So…I bought a Wii U. I knew I’d eventually get one, but I figured it would be later in the year or, at the very least, after E3! So why did I get one now, of all times?
The first and best answer is… deep down, I’m a diehard Nintendo fan. I own a NES, SNES, Gameboy, Gameboy Color, Gameboy Advance, Gameboy SP, N64, Gamecube, DS, Wii, 3DS XL, and now a Wii U. Others doubt the company and I only see potential in what they offer. I see the opportunities they have to be a success and I grasp at straws with excuses for why they deserve to be on top. I recognize their faults as well, such as their obvious struggles to succeed with the U and bad marketing decisions they’ve made in recent years. I can honestly say that with recent improvements and future ones, Nintendo will not be going anywhere anytime soon.
The second biggest motivator in my decision was seeing how much fun the system was with friends. I watch a series of Let’s Players on YouTube that played Mario Kart 8 together and I honestly haven’t seen that much fun in a console game for awhile. I’ve played Borderlands 2, the Call of Duty games, and everything in-between and after actually playing Mario Kart 8, my feelings remain the same – this system provides a monumental amount of fun. There’s nothing quite like throwing a red shell at your buddy (Geoff) right before he crosses the finish line and passing him to finish 1st. Nintendo games are some of the best to play with friends and having access to play with friends online is icing on the joy-cake Nintendo is baking.
Mario Kart 8 has suffered a few hiccups since launch, like dropping connections mid-race due to a glitch and some other minor faults, but this is exactly what Nintendo needed to get the ball rolling on their multiplayer capabilities and online presence. Super Smash Bros. will be another big indicator of where the company needs work and where it continues to prevail. Having an active and powerful online community will propel Nintendo into the modern age of gaming. They have made the right step with Mario Kart 8 and it’s why I invested in the system. Seeing the possibilities for the system motivated my purchase.
Offering a free game with purchase of Mario Kart 8 has certainly helped convince fence-sitters like me to dive into the system as well. Offering some quality titles like Wind Waker HD (which I chose, since Wind Waker is one of my all-time favorite games in the Zelda series) and Pikmin 3 is such a smart decision to make to get people to invest in the console and I can honestly say that it was another key factor in my purchase. Two-for-one value.
I did not know about the Miiverse before buying the Wii U – I knew it was basically a way to post content, but I’ve actually found it to be an absolutely critical component of the system. Not because it revolutionizes anything, but for the simple fact that it creates community among its players. Once again, this is a key feature that Nintendo ought to tweak and work on for the future of their consoles and I actually find it great. I love finishing a level and being prompted to post about it with a new stamp I obtained (Mario Kart 8) – it’s not changing the way I game, but it is a neat way to let me build a connection to other gamers and to express joy or anger at any point in the game.
Animal Crossing Plaza is one of those things that I saw and immediately loved before I got the Wii U. It’s a very simple, but great free download that connects me more to my favorite game series. Being able to see all the villagers and shopkeepers in HD on my screen AND post about them is just a fun and lighthearted thing to give your consumers. I’d love to have a Plaza for Mario, Zelda, and Pokemon – it’s nothing that’s going to sway people to buy, but it’s content that the fans appreciate and love. If Nintendo added “wiki” entries for the Plaza(s), it’d be even more useful and neat.
What finally pushed me into the purchase was the price point. A new retail Wii U sells for $300~, while a refurbished one on Nintendo’s website sells for $200~. It’s guaranteed to work and for $100 less than a new one, you still get NintendoLand. The only problem is the possibility of minor nicks or scratches (of which I saw none of on my GamePad or my console). It’s insane not to get a Wii U at that price, especially when it’s virtually the same as a retail one.
Finally, I actually want the game lineup that Nintendo is producing! Look at the Xbox One and Playstation 4… few exclusives to really get excited about… but the Wii U already has: Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, Super Mario 3D World, New Super Mario Bros. U (and Luigi U), Pikmin 3, Wind Waker HD, Mario Kart 8, Wonderful 101, ZombiU, and plenty more on the horizon (can you say ‘Super Smash Bros.?’).
The real question at this point is… WHY HAVEN’T YOU GOTTEN ONE!?
I’d love to hear what you all think about the Wii U and its value. As an owner, I feel completely satisfied and happy with my purchase. I will enjoy it for many, many hours of fun to come.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments! Stay tuned to 4P for more articles like this and especially for next week’s coverage of E3!