Reggie will be top tier
It’s been over one year since the Wii U debuted and… things could be a bit better? While not like the hyperbole doomsayers, the Wii U is in need of a boost, and four things come to mind immediately. Let’s look!
So last year, the Wii U released with sparse offerings and many ports of “mature” titles on a “kiddie” console. The problem was the lack of new content and lots of games that were already on the other consoles, PC, and even Mac. To add further complication, corporate did confess that the Wii U was Nintendo resting on their laurels a bit, which confused consumers if the Wii U was really a must-have item at home or another Wii add-on. One year into the game and even a new Mario game could not pull the rug from underneath the PS4 and the Xbox ONE. Though Nintendo certainly is not out of the game just yet.
1. Distance from the Wii
The first thing the Wii U needs is to distance itself from its older sibling. What this means is not just putting the Mass Effect trilogy on the system library but in total brand recognition, separating itself from its identity as “Wii add-on”, which may as well put it in league with Sega’s Genesis life-support failures like the 32x. This would be something marketing can cover. When an image gets stale, usually a slight rebranding helps the product get by.
2. Improving online
“Why should you have a Wii U?” there should be an answer immediately to this question if your product is selling well. Unfortunately, one of the answers, online, did not really take off. Using Miiverse and the community does indeed help when you have a question like “How do I breed the perfect Pokemon?” but we do have GameFAQs and already established communities to answer those types of questions. While Nintendo is indeed wary of online, they do not need to sacrifice their vision of more personal gaming by making online more accessible and having games that take advantage of it. My thoughts lend to community games whether it’s similar to Minecraft or Terraria which are always more fun when there are things to create or worlds to explore. This move will also give the Nintendo Network logo meaning instead of a rename of the Wi-Fi Connection.
3. Games that make full use of the hardware
Just from last month alone, Pokemon X and Y moved many a 3DS and even enticed a few people to buy a Nintendo 2DS. The 3DS on launch had many a consumer wary and even spelling the doom of the 3DS, but now Nintendo has re-assumed its throne of handheld gaming and this was icing on the cake. Instead of just 3D ports of previous games, over time more and more good games came out and made sales respectable, but there were still a few holdouts. With a game like Pokemon, that number burgeoned, and those new 3DS owners then scooped up other titles they long salivated over. Other titles that made very good use of the 3DS’ powers included Kid Icarus, and Fire Emblem everything from Streetpass to DLC. Plenty of Wii U games are legitimately wonderful, but when the draw is posting your results to social networking, it may motivate people to borrow a console to play at someone else’s home, but it may not motivate another console sale. Pokemon made use of the numerous 3DS networking features utilizing a flagship franchise, that made the system relevant and nearly imperative for people to buy. Now those new owners will expand their library or at least make more buyers out of it which leads to the last salient point.
4. Motivation to buy it now
“Wouldn’t you want to join your friends and battle Pokemon together?” was essentially the message that put the 3DS to the forefront. For the Wii U, the next Smash Bros is likely going to be this type of title. Since the Wii U has been resting there for a while, it needs a jolt to have it come to the public’s attention, not just a solid game that merely tempts people casually, but a title or rush of titles that can make lots of hype in a short amount of time. Bringing the whole brass band behind a title pushes off people on the fence about your product instead of making “eventually if I have spare cash” responses. Not only would a game like Smash Bros 4 be a solid game, it’s hopefully going to put the system to its fullest and entice people to buy a Wii U not eventually, but now. Join me next time when I slay our zombie overlords.
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