just because of they were re-branded, advertised differently, or just advertised more often.

supersonariofan
supersonariofan

@geminontraveler  Despite my username, I do not want to receive disrespect from you. So, I'm going to acknowledge that I strongly disagree with your opinions, but I respect them.

Jinzo_111887
Jinzo_111887

@geminontravelerIn my book, its better than the scam consoles of Gen 8: the Paystation 4 and Ex-box One. The Steam Machines are probably the only other console of Gen 8 worth getting.

jjleshko90
jjleshko90

@Tacanacy It has less than no credibility. At least with a review of a game, the GameSpot reviewers have, y'know, actually played the game. Mr. Gaston doesn't even have the console, as a person who is supposedly writing about why to get the Wii U. He is in the same position of authority as those droves of people who troll on message boards every day. And that, indeed, is what he is doing in this article.

Basically, he should buy a Wii U before he persuades others to buy a Wii U. Common sense, no? And it's not that much, a few hundred bucks isn't that much to a twenty-something, especially someone who seems to have a halfway decent job.

tl;dr -- this is a troll article

drummer131
drummer131

@Nev3rtime @Quique85  So very true. MK8 is why I want a Wii U now. I'll buy DKC and all the Mario platformers once I do. But I would in essence, like to buy some third-party software for the console too, like I did with the N64 and to a lesser extent with the Gamecube. They were N64 exclusive games (then again exclusivity was still a big deal then), but not made by Nintendo. That can still be a thing. The install base just needs to rise. 


Such a dreadful catch 22. Bring the games, people will come. But the people need to be there in the first place for the developers to decide to make the games.

canuckbiker
canuckbiker

If you happen to have a ps4, ps3, and vita, you get an insane amount of content for $50 a year.

canuckbiker
canuckbiker

Very skilled piece of marketing using 20 year old motion tech and a GameCube engine. It's a fluke in my opinion that half-assed effort actually paid off. Unfortunately none of the casuals that bought the wii could give a crap about the wii u.

geminontraveler
geminontraveler

@mrintro @geminontraveler 


oh please do explain, i cant wait to see your utter bullshit fanboy response to my factual post.


you absolutely cannot refute a single point that i made.

dazedman00
dazedman00

@jjleshko90 I agree, Gamespot screwed that up by letting someone that does own a Wii U write the post but you also have to understand who better to write a Post than someone who actually wants to buy a Wii U in 2014 and why they want too. I think at the end of the article it would have had a more powerful hit to say... I also purchased the Wii U based on my above article... not just I will get one this year.

Nev3rtime
Nev3rtime

@canuckbiker  The thing is they didn't go and gamble the whole console on it blind. Like it of not they did their research with the wii. Even the released the donkey kong bongo addon for the gamecube was a test to see how people would react to a simpler kind of interface. 

nesscube
nesscube

@geminontraveler 
"
last gen technology" sorry but if you want a "next gen technology" you should'nt but a ps4/x1 but a PC. Wii U is powerfull enough to have great games in HD, and cost lower, that's what we want for a console.

"
no games, just like the Wii...." the wii had a lot of fun games: ssbb, mario kart, xenoblade, pandroda's tower, mario galaxy 1&2, metroid prime 3 and other m, donkey kong, tales of symphonia 2, sonic colours, zelda SS, golden eye... 
if the wii U has an equivalent it's ok for me, still better than buying a xbox 
which has the same games as PC with lower graphics.

"
gamepad is more annoying than helpful" if you say that, maybe you did not try rayman legends, nintendoland or lego city :)

"
Nintendo is a sinking ship": People like you say that since the nintendo64, you have no credibility at this point.