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Opinion: Believe it or not, now might be the best time to buy a Wii U

by Daniel VuckovicJune 19, 2016

Despite only having a theoretical life span of just nine months, and more if the NX is delayed, Nintendo’s beleaguered Wii U console might just be the smartest choice if you’re looking to expand your gaming options in 2016 and somewhat in 2017.

I know what you’re thinking – I’m the guy on Twitter saying that the Wii U is dead and has been for some months. This is all true, but buying a console with an end of life has its upsides and buying a Wii U with most of its troubled life behind it can be a good move.

Troubled Life

The Wii U has had a very drama filled life, it’s the 15-year-old-on-Tumblr-who-can’t-get-an-iPhone-and-blames-their-parents of a console. Despite the drama, things have still been pretty good. It’s just a matter of time and perspective.

We’ve seen the Wii U go from uber-Nintendo box with a killer third party line up, we’ve seen unprecedented relationships fail, we’ve seen games been delayed over and over and we’ve all been through the day one update hell.

But out of all of this we’ve still got an amazing repertoire of games, both Nintendo-developed, third party-developed and by Nindies and buying a Wii U now means you don’t have to wait 4 years for it all – you can get it all now.

Remember when people complained about this one?

Remember when people complained about this one?

If you buy a Wii U now you’re buying 9 months of pure Nintendo goodness. While the four-year life of the Wii U might have been troubled, when you can condense it down into 9 months you have no delays, no big system updates and a wide variety of great Wii U games, indie games and even Virtual Console. At the launch of the system there was none of these. The Virtual Console had to be repopulated. Indie games were there but still not the wide range we enjoy now. And then there’s the games…

Super Smash Bros, Super Mario Maker, The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD, Twilight Princess HD, Bayonetta 2, Super Mario 3D World, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, NintendoLand, Pikmin 3, Yoshi’s Woolly World, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, Mario Kart 8 and Xenoblade Chronicles X. We also can’t forget Splatoon – this amazing new IP is the beacon of light on the Wii U. It’s something modern, fresh and new for Nintendo. Can you imagine if the system launched with even two of these games (NintendoLand aside)?

The Wii U’s amazing library even extends to a number of third party games, and these games, because they did sell so poorly, can usually be found really cheap. The Wonderful 101, ZombiU, Sonic and All Stars Racing Transformed, Lego City Undercover, Mass Effect 3 and the brilliant Need for Speed Most Wanted U port. I could go through the number of brilliant titles on the eShop as well – but we’d be here all day.

But what a way to go.

End of Life

The big problem with buying a Wii U now is two-fold. Yes, despite what Nintendo say it will be replaced. Sure The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is coming to it next year but are you really wanting to play the biggest revolution in Zelda on the Wii U? You might, depending on what the NX may or may not be.

The other big problem is the price – the Wii U still isn’t cheap. Sure, there’s discounts here and there and you can find it with games included, but the price of the system should be almost half of what it is. Nintendo won’t do it yet, they’re still making margin, they’re still in the black because they’re selling you and I a Wii U with the way our currency is.

Then there’s the games. A lot of games we listed above aren’t cheap. They’re still all full price (unless you’re buying a Wii U before Tuesday when the eShop sale ends) and there’s no guarantee of backwards compatibility with the NX. So maybe waiting is an option. The only problem is that the more you wait, the more the 9-month window closes in and the bang for your buck disappears.

Unless of course Nintendo decide to port all of these games to the NX, and then… well, at least you’ve got something for the kids?

Stupid name, great console.

Neo and Scorpio

Ah yes, the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 hardware refreshes. The exact reason it’s probably not wise to buy either one of those consoles right now. Their end of life is approaching too, but unlike the Wii U, Sony and Microsoft will still be releasing games on the ‘old’ systems while the new systems just give them a boost.

The PlayStation 4 and (less so) the Xbox One have never had the problems the Wii U has had. They’ve had a consistent stream of games since launch, even if most of them were remasters at the beginning. They’ve had third party support, indie support and their loyalty programs have meant you’ve got games to play – even if you didn’t want them. The Xbox One also switched on backward compatibility not too long ago.

If you’re already a Wii U owner, you’ve likely already sampled everything the Wii U library has offered you. The next 9 months are going to suck as there’s barely anything new coming out for the console.

But if you’re new to the Wii U, now is the time to jump in. Find a console, find it cheap and find some games. You won’t be disappointed.

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About The Author
Daniel Vuckovic

The Owner and Creator of this fair website. I also do news, reviews, programming, art and social media here. It is named after me after all.

Please understand.

8 Comments
  • Phantom Ganon
    June 19, 2016 at 5:42 pm

    It will be interesting to see if NX is backwards compatible. There are a few games from that list that I do want to play, but I saw Zelda and pending what they reveal the NX to be, I’m already thinking that I’m saving up for that (though I doubt it will be an expensive console).

    If the NX reveal is terrible, my decision is simple. Buy a cheap Wii U and catch up on the games I haven’t played this gen. If the NX reveal is good, I am totally okay with having skipped the Wii U.

  • Galvatron
    June 20, 2016 at 9:48 am

    If the NX has no backward compatibility with Wii U titles then it will be hard sell at launch for the NX. If there is BC, then that will truly kill of the Wii U.

    Isn’t the NX rumoured to be going digiital distribution for it’s games ..maybe even back to cartridges!

    • WAAW
      June 20, 2016 at 11:39 am

      Well, if they choose to port a selection of Nintendo’s Choice titles (Mario Maker, Smash, Splatoon), they can get away with a lack of BC. Since this is the Wii U’s prevailing narrative — mistakes were made, but the games were good — it makes sense Nintendo would want to take advantage of the situation to have a solid initial software lineup. Question will mainly be how these games will function if the NX does away with the Gamepad, which it might. Looking at the titles mentioned in the article, the only one that *needs* the screen is Mario Maker. Splatoon really just requires gyroscope, though the touch screen is used there in a decent way (seeing how the paint is spread and being able to jump to where your allies are on the map).

      • Phantom Ganon
        June 20, 2016 at 4:47 pm

        I may be in the minority here but I really don’t think the Wii U had that many good games. I feel the Wii had a stronger library overall simply due to more support (which is kinda funny since the Wii really struggle at the end). And I think that’s why the Wii U didn’t sell.

        At the end of the day, what sells the console is the games IMO. Lack of backwards compatibility removes access to the Wii U backlog so that is less games. But if games are at the standard that the new Zelda appears to be at, you will sell lots of consoles. I am very strong of the belief that many people will want to buy a NX to play Zelda (the trailer on YouTube is now Nintendo’s most watched video) the question is, what else have they got?

  • June 20, 2016 at 6:59 pm

    The NX better be something special, or Nintendo is finished as a hardware manufacturer.

    • Phantom Ganon
      June 21, 2016 at 7:27 am

      I’ve lived through Nintendo is dooned talk before, last time it was all being said, the next console they made sold 100 million units. I think they’ll be okay, but this one does need to be good and not another Wii U.

  • Galvatron
    June 20, 2016 at 9:55 pm

    I’m calling it now: We will have to rebuy our VC games on the NX (and/or the new Nintendo handheld console).

    • Phantom Ganon
      June 21, 2016 at 7:26 am

      Yep and this absolutely sucks, the only way I would do it, is if they finally give us the account system so that I only have to buy Super Mario Bros one more time and then I own that game forever throughout all of the future Nintendo consoles.

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