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The Wii U - quite possibly Nintendo's best console even if it failed?

VGEsoterica

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Nintendo seems to have a knack for developing hardware that hits one end of the extremes; runaway success (Switch, Wii) or low selling "also ran" (GameCube, Wii U)...which must be maddening for a company; hit a home run just to strike out at your next attempt.

Yet somehow Nintendo has a second extreme they love to hit...making their best games for their "worst" hardware. Not to say their first party output in Wii wasn't awesome, but GameCube and Wii U IMO had better "Nintendo games" for it than the Wii or the 64 before it did.

I still remember standing in line on launch day in Chicago to get a Wii U...all because I got confused as to what day you were able to pre-order and I missed it by an entire day. Took awhile in line but I was able to buy one on launch day and since then I have had an absolutely blast every time I played it. You 100% can't argue with the fact that it failed commercially but as far as a console to play and collect for...straight gold. Especially considering the prices haven't gone through the roof yet compared to a lot of other Nintendo stuff.

The Switch is amazing in it's own right but I miss the whole Gamecube/Wii/Wii U quirky hardware; all classic Nintendo designs keeping the PowerPC architecture and their "were gonna do our own thing...thanks anyway" ethos.

It'll be interesting to see what comes after Switch. But for me the Wii U is still one of my favorite Nintendo consoles of all time. Sad it failed...but awesome in spite of it.

Anyone else love some Wii U?
 

VGEsoterica

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if you were curious about the hardware architecture lineage. IBM really had a monopoly on consoles for awhile there with Nintendo / MS / Sony all using PowerPC. Oh and don't glue eyes to your Wii U! Glue took forever to get off lol

Mods : if link is an issue i'll remove link. Just want to talk Wii U
 
Oct 7, 2019
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I think it was horrible. Really underpowered for its time, expensive, disappointing game library and with an extremely bad, suuuuper slow and unresponsive dated UI.

Easily one of my least favorite Nintendo consoles. Compared to the NES, the SNES and the GameCube I think it's a joke. You'll probably find lots of love for it here on neogaf though 😃
 

Nico_D

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I dragged it out of the cellar just two weeks ago and everybody's playing it, especially Nintendoland multiplayer. I was smart to install quite a many games on external HDD,. Human Revolution among them

It is a good console.
 

-Arcadia-

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The Switch taking so much of the game library has left people with a diminished impression of it, whereas it might actually be seen as a cult classic.

It was a cool Nintendo system. I just think it’s blatantly clear where you can see the cutoff where Nintendo stopped devoting big games like 3D World to it, and started doing smaller stuff, as they prepared for Switch. That and the four year cutoff make it a less prolific Nintendo system.

Still a bunch of wonderful games, though. Anything with 3D World, Mario Kart 7, Xenoblade X, and Breath of the Wild, never mind the rest of the awesome bunch of games (Tropical Freeze, Captain Toad, Splatoon, Mario Maker and more), has done right by the world.
 
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VGEsoterica

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The Switch taking so much of the game library has left people with a diminished impression of it.

It was a cool Nintendo system. I just think it’s blatantly clear where you can see the cutoff where Nintendo stopped devoting big games like 3D World to it, and started doing smaller stuff, as they prepared for Switch. That and the four year cutoff make it a less prolific Nintendo system.

Still a bunch of classics, though.

Yes the Switch has become Wii U + in the library it seems lol
 

16bitwarzvet

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It was really a great system. I picked one up just for the kids and to do some modding with. I wish there had been more 3rd party support for games but oh well.
 
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Stilton Disco

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It was shit.

Woefully underpowered even for the time, with an awful, cheap feeling controller, God awful UI, terrible gimmick, woeful third party games, anaemic library, and barely supported even by Nintendo.

I paid just £100 for mine and still felt ripped off.

The only good thing about it was the Pro Controller. As soon as it got an update so you didn't have to use that God awful, low res, short ranged, heavy and uncomfortably abomination of a tablet, it improved the experience of using the system 10 fold. From total shit, to just shit.

Thank god it failed so spectacularly we got the Switch as a do over 8th gen system.

I mean sure, I'm a chump for buying it in the first place, and even more so for rebuying it's games on Switch, but they are so much better and more fun for not being shackled to the WiiU, it's totally worth the double dip.

All it's games, the only thing worth owning it for, are better on the Switch, an entire system smaller than the WiU's dumb gamepad, which speaks volumes.

Hopefully the last few exclusives it has will be ported too eventually, at which point it will be the first console I've ever owned, going back to the NES, I'll throw in the dustbin.

EDIT: I just remembered that the Gamepad, with it's incredibly short battery life, actually needed an entirely separate plug to charge it from the mains! God it was badly designed.
 
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Spukc

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bought one AT CEX when the thing was sold off dirt cheap.
when i rage sold mine before the switch rumours.

ended up rebuying all my wii u games dirt cheap

the wii u is a flawed but fun console

mario maker 1 is WAY WAY better then 2
 
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RebellYell

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I'll never forget trawling through the dumpster fire that was Miiverse, laughing my ass off at all the posts by 5 year olds trying to chat each other up.
 

LordOfChaos

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Ehh. I'm actually playing it a bunch now because I dumbly sold my PS4 early expecting to get a PS5 right away, but without Breath of the Wild, I'd call its library abysmal, and still barely passing for a 350 dollar console generation. There's a few other polished Nintendo games but to me that wouldn't have been enough, also some of their output at the time was questionable to lazy (Starfox Guard, and Wii Fitness U just seems downright lazy). A 350USD console about as powerful as the 7th gen that was launching only a year away from the 400USD PS4 which was vastly more powerful seemed like a recipe for failure, yeah the Switch isn't all that much more powerful but it's portable and a different thing that way.

It's cheap now, yeah, and easily jailbroken, so it's a good retro console emulator especially. I'm going to hang on to mine and see if it becomes a collectors item, but right now they go for a song.

all classic Nintendo designs keeping the PowerPC architecture and their "were gonna do our own thing...thanks anyway" ethos.

This was one of those weird, Nintendo is run by alien squids things - they bothered porting PowerPC 750 cores, essentially front end unmodified since the Gamecube, to an almost modern at the time 45nm node, rather than just use something new. Was Wii compatibility really worth being so underpowered? Also the .5MB/2MB/.5MB L2 cache layout with one core having a bigger cache than the rest, the large cache was enough space for another core, would that have helped any more...And only one game was allowed to use more than 1GB RAM, BoTW, and only at the end.


Nintendo is so secretive, but I'd love a "war stories" on its development, decisions, etc.
 

Thabass

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Technically speaking I think the Wii U was fantastic. But it's marketing was it's downfall.

Either way, we got the Switch and I do feel that it's better than the Wii U in almost every aspect.
 
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Orta

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I double dipped on every WiiU game I have for my Switch. Reason being I never played or even unboxed my WiiU as my interest in console gaming was zero at the time (Switch rectified that however).

Anyway, is there any reason to fire up my WiiU?
 

-Arcadia-

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The first time we got some measure of a portable console too. Again, the Switch has kind of taken that, but even if it was limited, it was awesome to play new Nintendo games Day 1 on a ‘handheld’ of sorts, and chill in other rooms without turning the TV on. I was even able to get the range far enough to enjoy outside gaming.

If the controller was generally a waste of space and features (besides being incredibly comfortable due to its wide-set nature), this one thing at least soared.

YMMV, though. I’ve heard of people who had same-room connection issues.
 
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Woman7

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Terrible console, shite controller, cumbersome but quirky UI.

But the games? Goddamn! The crême de la crême:

Mario Kart 8
Pikmin 3
Breath of the Wild
Super Mario 3D World
Mario Maker
Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze
Captain Todd
Splatoon

Impressive stuff on a dumb idea for a console.
 

me0wish

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Such a fantastic console, I loved it with all my heart, much more interesting and fun than the Switch. Can't believe how much Nintendo messed up the Wii U.
 

VGEsoterica

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Terrible console, shite controller, cumbersome but quirky UI.

But the games? Goddamn! The crême de la crême:

Mario Kart 8
Pikmin 3
Breath of the Wild
Super Mario 3D World
Mario Maker
Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze
Captain Todd
Splatoon

Impressive stuff on a dumb idea for a console.

lol my point exactly. Failed hardware, incredible library.
 

Sejan

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Wii U wasn’t as bad as some people thought, Nintendo Land was a great proof of concept. Unfortunately, the entire system was a little under baked. It needed a bit more power, the game pad was poorly designed being too heavy and bulky, and it was missing a few key features that might have put it over the top.

Only being slightly above the PS360 was just too little. It didn’t need to be at PS4/XOne level, but it did need more than it had.

The game pad laws too difficult to use for long periods and didn’t have the battery to support it anyway.

Seemingly obvious features were missing. Why couldn’t it stream from the console over the internet. It really would have been an outstanding feature. Why couldn’t you load stuff like VC games onto the gamepad to play independently of the main system. The hardware required for either of these fractures would have likely been minimal, yet it could have added a lot of value to the gamepad as a pseudo portable console.


The Wii U was far from the worst hardware Nintendo has ever produced, but it was just underthought and underbaked. Another year in the oven might have made a great system. Unfortunately, the Wii U failed so spectacularly that no one will try anything similar ever again.
 
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Man I loved the WiiU, and I owned two of them (OG purchase, and a white used one after I sold the original). I would still love to get my hands on the WW SE.
I know people love the Switch, and I do as well but a lot of the best games on Switch are simply WiiU ports which proves how good it's library was. Bad console, but great library.

Plus it gave up Splatoon which I'm super grateful for.
 

NeilH1982

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The amount of great games released in its short lifetime is nothing short of amazing. Nintendo totally nailed it on first party content. Loved the console for what it was, sadly did not get the love it deserved
 

Alx

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I don't think power was the real issue, the Wii and the Switch aren't more powerful compared to their competitors and still successful. It's not the games either, since everybody on Switch seem to be playing the same IPs that were on WiiU.
It probably failed to find the right "gimmick" to convince people, the second screen wasn't interesting enough (funnily enough there was a "TVTVTV" element to their vision, making it easier to play while watching TV), and I suppose the limited range of mobility made it mostly useless. While the switch sold on the promise of mobility, but most people seem to be playing on their TV screen like a regular console.
 
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crozier

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I never played one, but it seems to me like they wanted to create the Switch but were only able to take an incremental step in that direction with the Wii U. The tech wasn’t ready for what they really wanted to do.
 

Captain Toad

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No. Most underrated, maybe, but definitely not the best. The UI was sluggish. The range of the tablet was horrible. Plus, while it had some good games, it just didn't have a long enough lifespan to have enough really great exclusives.
 
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Considering the amount of the WiiU's first party library that has seen a port to the Switch, it definitely had the games. Console itself was quiet & small, proper BC was also a nice bonus, I still plug it in every now & again. The most odd thing about it is that I've always viewed it as sort of an in-between gen system due to the higher ram & more advanced GPU, but the games never really looked much better than what we got with PS3/360 :messenger_grinning_sweat:
 

PooBone

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The best Switch games (besides Mario Odyssey) are Wii U games. It's an underrated gem of a console, even if the tablet controller feels like a Playskool ipad knockoff. It also has the virtual console, which Nintendo has butt-farted around and failed to properly implement this generation. I was playing my Wii U just last night.
 
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PooBone

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It's good for one thing and one thing only: Emulation.
False.
 

crozier

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I have to admit, I hate having to go through life knowing I never played Zombie U.
 

SF Kosmo

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Garbage in concept and execution. It did have some good first party games because it's Nintendo, but even then I would take any other Nintendo library this side of Virtual Boy.
 
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I had a Wii U. Played a lot of Mario Kart and some Zombi U. I had Smash but never bothered with it. Which tells you everything about this P.O.S.

As an emulation machine, it is good, because it supports a wide range of systems both officially and via homebrew. It's also good if you want to play Wii on an HD television. That's about it. On its own merits, it is pretty damn bad.
 

AJUMP23

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Mario Maker was the game that made the best use of it, and I loved it for what it did.
 
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No as a hardware it was the drizzling shits, software WISE (AKA 1st party wise) it was good but IMO it's a step down from the creativity of the Wii era's 1st party output.
 

fart town usa

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My man. I've been going hard on the Wii U love on GAF lately so forgive me for repeating myself ad nauseum.

I bought a WIi U at launch, sold it within a year but not because I didn't like it, I just wasn't gaming much then. Bought another one this last September because ZombiU is a masterpiece and I was still under the impression that BOTW had offscreen features (lol). I am beyond hooked on this system and am just blown away by how much I love it.

A few things,

The first-party related releases are frigging awesome (BOTW, MK8, Color Splash, Xenoblade X, Fatal Frame 5, Mario 3D World, WW HD, TP HD)
Playing Wii games on the gamepad is a game changer. The gamepad makes Wii games looks absolute fantastic and it's a super responsive and cozy way to play.
The Miiverse was easily the coolest social platform that a home console has ever had, such a shame it's not around anymore.

I could go on and on but all I want to make clear is that the Wii U is a frigging amazing system with so many options. I love it.

Also, Yes, I own a Switch and no I don't play it much at all.
 
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Stiflers Mom

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I have a kind of weird history with the Wii U.
I bought it on launch day which was also when my first son was born.

I really HATED it so much the first years. Literally everything about it was shit.

But the console really redeemed itself over the years. 3D World is one of the best marios imo, Zelda BotW is amazing, I played tons of Mario Kart over the years.

And the best thing is, my son is for over two years now in an age, where the Wii U is really the perfect console.
He loves playing games on it and then watching stuff on Netflix and Youtube.
 
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kunonabi

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Best might be a stretch but I'd certainly put it ahead of the GC, Switch, and if I'm being objective, the N64. It's a bit of a toss-up in regards to first party stuff with the SNES but it obviously loses it on the 3rd party support. Comparing it to the NES/FC is also kind of iffy due to the huge difference in pure volume even if most of the NES/FC library is rubbish.

Wii U had some amazing games to be sure and it will be probably be the last console I have any real affection for. It's just unfortunate that the lack of success meant a large chunk of the later titles stopped being ambitious and that you had to import to get the most out of it due to NoA's BS.
 
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fart town usa

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Zombi U is a sleeper hit. Absolutely love it and did a vid on it coming out eventually. Got it at launch and fell in love with it
It really is. I wasn't expecting much with Ubisoft attached, and at the time, classic "Survival Horror" was definitely not a thing so I was expecting a shooter or something dumb. What I got was one of the best gameplay experiences of my life. For me, it felt like I was playing the OG Resident Evil in first person and I was just blown away at how much I enjoyed the game. Still do. I also own the PS4 version and it's good, but the Wii U version is the best way to play.

Here's something that I think people forget, Resident Evil 6 released on 10/02/2012. ZombiU released 6 weeks later on 11/18/2012. That's what the state of "Survival Horror" was in. ZombiU came out of nowhere and was really trying to do something specific and unique to that era in gaming. Such a shame that reviewers trashed it, a sequel with proper polish could have been GOTY material.
 

Fbh

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I thought the console itself was shit.
Underpowered hardware for when it came out, lacked some basic features like party chat, the OS was slow and needed to load for even basic stuff like going to settings. And the entire thing was build around an ugly fisher price looking tablet controller with horrible battery life and a laughable range that negated much of the appeal.

The games though were pretty nice: BotW, Mario Kart 8, Tropical Freeze, Bayonetta 2, Wonderful 101, Wind Waker and Twilight Princess HD, etc. Despite being an underpowered failed console that wasn't sold for very long, it has a nice little lineup of cool games which at least to me still gives it a better exclusive lineup than the Switch.

Oh also, the internet browser was surprisingly solid
 

Neff

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Miiverse was the shit. Wii U's other networking features were also surprisingly novel and fun.

Apart from that, Switch is better at everything else Wii U did by a galactic mile.
 

SuperGooey

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I got a lot of playtime out of Tropical Freeze, Shovel Knight, BotW, Xenoblade X, Mario Kart 8, and Bayonetta 2. I can't say I regret buying Wii U, but it was clearly heading to failure the moment it released. I still think Nintendo's best console was either SNES or N64, but Wii U was easily better than Wii, imo. I'd also rank Wii U below Gamecube since its big titles didn't really have the "wow factor" of something like Metroid Prime for me.
 
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