Why the Wii U is a Good Only-Console to Have

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When gamers discuss which console to get, I often questioned why not get both or all of them?  Technically that would be in an ideal situation that you have the money to afford that. In some people’s case like mine, you can only really afford one home console. While the PS4 and Xbox One are great, I think it’s important to focus on the underdog. The Wii U is generally regarded as the “other” home console, but I think it’s the best one in many respects. It definitely does not have the best graphics, RAM, or pretty much every spec you can compare with the other new current gen systems. It is also lacking in third party support. It exists, but Nintendo is practically only getting it by helping develop the games. However even situations like that only helps the gamer because we get awesome titles like The Wonderful 101.

In another sense, the Wii U’s small library is almost a blessing. As many great third-party games as there are, when I consult my wallet it’s not looking good for those games. It’s pretty much saved for titles I’m excited for like Hyrule Warriors or Smash Bros.  Though I did buy Batman: Arkham Origins new which leads to my next point. New games have a chance of being cheaper on the Wii U. Arkham Origins, though lacking the multiplayer, was $10 cheaper and probably better than the Xbox 360 version was (I didn’t lose my save data). Instead, I got to play it on the gamepad while my roommates were using the TV for Netflix or Assassin’s Creed. Considering that I saved $10 by not getting a feature the I probably wouldn’t use (does anyone play the online multiplayer for that?)  but gained a feature I depended on, I got the better deal by far.

Now if only Wii software could be played with the gamepad

Now if only Wii software could be played with the gamepad

In the cases that I do want the third party game not released on the Wii U, there’s this magical store online called Steam, which has these games on sale quite often (or Humble Bundle can get you your fix for even cheaper) or even Amazon if you look (I saw all three Bioshock games for $7 and that was the year Infinite released). I don’t have to worry about Gamestop ripping me off when I got the games for the same amount Gamestop would have given me for a Xbox One copy. Also, by having friends on Steam, I can even play some of their games at no cost. People may joke about the “PC Master Race,” but they do get a great deal. The funny thing is that the extra money they pay for a PC to play these games, they save by not having to buy multiple controllers. Seriously, if most gaming is going to be Online, there’s no need for buying 4 controllers at $50 a piece. And at least they don’t need to wait for updates before they can play their games. So if you are going to go “Hardcore,” just get a better PC which can do pretty much everything the PS4 and Xbox One advertise and more. I still prefer my shooters to be with the mouse and keyboard and I can also play Starcraft II. Not only that, but PC gamers can not only get beautiful games, they can make them even better thanks to the modding community and the developers even assisting them.

Pretty much the only games I want the Xbox One or PS4 for is the exclusive games, but even console exclusive games make their way to PC.  Street Fighter V is coming to PC so I’m not missing anything there.  Transistor and Project Spark is also on the PC. Though I do want to play the new Uncharted or Halo. However, when I think about it, those are games I only want to play through once maybe twice and a little bit online. However, I don’t want to pay extra for Online play. I don’t even go online on the the 360, PS3, or PC often.

What I am getting at is that the home console you should get is the one that can give you a good experience and be able to differentiate from the PC community. The Wii U does exactly that by giving you the opportunity for new experiences that can’t be done anywhere else at the moment. When the PS4 and Xbox One gave up on their cameras, that was the end of their unique opportunities. Nintendo has not yet given up on its Gamepad, and that is what makes it great. The gamepad, though still under-utilized, is a great controller. Not only can I play games off screen, but I can get amazing experiences like the Ghost Mansion in Nintendo Land.  Plus it have a bundle of enjoyable multiplayer games to play with friends. I don’t go on the PC and ask friends to join up locally. I also can’t think of many Xbox One and PS4 games besides fighters and COD that I would do the same. Even then, those games are limited to the “Hardcore” community. Most of my friends are no longer in that crowd, so the games we would play are games like Mario Kart, Smash Bros.Nintendo Land, or Pikmin 3. The latter two are great experiences that can show the potential of the Wii U while entertaining friends in the same room.

Treasure hunting

Treasure hunting is a fantastic co-op experience

Let’s also talk about longevity. While the PS4 and Xbox One will have great titles in the future from third party studios, their libraries are limited to new games. Nintendo has made their system backwards compatible so that Wii games can still be played. We might scoff at the idea of playing Wii games, but there are some great titles out there like Xenoblade Chronicles or Last Story. If you didn’t get the chance to play them then you can still pick them up. If you missed out on the Wii sensation, you still have plenty of time to enjoy it. You can even play Wii games without a TV though you still need a separate controller (fix this Nintendo!). If you already had a Wii, then great news! Your controllers are already compatible! If you want to have 4 friends play with you on the Wii U, you probably already have the right controllers. The only caveat is the lack of Gamecube controller support, but at least you can use them in the new Smash Bros if you are lucky enough to find an adapter. On the plus side, Virtual Console is even better than before thanks to the gamepad support, advanced customization options, and TV play is perfect for games like Super Metroid or Earthbound.

There’s also one thing that comes to my mind when I think of age. What kind of games would I more likely be playing with my 5 year-old daughter. I can say that Call of Duty is not on that list, but Nintendo Land is certainly there. When we are young, we tend to think of longevity as the systems that can play the biggest games coming out years from now. But in truth, it’s the system that you would want to play years from now. I don’t know of many dorm rooms where the PS2 is the center of the party, but the Gamecube always has an audience. So even though PS2 was the king of the console market back then, it probably got put away when people started moving to Blu-ray. Don’t get me wrong. There are great games on the PS2, but the problem with your console relying on being the best in terms of graphics is that when the next system with better graphics come out, the old system is pretty much done. Nintendo gave up on that idea, and focused on making games you want to come back to 10 years from now. The Wii U continues that tradition and it will only get better.

Smash Bros. Melee 8-Player Smash

Nintendo Specializes in Making Timeless Games

Note: As I mentioned in  my PSA, now is probably the best time to pick up a Wii U. Not only are there so many great games, but if you were going to buy a bunch of digital games, you can still cash in on the Deluxe Digital Promotion before the year is over.

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About The Author

Feature Writer/Game Reviewer

Blogger in the IGN community and no longer for Always Nintendo. You can find him still blogging in the IGN community as FalconRise