"No. 5 – Backwards compatibility
One of the Wii U’s biggest selling points (to us, anyway) is that it’s backwards compatible with Wii games, and you can use Wii controllers on the Wii U.
Neither the Xbox One or PlayStation 4 are backwards compatible, which is disappointing even though I understand the technical restrictions for the reason why. I value consolidation of systems, so a PS4 would be much more enticing if I knew I could completely replace my PlayStation 3 and still be able to enjoy the games we already own.
Though my wife and I have never owned a Wii and, thus, didn’t own any Wii games, we were pretty excited to see a bunch of Wii games we were interested in are super inexpensive on the secondary (used) market.
Within a week of buying the Wii U we were able to score about six classic Wii games on Craigslist for less than $30, which is enough to keep us busy for a good long time.
Then there’s the ability of using Wii controllers on the Wii U. That’s fantastic because, like Wii games, Wii accessories are mega cheap on the secondary market. Though we opted to buy new character-themed Wii controllers, we easily could’ve scored a couple of Nintendo-brand Wiimotes (complete with nunchuks) for about $20.
The fact that the Wii U is backwards compatible made us pay closer attention to the system and what it had to offer, and it was a selling point we couldn’t ignore.
No. 4 – The software
Since its release in 2012, the Wii U has pieced together an impressive stable of first-party software featuring characters and worlds everyone knows and loves: “Super Mario 3D World,” “Bayonetta 2″ and “Mario Kart 8,” to name a few.
The biggest problem with the Wii U is it lacks third-party support that you can find on the PS4 and X1, which includes sports, shooters and mega blockbuster titles. The nasty truth is the console sales numbers just aren’t there for third-party developers to pay attention to the Wii U, at least not yet.
That said, there are still great titles available on the Wii U, mostly thanks Nintendo’s developers and designers.
Titles on the Wii U don’t rely on downloadable content (DLC) to “complete” the game after its release. One of the major compliments paid to Nintendo is their ability to deliver complete games on release day.
The Wii U’s library might be limited, especially for being a 2-year-old system, but it’s made up of exceptional titles.
No. 3 – Nintendo, the company itself
I’m not a system fanboy at all -- if it meets my gaming wants and needs, I’ll gladly invest in it. I don’t believe in brand loyalty when it comes to gaming, and have owned everything from a Sega Nomad to the first three PlayStations and first two Xbox systems (meanwhile, I skipped completely over the Nintendo GameCube and Wii, because they didn’t meet my needs at the time).
One of the reasons I chose to invest in Nintendo and the Wii U is because I am a great fan of the company itself.
When the company saw a 30 percent dip in profits in late 2013, Nintendo President Satoru Iwata announced that he would cut his salary in half, and he kept it that way for five months. Other executives followed suit, slashing their salaries by as much as 30 percent for the same length of time.
Most importantly, however, Nintendo delivers on their promises.
When a Nintendo title hits store shelves, it’s complete and (depending on your tastes) delivers on what the company promises: Tons of fun, tons of content, free online multiplayer and no pressure to buy DLC (especially day-one DLC).
Nintendo is all about supporting its hardware and, thus, supporting its users. They don’t compete with Sony or Microsoft for the sake of profits -- but for your entertainment. What more can you ask for?
No. 2 – Couch/local co-op and multiplayer
I used to do a lot of online multiplayer gaming while in college, mostly shooters and sports games (hence why the GameCube and Wii were looked over). But as I got more involved with my studies and life outside of gaming, I became less attracted to that multiplayer world.
Now, if I do partake in multiplayer fun, I’m mostly interested in couch/local multiplayer and co-operative gaming. And the Wii U makes it possible without any hassle.
When my wife and I were eyeballing the PS4, we were looking at the “Destiny” bundle. But we quickly decided against it when we learned “Destiny” doesn’t support local multiplayer. In order for my wife and I to play together we’d have to have separate copies of the game, separate PS4s and separate televisions. That’s nonsense to me, especially considering Bungie’s (the game’s developer) history of supporting local multiplayer with its “Halo” series.
Bungie Community Manager Eric Osborne said, simply, that such a feature didn’t jibe with the company’s plans for “Destiny.”
“Ultimately, you can’t build a game to suit every single player out there,” Osborne said.
Fair enough, but it’s something that discouraged us from investing in the PS4 (for now, anyway).
I just used a lot of words to describe why the PS4 just isn’t for us -- yet -- but it’s to show the contrast against the Wii U.
If my wife and I want to co-op some “Super Mario 3D World,” we can. If she had a bad day and wants to whoop on me in “Super Smash Bros.,” she can. Or, if we want to entertain guests with some four-player “Mario Kart 8,” it’s no problem. And you just can’t get that (along with the options) with any other system.
No. 1 – The value
One thing that can’t be overlooked when discussing the merits of the Wii U is its hardware, specifically the GamePad.
I remember the first time I saw the thing, I thought, “What in the world is Nintendo thinking?” And I remember the first time I held it, I thought, “Wow, this is light and comfortable. But, still, really?” And I definitely remember the first time I used it, and I thought, “OK, I get it now. Hat tip to you, Nintendo.”
The Wii U’s GamePad represents the innovative side of Nintendo, something we see virtually every time the company releases a new product (example: the GameCube controller, the Wii, the 3DS XL). The pad’s touchscreen and (surprising level of) durability are impressive. And the ability to use the screen to play a game if the television is occupied is a clever and beautiful touch. (The latter has already come in handy, because I was really into re-binge watching “Friday Night Lights” but also wanted to get some “Mario Kart 8″ in, so…)
The Wii U is all about value with its versatility (backwards compatible, the GamePad), its software library and available apps, and its lower-than-the-others price point ($299 compared to the X1’s $349 and PS4’s $399, all on average). It offers a truly unique experience and has legs to keep going, which made it hard for us to ignore.
And we’re glad we paid it some attention, because the Wii U is a blast and pleasure to own."
Came across this article today, what you think?