The Wii U, a mixed reception. Most generally seem to like it, but are a little underwhelmed with some hardware elements. The touchscreen is so-so. A small amount of internal storage - regardless of the fact that any HDD can be used - is odd considering the supposed accessibility of the console. Not many will know or know how to use an external HDD. But perhaps you could argue they most likely wouldn't be indulging on digital copies of games, so it wouldn't be a problem. Fair enough argument. But still, it's not the best choice (could have done both; internal and external). The functionality of the controller bar the touchscreen seems to be pleasing most. And those who have delved into the online aspects seem pretty pleased with what Nintendo may come to offer through the service.
Overall, it's what was expected; detractors and supporters. Meeting standards and being below par. But any assessment is too soon, more time is needed, people will change their opinions and no doubt, we'll hear familiar complaints and comments about "no games" or "collecting dust". It is a console after all, and with competition, these two phrases are inevitable at some point.
Will the console sell well? I don't know, I personally think it will do okay, but it won't be a Wii and it won't be a DS. I think everyone already expects that would be the case though.
But most of the buyers and those mulling over a purchase aren't really influenced by the success of the console at this very minute, they just need to justify it. That justification either comes in the form of price, or, in software. And it's the later that has brought up a line of discussion that has been following Nintendo around since the release of the Wii - 3rd Party titles.
Now, there is one certainty for a Nintendo console, and that is that there will be some generally solid 1st Party titles on the system. This has always been the case with Nintendo consoles. Nintendo, astonishingly, will release their own games on their own console. So you are guaranteed a bunch of titles right off the bat. That is a buy in for a lot of people. Those who don't buy in, want to be told that they'll get 3rd Party support. And this is where it gets kinda mixed up and messy.
When people usually find themselves asking for 3rd Party titles, they're asking for multiplatform titles. Most people who I hear this complaint from, usually have a current generation platform or a PC, and because of that, they already have the means to play these titles. Is it really necessary to have a choice of where you buy your multiplatform title? If there was, if this was a question or something people were really troubled over, you would expect that they would have a PC as that generally offers the best multiplatform solution. So if you are that worried, there is a better option than a Wii U, and if you don't have a PC, like I said, I expect that they would have a 360 or PS3. So they would have access to that content if it was released, even if the Wii U didn't see it.
There are arguments against this, sure. Not everyone wants to have more that one console. People don't have the space or the money. But if that's the case, then stick with what you own already if multiplatform is your main concern. If you were that interested in Nintendo's First Party line up, you'd have likely have bought a Wii U already, or are just waiting a few months before you grab it.
Multiplatform titles are a terrible reason to buy a specific console. Why would you want a number of the same consoles to play the same content? Unless, like I said, you only want one... but as I also said, I would expect that if you had a yearning to play Mario that much, you likely wouldn't care if you get next years Need for Speed.
I am making this far more simple than it is. We are all very nuanced and have very independent reasons for why we do what we do. But this is more to highlight 3rd Party titles a little more accurately. Because when people reminisce about the NES and SNES, they aren't thinking about all of those multiplatform titles, they are thinking about other 3rd Party titles. The ones that no longer exist. Or at least, not for consoles.
So someone wants to buy a Wii U, they want to have the same super-fun times as they did on the NES and SNES, less so on the N64 and GameCube though... because of the same issue... Nostalgia is a heavy word in the discussions of new consoles, especially Nintendo consoles, and thinking back is not doing you any favours. What you yearn for, is no longer there.
When I played games on the NES, SNES, Mega-Drive, Saturn and PlayStation, I remember loads of great gaming experiences. These were not all Mario or Zelda games, Sonic or Metal Gear Solid, but a mish-mash of none multiplatform 'B' titles. Games that were released in an easier time, when a small group of guys could push something out or a small independent company, and not have to worry about breaking the bank. All of those great games that you are expecting or hoping to appear on the Wii U - the games that will bring you back to the days of the NES or SNES - just don't get made anymore. If you want those great 1st Party titles like back when you were a kid, you'll get them. But if you want those odd, off the wall, no-one-remembers-but-you games, then you gonna be left disappointed.
Now, if this is you, if you want to know where all the 'B's' are, you can find them in a place; the PC. This is where those mid level titles now reside. It's where you can get the diverse gaming that you have wanted to get back. This is where all of those console games from your youth now appear. And I'm not talking retro Indie games, I'm talking full fledged content that is made for the purpose of being a game. Not a product. But know this; that this really is the only place (bar handhelds) where you will find this content. The home console climate has changed too much that these kind of games just cannot be made anymore.
I'll just clarify, that this isn't a post for promoting the PC as the ultimate gaming platform. This isn't a post about me decrying the Wii U or consoles in general. It's simply my attempt of trying to help clear things up. Everything I say can no doubt be questioned at some level, but some of these things are just the sad fact.
If you are still undecided over picking up the Wii U, start by knowing that you will get great Mario games, some 3rd Party stuff, but you won't get that 8 - 16-bit experience. And you won't get that experience if you wait for the next Xbox or PlayStation either.
If you think Nintendo are no longer what they were, then you mustn't remember who they ever were. What they do now, and the games THEY release on their consoles is no different now than it was 25 years ago.
It's always difficult when you long for something that you can't have. Or things aren't as you remember them. But fortunately, there are options. You can certainly play the latest evolution of those great 'B' class titles right there on your PC. Get into those games that only you have heard of. And, you can also, if it's what you really want, get a new console which - history seems to have proven so far - will have the same great Nintendo content on it that you expect.