Nintendo’s Wii U home console, the first of the eighth generation systems to see a release, hasn’t had the easiest time since its launch. Its November 18th release was met with complaints about its slow operating system and hour long system update. Many also reported that their consoles were bricked due to connection errors, though many of those claims were never proven. Since then, Nintendo has had a difficult time releasing steady content, with many of its launch window titles being pushed back several months. Nintendo’s President, Satoru Iwata, has stated several times that this was to ensure quality products, and has openly admitted that it was their fault for not being ready to start the new console generation.
Now, this isn’t to say that the future is bleak for the Wii U. Nintendo has already begun addressing the operating system’s abysmal loading times, and released part one of two updates to help fix it. Nintendo has also begun expanding the Miiverse, which has proven to be a popular feature with fans and critics. Gamers with a Nintendo Network ID can already access the Miiverse on their PCs, and a smartphone app is in the works. The service is also expected to hit the 3DS soon, which will establish a more unified account system, possibly eliminating friend codes and other hindrances once and for all.
Nintendo has also been struggling with third party support. Before the Wii U’s launch, Electronic Arts was eager to talk about their “unprecedented” partnership with Nintendo. They released Mass Effect 3 and Call of Duty: Black Ops II at the system’s launch. Both titles sold poorly in comparison to their releases on other consoles, and support soon began to fade. Several big titles such as Grand Theft Auto V also seem to be skipping the Wii U, and a few next generation game engines supposedly do not support the console.
The Wii U’s lack of initial software can easily be compared to the 3DS launch. Nintendo quickly boosted sales numbers by releasing a remake of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Super Mario 3D Land, and Mario Kart 7. The handheld’s sales rose dramatically once these games were released and the price was dropped. It seems that Nintendo is forming a similar plan with the Wii U. So far, Nintendo has announced a remake of The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker, coming to the Wii U later this year. A new 3D Mario and Mario Kart are said to be playable at this year’s E3, and the notion of them releasing both of those titles this holiday season looks very likely. Whether they will drop the Wii U’s price like they did with the 3DS, is anybody’s guess.
As for third party support, major developers such as Capcom and Ubisoft continue to support the console. Platinum games is also working on multiple exclusive titles, which will be published by Nintendo, and Sega recently revealed that the next three Sonic games will also be Nintendo exclusives.