While the PS4 and Xbox One battle to the death for dominance in the latest generation of consoles, a challenger has waited, dormant, going unnoticed by many gamers during its first year on the market. I am referring to the Wii U, of course.
The Wii U brings with it all the motion capabilities of its older brother, the Wii. It comes with a controller that bears a strong resemblance to a tablet PC which has many gaming applications thanks to its slick motion sensing and a crystal clear screen. Lots of awesome games have been released on the console, including “Super Mario 3D World” and “The Wonderful 101,” with some hotly anticipated titles on the horizon such as “Super Smash Bros.” and “X.” With a resume like that, how can you go wrong…? Good question.
The poor console has been struggling to keep up with the 360 and PS3 for the last year, and with fresh competition entering the arena now, it would be unsurprising to see things go from bad to worse for Nintendo. The Wii U sold less than a million consoles within the first 41 days after its release. That may not sound so bad, but it pales in comparison to the competition, as the One and PS4 each sold over a million consoles on their respective launch days.
While this all might sound a bit grim, Nintendo will live on even if the Wii U continues to be underwhelming. The 3DS has been selling quite well, and Nintendo has an iron grip on the handheld gaming market thanks to this fact. The fate of the Wii U, however, is quite hazy. Fans can only hope that this holiday season will help turn things around for the sinking ship.
In spite of its track record, I’d expect the Wii U to see a slight resurgence this month. With PS4 and One’s skimpy launch lineups and higher price tags, Nintendo’s offering is a better overall gift for a young gamer looking for something shiny and new this year. It still has the same problems plaguing it as it always has: weak marketing, a dorky name, and so-so third party support. However, the first-party Nintendo gaming goodness is stronger than ever, and one can only hope that the games themselves will be enough to attract some sales at the most critical time of year for any major console producer.