Nintendo has been taking a lot of flack as of late, what with their recent drop in share prices in the Japanese stock market, and the lackluster and quite frankly rushed 3DS launch. Fast forward a few months and Nintendo seems to be on the right track once again. Both Wii U bundles are already selling out online, not even a week after their big pricing announcement and aside from a few naysayers online, reception for the console seems to be extremely positive.
But what is a video game console without games to play on it? Nintendo need not worry about that either as they seem to have compiled a rather stellar list of games to launch the console with on the November 18th go date, but how does the Wii U launch compare to those of their previous consoles? One only needs to take a quick trip to memory lane to see that Wii U stacks up rather favorably.
Looking back all the way to the first three console generations of Nintendo’s history, you can see that by today’s standards, if any company were to launch a console with such meager offerings, fans the world over would be calling for someone’s head on a stick. In Japan, the NES released with only three games to its name. While in the U.S. the NES launch was much improved with the inclusion of the classic Super Mario Bros., we must keep in mind that the U.S. release date was 2 years after the Japanese one. The Nintendo 64 was one of the worst offenders of a poor launch lineup as it only released with two games in the U.S.!
All things considered, the Wii had a pretty diverse lineup of games on day one. The highlights of the show included The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess and Wii Sports which went on to define what the Wii would become over the course of its lifespan. Aside from a few other standouts like Excite Truck and Rayman Raving Rabbids, there really wasn’t much else to look forward to on Wii. There was a definite quantity but the launch lacked the quality titles that gamers clamor for.
Looking ahead to Wii U, while many of the games that are slated to release alongside the console are ports of games that are already available on other consoles, the lineup of games screams of a quality not normally seen in console launches, and definitely not from Nintendo.
I need two hands to count the games I want to pick up on release day for Wii U, which is something I have never before said of a console launch. Looking ahead to the games that will release in what Nintendo had dubbed the “launch window,” there are even more titles to look forward to, and makes the Wii U ever the more desirable. I would challenge any of the many Nintendo naysayers to look at the above list and not find a handful of titles worthy of their gaming prowess.
For me, Wii U hits on all the right notes and then some. The addition of TVii is nice and I’m sure the Miiverse will add a new flavor to an already enjoyable experience, but at the end of the day what really matters is the games, and this holiday the Wii U is delivering.