Two points stick to my brain when I look back at the Wii U reveal in 2011. I had just begun spinning my pessimistic views about the Wii into something more positive after going through the console’s library. I remembered that the Wii had its Zak and Wiki‘s, and Super Mario Galaxy’s. E3 ran through and I became excited at word of The Elder Scrolls V and Uncharted 3. Then Nintendo’s conference began.
The first bit about the Wii U reveal that I remember is the emphasis on the name. Reggie came onto the stage and talked about the future of Nintendo then utters the sounds “Wii. U.”. The name confused me, but I didn’t think much of it. I kept my Tumblr and Twitter up on the side as I watched, the excitement was only rising.
The other part I remember was the trailer shown to display the functionality of the system. The video showed a person switching from playing Mario to switching on baseball and playing the game on the gamepad. After this a montage full of different functions continues; drawing, touchscreen multiplayer, and how the pad can be used simultaneously with the TV. I became ecstatic over these new functions.
My Wii U was never used for drawing past the first 4 months I owned it. It was only used once for a game where multiple players were using the gamepad at once. The Wii U’s fun was different than what was originally promised. Instead, it was a system I would pull out whenever I had groups of people over to play Nintendo land or Wii Party U. It was a system that I could play a couple levels of Mario Maker and a couple of matches of Splatoon. The Wii U ended up being exactly what a Nintendo console should be, a home to Nintendo games and it failed due to the expectation that it could be another Wii instead.
This week reports are saying that production of the Wii U will be stopping in the near future. These reports, along with the newly revealed Switch, makes the future of the Wii U look dim. The game may soon be called for the Wii U, but that doesn’t mean that the system should be forgotten.
This week the writers of Signature Move all wrote about the Wii U including criticisms and memories. You can find the writing in this article or in a separate article written by Aaron DiManna and Chloe Sollars. We hope you enjoy reading about them and think about the good times you had with the system as well.
~Editor-in-chief of Signature Move, Kieffer Wilson
For all of its issues, I will still remember the Wii U fondly. I think we can all agree that there is something special about a Nintendo game. There is just so much raw creativity, not to mention charm out the wazoo. I will defend the GameCube as my favorite console of all time, and I have hours of treasured memories with the Wii as well. However, one thing in particular that Nintendo has always given me is a way to connect with my brother, Danny. The two of us have always been close but we do have differing interests, especially when it comes to video games. For almost as long as I can remember, we’ve connected on Nintendo games.
The very first system I ever owned was a Gameboy Advance that he and I had to share, which was not easy for two kids in elementary school. The next was a GameCube. He and I spent countless hours playing games of all kinds on that box. We blew up the Death Star in Rebel Strike, tried to collect everything imaginable in Ty the Tasmanian Tiger, and leveled Tokyo in Godzilla Destroy All Monsters: Melee. One of our favorites was always The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker.
We both adored that spectacular game. I remember going to the local Blockbuster (yeah, this was a while ago) and renting it over and over again until that glorious year that it showed up under the Christmas tree. The real kicker is that in all of this time, we never made it past the Dragon Roost section (the first dungeon for the unaware). Suffice it to say young Aaron was not particularly good at games. Regardless, we both adored the time we spent with that game.
Fast forward to the glorious Christmas when Wind Waker HD showed up under the Christmas tree. Danny and I, for the first time in years, sat down and played a game. We blasted through the sections that had given me so much trouble as a kid, and sat there slack-jawed as this amazing story started unfolding in front of us. We made fun of that weird snotty kid on Outset Island like we always used to, and sat at a loss for words when a new twist in the story was revealed. For a few hours, we got to be kids again. That experience alone made the purchase of a Wii U worth it. So as the Wii U rides off into the metaphorical sunset, I would like to thank it for giving two tired college students a respite from reality, and letting us relive a treasured time from the past (in magnificent HD).
The Wii U was a bit of a roller coaster. Although at points I felt like it was a bit of a filler system, I absolutely adored some of the games produced for it. I played plenty of Smash 4, Xenoblade Chronicles X, and Wind Waker HD. The Wii U brought some brilliant ideas to the table of gaming. For example, I appreciated the screen on the controller. When playing Smash with others, someone had to sit farther from the screen than the others sometimes–for that person, having a screen on the controller was quite helpful. Not to mention, for some games, such as Xenoblade Chronicles X or Pikmin 3, the Wii U controller’s screen allowed for useful map features that didn’t take from the TV-screen part of the game.
However, one of the issues I found with the system is that I didn’t feel like it was a new console. The Wii U didn’t impact my life as much as the GameCube, the Gameboy Advance SP, the Wii, the DS Lite, and the 3DS all did. It was just kind of a rehash of the previous systems, but without some of the incredible, awe-inspiring games that Nintendo has done such a good job of giving us in the past.
Don’t get me wrong, this does make me extraordinarily excited for the Nintendo Switch. However, I do think the Wii U genuinely fell short. If we’re totally honest, most of what’s made Nintendo systems stand out have been the incredible, creative, innovative games. The 3DS is awesome and looks cool, but most people I know don’t even use the 3D feature. It just came out with such an immense arsenal of incredible games—Fire Emblem: Awakening, Luigi’s Mansion 2, Smash 4—which you didn’t even need the Wii U for—need I go on?
The Wii U certainly was not a mistake, it was just a brilliant idea that didn’t fully deliver. I’m immensely excited for where Nintendo goes from here. I am fully confident that they learned their lesson. With the immense third-party support they plan on having for their future, we will see an incredible lineup with the switch. Nintendo isn’t the kind of company that will stop at mediocrity. They are innovative,creative, and they are incredibly smart. I have faith that they will continue into the future with good ideas, and I will continue to support them to the end.
Header Image by Simon Edwards. The Image URL can be found here http://psi-mon.tumblr.com/post/152092312884/bye