I finally get it. I figured I would only truly understand how much fun it is to have a Wii U once I had one, but I didn’t expect how much of an understatement this would end up being. Eventually, the time was right, the price was right, and I picked up my own console.
Now, I think you all should, too. The Wind Waker HD Wii U bundle is the best time to get into Nintendo’s next generation.
When Nintendo announced a $300 bundle of a 32GB Deluxe Wii U and The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD, I knew I had to make the purchase. I didn’t realize how worthwhile the purchase would be until the system eventually arrived at my house. Despite Grand Theft Auto V already dominating most of the daytime for the good portion of the week, the Wii U’s arrival nonetheless became the focus of attention of everyone in the room.
The Wii U tablet was quickly passed around by my friends as I set up the console, which was a breeze. Not before long, I was installing The Wind Waker HD, popping in my Rayman Legends disc, and hopping between games whenever my mood changed. I was surrounded by intense gazes that could not draw their eyes away from the popping colors and vibrant worlds of these two titles.
The night was coming to a close as I made my way toward Dragon Roost Island. My roommate flipped the lights down and now I wanted to go to bed – but I wasn’t yet done with this game session! Casually, I hit a button and my epic adventure jumped to the Gamepad. I plopped down in bed, a full console game in hand, and adventured until sleep depravity overwhelmed me.
It was at that moment, when I was easily and comfortably able to continue my console gaming from my bed, that I realized I’d made the right purchase. I laughed to myself, realizing how much I had been missing out.
My purchase brought the revelation of how the Wii U is meant to exist relative to everything else in your room. While next-generation offerings from Microsoft and Sony plan to be the main focus of your room, the Wii U instead is complementary. It doesn’t want to be the main focus in your living room – it wants to seamlessly cooperate with every other device to make your overall entertainment experience the most comfortable it can be. Nintendo TVii is a flawless example of this; the Gamepad’s universal remote functionality is simple, easy to use and to set up, and removes unnecessary amounts of remotes cluttering up the coffee table. And it never takes a laptop, TV app, or cell phone to look up stats or other scores while watching sports, since the TVii app is already at your disposal.
Off-TV Play could be one of the most underrated developments in gaming’s recent memory. My friends eventually grew tired of being away from Grand Theft Auto V for too long, so it wasn’t that long until I was asked if they could go take a ride in Los Santos. No problem, I assured them, as I diverted my eyes to my Gamepad and continued my game. It’s surprising how such a simple feature makes a huge difference.
With The Wind Waker HD digitally downloaded to my console, I also found myself rarely going near the Wii U console at all. Rayman Legends, being the only physical Wii U game I own, sits in the disc tray ready to go while I can access Wind Waker or my eShop purchases directly from the Gamepad menu. Even for someone like myself, who usually prefers physical copies of games to digital ones, the convenience of transitioning from one game to the next without having to move is astounding. The curiously low amounts of memory that even major titles require is also a welcoming thought for considerations toward making more digital purchases.
This is where Nintendo’s digital plans seem to really make sense to me. Without ever making a motion toward the console, I can easily switch between games on the fly. Sure, other consoles have multitudes of digital content options, but the Wii U’s simple execution makes making digital purchases that much more inviting. This is the first time where I almost feel inclined to buy more digital games than physical copies of them just because it’s so easy to do so.
While popular opinion is that Nintendo should focus on the games and buffing up its library, I think it would be more beneficial for Nintendo to instead focus on the subtle features and overall experience of having a Wii U rather than simply pushing first- or third-party franchises.
The fact is that the Wii U may have had a weak launch lineup, but now, its library is substantial and growing. We all know the “Wii U doesn’t have games” argument will be completely dead once people are standing in line to buy a Wii U, just so they can play the new Smash or Mario Kart games. For Nintendo to dive into a game-focused advertising campaign would be redundant and ultimately useless; many major titles have been or will sell themselves and, if they haven’t, it is because people simply don’t have a Wii U to begin with.
Nintendo should focus on what people may not know about the Wii U; from obvious features like Nintendo TVii to entirely new perspectives, such as how the Gamepad is basically a big Gameboy for console games (and who doesn’t love that concept?). People don’t want the features listed for them – they want to see them in action. A highlight reel of upcoming games may not sway them in a purchase, but a simple commercial showing the smooth cooperation of both the Wii U’s gaming-related features and non-gaming-related features in conjunction with the rest of the electronics in a given room. At the very least, that would spark curiosity, whereas a montage could simply be hit or miss.
The Gamepad, and the Wii U system with it, is like a window into a whole new world of gaming, except that Nintendo has tinted the window and hasn’t really shown what you can see on the other side. To properly illuminate the new gaming experiences through the looking glass would be to Nintendo’s significant advantage. If anything, Nintendo needs to cease relying on word-of-mouth – it needs to vehemently pitch why gamers need a Wii U rather than casually allowing its system fall further into obscurity.
Because there are a lot of reasons why gamers should pick up a Wii U. They just don’t know it yet.