By using this site, you agree to our Privacy Policy and our Terms of Use. Close

Forums - Nintendo Discussion - What people dislike about Wii U hardware?

If you want to know why the Wii U really failed, then you need to understand why the Wii succeeded.  The short version though is that the Wii U was basically a console for no one and that is why almost no one bought it.  Here is the longer version:

Go back to Generation 6.  The PS2, XBox, Gamecube and even Dreamcast are all selling to essentially the same type of people.  They like a controller that is similar to the PS2 controller and they want hardware that is as powerful as possible while still delivering a fairly reasonable price.  When everyone follows this basic model, Playstation is going to win, and they did indeed win by a huge margin in this generation.  That leads us to Generation 7.

In Generation 7, the Wii sold over 100m units.  They did this by appealing to people who were not gamers in Generation 6.  They made the controller simple and made fun games that went with it like Wii Sports.  They also kept the price tag down by making the system significantly weaker than PS/XBox consoles at the time.  All of these things irritated the core gamers from Generation 6.  It even alienated some Gamecube fans even though the Wii had sequels to Gamecube style games like Mario Galaxy and Skyward Sword.  However the Wii also attracted two new groups: 1) People mostly new to gaming who especially liked Wii Sports and/or Wii Fit, and 2) old school gamers who liked games more like NSMB, DKC Returns and the Virtual Console.  They also had a few games like Mario Kart Wii which could reach both of these groups and Gamecube loyalists.

Now we get to Wii U in Generation 8.  Who is this console for?  It has what I would call a PS2/Gamecube style controller with a giant tablet shoved into the middle of it.  It is also significantly weaker than the PS4/XB1 systems of the same generation.  It isn't for the core gamers of Gen 6, because it is too weak.  It isn't for the new gamers on the Wii either, because the controller is too complicated (and it also makes the system ~$100 more expensive).  Old school gamers didn't really go for it, because they didn't really like the 2D Mario game.  Gamecube gamers really didn't go for it either, because they didn't really like the 3D Mario.  It is a console for no one. 

The first Wii U game which fans seemed to universally like was Mario Kart 8 and a few months later there was Smash Bros.  Both of these games released in 2014 which is about 2 years after the Wii U's launch.  By that time it is mostly too late to create momentum for the console.  Gamers weren't talking about it and third party developers had given up on supporting it.  From 2014 and on it had several games that would mostly appeal to Gamecube gamers and maybe some old schoolers.  Even then it only got a few major releases each year, because Nintendo was also developing games for 3DS.  Third parties didn't support it much either, so there were not really games to play in between major releases except for on the Virtual Console.

So, the Wii U did have a few good games on it and these were mostly split between Gamecube fans and old schoolers with neither group really being happy.  Given the lack of third party games this meant it was a terrible system for anyone who wanted to own just one console.  However, if you take the better games on the Wii U and throw them in with everything else on the Switch, then suddenly the games look really good.  They aren't trying to carry a whole system on their own like they were on the Wii U.  Instead, they are a nice bonus on an already popular system with lots of games on it.

Last edited by The_Liquid_Laser - on 06 July 2021

Around the Network

This has been discussed a thousand times, and the general consensus is bad marketing, and consumer declining interest in motion controls and associated products. See Wii 2010-12 decline, Wii U sales and xbox kinect decline.



The biggest problem is no killer app early enough in the console's life. Nintendoland is not Wii Sports, and it is not Breath of the Wild.



NNID: theRepublic -- Steam ID: theRepublic

Now Playing
3DS - Currently Gaming Like It's 2011 - The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D - Master Quest
Wii U - Currently Gaming Like It's 2015 - Super Mario Maker
PC - Currently Gaming Like It's 2012 - Borderlands 2
Mobile - The Simpson's Tapped Out and Yugioh Duel Links

Illusion said:
Leynos said:

Smash on Switch is a new game. New engine. New lighting. New models. It's a new game.

Sakurai:

For Ultimate, because the development company is the same, the know-how wasn’t reset – it isn’t like we forgot how to make a good game in between games. There’s no need to change the game’s “architecture” between handheld mode and docked mode, either. We can re-use assets from the previous game, too – things like that.

Source: https://nintendoeverything.com/sakurai-talks-development-of-smash-bros-ultimate-future-and-more/

There is a reason why Nintendo was able to release BotW, Mario Odyssey, Mario Kart, Smash, Splatoon, Mario Maker all within a window of a little over 2 years on the Switch, while these entries took a generation and a half to get rolled out on the Wii U (last few years of Wii + entire Wii U life cycle).  It isn't just because Nintendo got better at developing in HD, Nintendo also finally figured out the art of re-using assets like most of Sony and MS's 3rd parties do on a yearly basis.  This never happened between the GCN to Wii and between the Wii to Wii U because these consoles were so radically different in terms of capabilities and gameplay styles.  I expect that BotW2 will re-use a ton of assets from the first BotW as well.

Yeah go look at Twilight Bridge and tell me it's the same game. It's a new game. It was confirmed a while back it had a new engine. Besides eyes tell you new lighting. Models. Stages are remodeled. End of.



Bite my shiny metal cockpit!

Lol we're still doing "Ultimate is a port"?

Did you know Metroid Fusion was just a re-release of Wario Land 4?



Around the Network

Illusion said:

This never happened between the GCN to Wii and between the Wii to Wii U because these consoles were so radically different in terms of capabilities and gameplay styles.  I expect that BotW2 will re-use a ton of assets from the first BotW as well.

The gap between Switch and Wii U in capabilities is bigger than the gap between Wii and Gamecube.

Last edited by curl-6 - on 06 July 2021

Bet with Liquidlaser: I say PS5 and Xbox Series will sell more than 56 million combined by the end of 2023.

curl-6 said:

Illusion said:

This never happened between the GCN to Wii and between the Wii to Wii U because these consoles were so radically different in terms of capabilities and gameplay styles.  I expect that BotW2 will re-use a ton of assets from the first BotW as well.

The gap between Switch and Wii U in capabilities is bigger than the gap between Wii and Gamecube.

This.

Leynos said:

Yeah go look at Twilight Bridge and tell me it's the same game. It's a new game. It was confirmed a while back it had a new engine. Besides eyes tell you new lighting. Models. Stages are remodeled. End of.

It's the same game engine, but it's been heavily reworked in order to fully take advantage of the Switch's rendering pipeline.
So some things got lost like the layered alpha fur on Donkey Kong as it's bandwidth intensive and there was no eSRAM/eDRAM, but the more flexible shader pipelines offered far better lighting.

But that doesn't say much. The latest Call of Duty still has engine roots in Quake 2.

The latest Fallout based on Creation still has roots in Gamebryo, which in turn was based on Net Immerse which featured in Morrowind from 2003.

Point is... No one throws out an entire engine and builds a new one from scratch that is just a waste of time and money, rather parts of it are re-engineered and enhanced to meet various needs and design goals.
Remember it's an "engine". - It's a bunch of components working together, not a single entity.



--::{PC Gaming Master Race}::--

curl-6 said:

Illusion said:

This never happened between the GCN to Wii and between the Wii to Wii U because these consoles were so radically different in terms of capabilities and gameplay styles.  I expect that BotW2 will re-use a ton of assets from the first BotW as well.

The gap between Switch and Wii U in capabilities is bigger than the gap between Wii and Gamecube.

The gameplay styles were quite different between the Gamecube and Wii.  That said, you are right that the hardware was similar.  It is interesting how back then we were never given games like Mario Kart: Double Dash 2, Super Mario Sunshine 2, Wind Waker 2, etc on the Wii.  There was the Twilight Princess re-release but other than this, Nintendo still made the effort to create completely novel experiences and take risks with their main IP instead of building their sequels off of existing assets with relatively minor changes and minimal creative innovation.  Honestly, I don't think that we ever would have accepted it as gamers back then.



The console was not well thought out and probably lacked usability testing, either that or the person making the decisions lacked foresight.

You don't make a portable, screened controller only to have it tethered to a few feet away from the console. That was a bad move.

The innovation of the dual-screen setup was also badly tested or decided, as most experiences that made use of it were not as interesting as promised on paper. We fans were excited but we didn't have years of R&D on the thing.

Moreover, the UI and hardware design was unprofessional and lacked quality and precision.

Finally, the games were mostly lacking content or just generally unappealing. While some games may have been innovative, it doesn't make them interesting. Games like ZombieU, NintendoLand, Wii Party U, all these games continued the general shovelware trend of the Wii, and missed the mark since that boat had already sailed. The only game that survived the Wii trend was Just Dance, everything else is dead. Labo and Ring Fit Adventure are decent game experiences that don't lack depth, so they are more of an evolution than a continuation of the trend.

The switch fixes absolutely all of these issues. It's sleek from a hardware perspective, its use case is solid and easy to understand and use. The UI is clean and snappy, the games are deep and offer high replay value (often thanks to ultimate versions of WiiU games ironically, or to IPs that were reserved to portables before), the marketing was clear and appealing.

Overall the WiiU was unexciting and unappealing, while the Switch is a smash with the mainstream. The WiiU offered some experiences that I wish still existed like Art Academy U, or the graphic chat feature which was a lot of fun. Still, those features can return with a stylus in the future, and all the bad stuff is gone.



Illusion said:
curl-6 said:

The gap between Switch and Wii U in capabilities is bigger than the gap between Wii and Gamecube.

The gameplay styles were quite different between the Gamecube and Wii.  That said, you are right that the hardware was similar.  It is interesting how back then we were never given games like Mario Kart: Double Dash 2, Super Mario Sunshine 2, Wind Waker 2, etc on the Wii.  There was the Twilight Princess re-release but other than this, Nintendo still made the effort to create completely novel experiences and take risks with their main IP instead of building their sequels off of existing assets with relatively minor changes and minimal creative innovation.  Honestly, I don't think that we ever would have accepted it as gamers back then.

I don't think there's anything lazy or creatively inadequate about games like Splatoon 2 or Mario Maker 2 or Smash Ultimate, they're just iterative sequels the likes of which have been a part of the industry forever, including from Nintendo. On the Wii, Mario Kart was an iterative sequel, as was Smash Bros Brawl, Kirby's Return to Dreamland, Mario Galaxy 2, etc.



Bet with Liquidlaser: I say PS5 and Xbox Series will sell more than 56 million combined by the end of 2023.