Video review via Polygon.
It might seem a little unfair to write about the Wii U, but as it's currently the most recent console on the market (until the next gen hits) it gets a fair shake like the others. Just like my previous look at how to improve the 2013 outlook for the PS Vita, I don't own a Wii U either - but I should get one within the next few months when my university work is done with.
When that happens, this is what I would love to see:
Better advertising: I'm not sure why but here in the U.K. Nintendo have went for a truly awful campaign which doesn't really address why you should buy in to the Wii U. It's certainly possible that when the next Mario or Zelda hits they'll have an easier time demonstrating the consoles value to the consumer, but look at this Zombii U commercial and tell me that it explains exactly what makes gaming different on Wii U. If people don't understand it, they won't buy it. If I don't understand it - and I want to buy it - then there's a serious problem here.
More games: We're entering the end of days for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Soon there will be a new generation of consoles designed to take all of your money and they should be glorious. Whilst the Wii has gone to the great GameStop in the sky, it left us the gift of playing its old hand-me-down games on the Wii U. That's great, but we need new adventures, new experiences and most of all games which aren't shoddy B-team ports. I don't want a version of Madden, FIFA or Mass Effect that comes with critical game content dropped or simply missing - like the Infinity Engine in the former and the most recent DLC in the case of the latter. I realise they haven't had the final hardware as long as 7 year old consoles, but if there's even less parity in 2013 between the PS3/X360 and Wii U then something is horribly wrong.
Fix the technical stuff: Battery life on the Gamepad - at three hours it's awful, and needs to be fixed. I can't speak from experience (maybe someone could enlighten me?) but if I were wanting to play the Wii U in another room then it would be great if the battery held a charge for a longer period of time. The sluggish performance of the Wii U is something that Nintendo are working on, as performing tasks like switching applications takes longer than they should. It's Nintendo's first real attempt at a technically proficient home console designed to do more than play games (compared to the Wii at least) and they've now got a few months to get these things sorted before Microsoft and/or Sony rain on the parade.
It's a mixed bag for Nintendo in my opinion. They're selling a boat load of consoles, but the games have fallen off the UK "Top 40," with the exception of Nintendoland which hangs in there at 38. That's a problem. It says there are few people buying games for the new console and its a concern for the future of the console. Why should developers make games which aren't going to sell? If they were selling then I could ask why developers like Criterion weren't getting Need for Speed Most Wanted ready for this holiday season? Where was the Wii U version of Far Cry 3? Simply, this only adds to the argument that Nintendo consoles don't want, or need the multiplatform games already available on the market for the other consoles.
Perhaps next year will be different when some folks open those consoles underneath their Christmas trees and they add their voices, hopes and dreams to the others in Nintendoland. At least I hope so. I really, honestly, truly do. I want the next Metroid, the next Mario Galaxy, and most of all I want Zelda in HD. But I also want other games too. Hopefully we'll see progress in 2013.
What do you folks think?