Many pundits in the industry were concerned, including me, that the Nintendo Wii U’s presence would wane once Sony and Microsoft released their next gen consoles. To be fair, the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One have both sold extremely well over their launch weekends with both consoles selling approximately one million each. While that is impressive, Nintendo has been basking in the next gen spotlight all by themselves and have been, frankly, dominating. Nintendo expects to have nine million Wii U’s sold by fiscal year end, 03/31/14, and are well on their way, having sold four hundred sixty thousand units between April and October of 2013.
Considering that the Wii U has already sold 3.91 million units worlwide since launch, there’s no reason not to expect Nintendo to hit the nine million mark by the end of March next year. Wii U’s are literally flying off of the shelves right now and Nintendo will be mopping up Sony and Microsoft as we head into this holiday season due to their competitors lack of stock and artificial demand.
When it comes to features the Wii U is still clearly way ahead in this category even though it came out a year earlier. It’s the only next gen system that comes with a second screen as standard. The Xbox One and PlayStation 4 offer second screen experiences but those are optional and require the purchase of a tablet or PlayStation Vita respectively. The graphics in Wii U games continue to improve as well with every game better showcasing the systems underrated power under the hood.
The Wii U has the largest next gen gaming library and the most third party titles available. Sony and Microsoft may have announced more titles for 2014 than Nintendo but those could very easily be victims of delays like Watch_Dogs and Titanfall. Third party publishers like Electronic Arts have applauded the Nintendo Wii U and openly expressed how excited they are to bring their games to the platform. Pete Hines of Bethesda shared his thoughts on an episode of Bonus Round for Gametrailers stating, “The time for convincing publishers and developers to support Wii U has long passed.” “The box is out. You have to do what Sony and Microsoft have been doing with us for a long time. It’s not that every time we met with them we got all the answers that we wanted, but they involved us very early on, talking to folks like Bethesda and Gearbox, saying, ‘Here’s what we’re doing, here’s what we’re planning, here’s how we think it’s going to work,’ to hear what we thought, from our tech guys, and from an experience standpoint.” Hines put a bow on his statement by declaring that he will focus on developing for systems better geared towards his company’s products which clearly means they are full steam ahead on Wii U development. What other system would allow players to manage their inventory on a second screen like the Wii U Gamepad?
Perhaps the clearest sign that Nintendo’s third party situation is in excellent shape, the Japanese giant is offering Wii U development tools for free. There’s no reason to do this unless you have supreme confidence in your product, which Nintendo obviously does. With all that third party support, bear in mind that the Wii U is the only home console where you’ll be able find the likes of Mario, Link, and Samus Aran. And those are just the Nintendo figureheads. The Wii U has, definitively, the best exclusives between the three systems. Big hitters like Zombie U and Nintendoland have been pushing the console towards greatness and are perfect for the lucky gamers just getting their Wii U. With the largest and arguably most compelling next gen game library and cutest, most adorable mascots on the planet, it’s clear that the Wii U is the must-have gaming platform right now.