I’ll admit it, sometimes I forget that the WiiU even exists. I’ve lost count of the number of times that I’ve written a review of a game and forgotten to put a ‘WiiU’ tag, for instance. It’s not that I dislike the console, or that I don’t see it as a valid gaming device… I just kind of forget that it’s there. But that’s led me to wonder why that is. I never did it with the Wii, or any of Nintendo’s handheld devices – I mean I’ve never owned any of those consoles… well… not since the Gameboy, but I would often look at them and consider buying one. Not so with the WiiU, though.
I do remember, however, one instance where the WiiU was on my radar; and that was around the time of its release. I had seen the adverts for ZombiU, and it caught my attention. I saw potential in that game, but the potential was in the game itself, rather than the console – for me at least. But, after watching various game-play videos, and reading up on the title, I eventually decided that the game wasn’t for me. Or, at least, it didn’t warrant buying a WiiU, just to play that one title. Since then, I’ve not really given the WiiU a second thought. But that’s not to say that there aren’t some great games on the console, and most of those great games are Nintendo exclusives, such as Bayonetta 2 and The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Walker.
I think that the problem with Nintendo as a company is that it has a bit of a stigma attached to it. People assume, (and I’m one of those people), that they make ‘family’ games, or games for kids. Whilst games like Mario and Pokemon are fun, they’re a little childish. At least, I think they are. Maybe I’m the only one, though I kind of feel as though I’m not. I don’t think that Nintendo really make adult games, and very few developers make adult games for their consoles. Sure, developers might release their games for the WiiU, titles like Watch_Dogs, Assassin’s Creed, or DarkSiders. But I’m of the opinion that, if you wanted to play those types of games, you’d buy a PS4 or an Xbox One. When I first saw ZombiU, I thought that Nintendo might be trying to ‘adult up’ their console, but they seemed to have let those types of games die with the failing of ZombiU.
Sure, ZombiU wasn’t exactly a success, but I definitly see what Nintendo were trying to do with it. They were trying to reach a different audience with the game, and I can’t blame them for trying. I think that they know their consoles are directed towards the family or youth audience, and they’re trying to move away from that slightly. My reasoning for beleiving this is based in one recent game, Bayonetta 2, and an upcoming game, the untitled Zelda. Bayonetta is not a kid’s game, far from it. It’s a little cartooney at times, but it’s a hack and slash at its heart and it’s sure as hell a gorey game. The game was released mid last year, just for the WiiU, and I sort of thought that the title could herald a change for the console. I was hoping that it might bring a new wave of ‘adult’ games for the WiiU. Sadly, however, this wasn’t really the case.
BUT! That brings me to the upcoming, untitled Zelda game. From what I’ve seen so far, in a few images of concept art, and what I’ve read as of yet, it sounds as though Nintendo might be making their next Zelda game a little more gritty. Maybe not the recent Tomb Raider levels of gritty, but certainly a more adult twist for a game which usually doesn’t have a bad bone in its body. The world is going to be bigger, Link can even ride a horse, and he looks pretty badass in this image that has been curclating of late.
Obviously, this is all just speculation. Still, I’d very much like to see a more open-worldy Zelda game, and I appreciate that Nintendo are trying to utilise their console for more than just another rehash of Smash Bros or Mario.
At the moment, the WiiU just doesn’t have an edge or a draw for me. Not enough to warrant me buying one, anyway. I think that the console could be a lot more popular if Nintendo took a few more risks with it. Bring in some more third-party titles, and make sure that those titles are exclusive to the console – Bayonetta 2 was a good start, but I want to see more! Third-party titles on the WiiU, in the most part, are available elsewhere, and their current exclusives are too tried, tested and set in their ways. If you enjoy Mario, for instance, you’ll already have a WiiU – or at least a different Nintendo console or handheld. If they want to really get the console noticed, they need to start moving away from their classics, or at least start revamping those classics for the new gaming market.
But maybe you don’t agree with me. Maybe you think that appealing to a more family orientated market is Nintendo’s USP, and that they’d be better of not trying to compete with the other consoles. Or, maybe you think that Nintendo offers something that the other consoles can’t. Let me know in the comments below!