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

I am very afraid that Nintendo will repeat many of its mistakes with the Wii U with the Switch's successor. Specifically that they will try to reinvent the wheel again when it's completely unnecessary. The gamepad was innovation for innovation's sake without any thought as to why such a controller might be needed. The changes the Wii and Switch brought were necessary because of how poorly their predecessors did. If they didn't try to be revolutionary and kept the Wiimote format they may not have sold Wii numbers, but it definitely would have sold much better. Heck, the Wii was outselling the Wii U in December 2012 and for much of 2013 despite the Wii being 6 years old with almost no new games because it was still a more appealing system.

I'm really worried that Nintendo will do this again and ruin the good thing they've got going with the Switch by making a huge revolutionary change when all anyone would want is an upgraded Switch that's a generation above the original in horsepower and better joy cons.



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h2ohno said:

I am very afraid that Nintendo will repeat many of its mistakes with the Wii U with the Switch's successor. Specifically that they will try to reinvent the wheel again when it's completely unnecessary. The gamepad was innovation for innovation's sake without any thought as to why such a controller might be needed. The changes the Wii and Switch brought were necessary because of how poorly their predecessors did. If they didn't try to be revolutionary and kept the Wiimote format they may not have sold Wii numbers, but it definitely would have sold much better. Heck, the Wii was outselling the Wii U in December 2012 and for much of 2013 despite the Wii being 6 years old with almost no new games because it was still a more appealing system.

I'm really worried that Nintendo will do this again and ruin the good thing they've got going with the Switch by making a huge revolutionary change when all anyone would want is an upgraded Switch that's a generation above the original in horsepower and better joy cons.

Yeah this worries me a lot too. 

All they have to do is make it a standard successor and just call it "Switch 2", it really is that easy, but it's so classically Nintendo to mess up the simplest things and become the architect of their own downfall.



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

It's the Fisher Price design...



padib said:

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.

Strongly disagreed on ZombiU.
The game certainly had its faults, especially the ugliness of the graphics, but it used the gamepad in a fun and interesting way and made for a gripping experience. Having to take your eyes off the main screen to dig through your backpack or check your map while the action continued on the main screen was a clever way to induce tension, since a zombie could attack while your character was distracted. It made for a nerve-wracking time where you were afraid to take your eyes off your foes and only checked your gear when you were certain of your safety.
Whatever your criticisms of the game, it certainly wasn't shovelware.



psychicscubadiver said:
padib said:

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.

Strongly disagreed on ZombiU.
The game certainly had its faults, especially the ugliness of the graphics, but it used the gamepad in a fun and interesting way and made for a gripping experience. Having to take your eyes off the main screen to dig through your backpack or check your map while the action continued on the main screen was a clever way to induce tension, since a zombie could attack while your character was distracted. It made for a nerve-wracking time where you were afraid to take your eyes off your foes and only checked your gear when you were certain of your safety.
Whatever your criticisms of the game, it certainly wasn't shovelware.

Exactly!



Gameplay > Graphics

Substance > Style

Art Direction > Realism

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curl-6 said:
Illusion said:

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.

We can certainly have a difference of opinion here.  The Wii wasn't Nintendo at their creatively strongest either, but I have to say that things have gotten worse during the Switch.  The Switch and the Wii are the only two Nintendo home consoles that I have not owned since I started gaming.  I owned a Wii U and with Smash, Splatoon, BotW, Mario Maker, Mario Kart 8 I honestly see no reason to upgrade for the sequels that are on the Switch (let's exclude the fact that the servers and support for the Wii U is gone which essentially forces you to upgrade).  Apart from a new console and some more technical and graphical polish, what is really present in these sequels that I cannot have experienced on the Wii U?  The content differences that are there don't seem to add up to more than what you would expect to find in a few good DLC packs in my view.  Nintendo games already looked great at 720p and with the more animated style of Nintendo games, I do not see 1080p as a big selling feature. 

I will admit that Mario Odyssey is quite tempting and is the one title that I almost want to buy the Switch for, but Splatoon 2, Smash Ultimate, Mario Kart 8 Delux have very little appeal to me because I cannot see anything that is new or really changes how these games are played.  It feels more like a renewal license to continue having support for the games I purchased on the Wii U.  Switch releases like NSMBU and SM3DW only reinforce my opinion here.  Buying Smash Ultimate just to play as Banjo or the inklings just isn't worth the upgrade in my view.  Honestly, the Cloud Strife DLC that the Wii U got was a bigger deal to me than playing as those characters.  The one thing that might get me to eventually buy a Switch would be a new Metroid Prime that really rocks, but that still seems like a long ways away.

This is just my opinion and I am fine if it is an unpopular one.  Don't get me wrong, I am still a huge Nintendo fan and I want the Switch to be successful. That being said, I feel that my future in gaming lies in the past which is why I am designing an adapter that allows me to insert a raspberry Pi into and N64 cartridge slot and use my 64 as a unified platform for retro gaming for games on consoles for the PS1 and earlier.  Buying these games used are getting outrageous, but at least with this you own something physical that does not require constant ongoing support and you can legitimately play your personal backups.  My Wii U now is basically unplayable without support or online and it has some intermittent stability issues booting up that makes me nervous to even turn it on so I can't even play all the Retro eShop and Wii Virtual Console games that I bought on it.

Last edited by Illusion - on 08 July 2021

JRPGfan said:

Gamepad alone probably doubled the price of the thing.
If it had launched with a normal controller, they could have halved the price of the unit.
Resulting in much more sales overall (imo).

The gamepad was bulky, heavy, and not optimal to use (most people resorting to buying a pro controller for it, to game with).
And in the games were they really tried to take advantage of the gamepad, the games suffered for it.
(starfox comes to mind)

Anyways, bad sales caused Nintendo to pull developement early on, so there was game droughts, that just made the issue worse.
So it wasnt all just hardware's fault. It was a spiral of alot of things going wrong.

People that say it was just "marketing" are wrong however.
Nintendo brand is so big (so many loyal fans), that even with horrible marketing, if they put out a good device it will sell reguardless.
For people to not buy the Wii U, it was apparent that it wasnt a great product.

It came out, near the end of the gen, and was basically just upto par with the others on the market (that had been out for along time, and was soon moveing on). Soon PS4/XB1 launched, and that took alot of the hype away. At that point it was clear, the Wii U was old gen tech.

Hence another reason I think Nintendo purposefully launches their consoles, mid-gen, away from its competitors.
And why it changed its hardware to be differnt, so it would avoid direct compairsions.

Still, the poor marketing has to take some of the blame.  The Nintendo Switch is a spectacular device, but Nintendo made sure that everyone knew about it by paying for the company's first ever Super Bowl ad.  They didn't just put it out and hope people would notice.  With the Wii U, the marketing and messaging was so bad, that they actually had to put out an ad trying to explain what the thing was... a year after the console had been released!  I don't remember seeing any aggressive TV advertising for the Wii U until it had already been labeled a flop.  The Wii U needed a viral marketing campaign like the "Wii would like to Play" ads. 

And it would have been so simple too.  Just do the same ad where the Nintendo execs show up at your door and say "Wii would like U to play".  Then show off some clips a player using the Gamepad while other players used the screen.  Highlight experiences unique to the Gamepad like the Mario Hide & Seek mini game in Nintendo Land as a draw for kids, and then designing your own hot routes at the line of scrimmage in Madden 13 as a lure for the more hardcore gamers.  And state it very clearly that the system is the successor to the Wii.  It could have been done well and done right, but it wasn't.  



psychicscubadiver said:

Strongly disagreed on ZombiU.
The game certainly had its faults, especially the ugliness of the graphics, but it used the gamepad in a fun and interesting way and made for a gripping experience. Having to take your eyes off the main screen to dig through your backpack or check your map while the action continued on the main screen was a clever way to induce tension, since a zombie could attack while your character was distracted. It made for a nerve-wracking time where you were afraid to take your eyes off your foes and only checked your gear when you were certain of your safety.
Whatever your criticisms of the game, it certainly wasn't shovelware.

Hehe, sorry I went a bit strong there.

What did you think of the rest of my assessment? Isn't it true that the WiiU's design in general lacked usability testing, and that the majority of the games didn't have the depth and finesse that we see in Switch games?

I'm not here to bash the WiiU I loved it, but it's to understand why the mainstream rejected it. So while I'm going strong from a gamer's point of view, from the mainstream point of view, they are also very strict in how they judge how appealing a console is. So while ZombiU might be a cool immersion experience, from an appeal point of view it may have been tedious for gamers who prefer a more pick up and play experience.



Mandalore76 said:
JRPGfan said:

Gamepad alone probably doubled the price of the thing.
If it had launched with a normal controller, they could have halved the price of the unit.
Resulting in much more sales overall (imo).

The gamepad was bulky, heavy, and not optimal to use (most people resorting to buying a pro controller for it, to game with).
And in the games were they really tried to take advantage of the gamepad, the games suffered for it.
(starfox comes to mind)

Anyways, bad sales caused Nintendo to pull developement early on, so there was game droughts, that just made the issue worse.
So it wasnt all just hardware's fault. It was a spiral of alot of things going wrong.

People that say it was just "marketing" are wrong however.
Nintendo brand is so big (so many loyal fans), that even with horrible marketing, if they put out a good device it will sell reguardless.
For people to not buy the Wii U, it was apparent that it wasnt a great product.

It came out, near the end of the gen, and was basically just upto par with the others on the market (that had been out for along time, and was soon moveing on). Soon PS4/XB1 launched, and that took alot of the hype away. At that point it was clear, the Wii U was old gen tech.

Hence another reason I think Nintendo purposefully launches their consoles, mid-gen, away from its competitors.
And why it changed its hardware to be differnt, so it would avoid direct compairsions.

Still, the poor marketing has to take some of the blame.  The Nintendo Switch is a spectacular device, but Nintendo made sure that everyone knew about it by paying for the company's first ever Super Bowl ad.  They didn't just put it out and hope people would notice.  With the Wii U, the marketing and messaging was so bad, that they actually had to put out an ad trying to explain what the thing was... a year after the console had been released!  I don't remember seeing any aggressive TV advertising for the Wii U until it had already been labeled a flop.  The Wii U needed a viral marketing campaign like the "Wii would like to Play" ads. 

And it would have been so simple too.  Just do the same ad where the Nintendo execs show up at your door and say "Wii would like U to play".  Then show off some clips a player using the Gamepad while other players used the screen.  Highlight experiences unique to the Gamepad like the Mario Hide & Seek mini game in Nintendo Land as a draw for kids, and then designing your own hot routes at the line of scrimmage in Madden 13 as a lure for the more hardcore gamers.  And state it very clearly that the system is the successor to the Wii.  It could have been done well and done right, but it wasn't.  

Wii would like to play with U

Wii will Wii Will Rock U (1 minute games showcase as the song plays with matching Wii and U text on screen)

Wii play our way. U play yours. (as it shows the tablet and Wii remotes in multiplayer games reel)

Seriously it's like Nintendo didn't even try. There are so many ways to have word play in marketing for it.

Last edited by Leynos - on 08 July 2021

Bite my shiny metal cockpit!

Illusion said:

curl-6 said:

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.

We can certainly have a difference of opinion here.  The Wii wasn't Nintendo at their creatively strongest either, but I have to say that things have gotten worse during the Switch.  The Switch and the Wii are the only two Nintendo home consoles that I have not owned since I started gaming.  I owned a Wii U and with Smash, Splatoon, BotW, Mario Maker, Mario Kart 8 I honestly see no reason to upgrade for the sequels that are on the Switch (let's exclude the fact that the servers and support for the Wii U is gone which essentially forces you to upgrade).  Apart from a new console and some more technical and graphical polish, what is really present in these sequels that I cannot have experienced on the Wii U?  The content differences that are there don't seem to add up to more than what you would expect to find in a few good DLC packs in my view.  Nintendo games already looked great at 720p and with the more animated style of Nintendo games, I do not see 1080p as a big selling feature. 

I will admit that Mario Odyssey is quite tempting and is the one title that I almost want to buy the Switch for, but Splatoon 2, Smash Ultimate, Mario Kart 8 Delux have very little appeal to me because I cannot see anything that is new or really changes how these games are played.  It feels more like a renewal license to continue having support for the games I purchased on the Wii U.  Switch releases like NSMBU and SM3DW only reinforce my opinion here.  Buying Smash Ultimate just to play as Banjo or the inklings just isn't worth the upgrade in my view.  Honestly, the Cloud Strife DLC that the Wii U got was a bigger deal to me than playing as those characters.  The one thing that might get me to eventually buy a Switch would be a new Metroid Prime that really rocks, but that still seems like a long ways away.

This is just my opinion and I am fine if it is an unpopular one.  Don't get me wrong, I am still a huge Nintendo fan and I want the Switch to be successful. That being said, I feel that my future in gaming lies in the past which is why I am designing an adapter that allows me to insert a raspberry Pi into and N64 cartridge slot and use my 64 as a unified platform for retro gaming for games on consoles for the PS1 and earlier.  Buying these games used are getting outrageous, but at least with this you own something physical that does not require constant ongoing support and you can legitimately play your personal backups.  My Wii U now is basically unplayable without support or online and it has some intermittent stability issues booting up that makes me nervous to even turn it on so I can't even play all the Retro eShop and Wii Virtual Console games that I bought on it.

I can't comment on Smash as I'm not into that, but Splatoon 2 for example has a new campaign bigger than the first game's, all the new multiplayer content you'd expect from a sequel, and the new Salmon Run mode.

As a Switch owner who also had a Wii U and isn't fond of the amount of ports from it, the games that made Switch worthwhile for me are games like Mario Odyssey, Monster Hunter Rise, Xenoblade 2, Luigi's Mansion 3, etc, plus ports of games like Ori 1 & 2, Doom 2016/Eternal, Witcher 3, Hellblade, etc.

Last edited by curl-6 - on 08 July 2021

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