In 2011, Nintendo released the 3DS. However, they forgot to give their new handheld any games. Sales suffered until that July, when Nintendo gave the system a hefty price cut.
But that’s not all they did. In the ever important games department, they released a Zelda remake, 3D Mario title, and new edition of Mario Kart.
Flash forward to today and the same thing’s happening all over again. Nintendo forgot to give the Wii U any games. While the console’s software issues aren’t as bad as the drought the 3DS suffered, there’s still a severe lack of bona fide system sellers. The lack of high-quality games has meant the continued disappearance of third-party support, calls for a price cut, and many prophecies of doom and gloom. But the future of the Wii U looks familiar: headlined by a Zelda remake, 3D Mario title, and new edition of Mario Kart, Nintendo is preparing an onslaught of first-party titles.
There is, however, a key difference between the Wii U and the 3DS. While Nintendo has a lockdown on the handheld market, the console war is just beginning, with the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 on the horizon. It’s this very reason that has many doubting Nintendo’s future. While yes, they’re going to release great games that are proven sellers; they’re lacking that big “oomph.” Many expected Nintendo to repeat E3 2004 when they absolutely stole the show. When that didn’t happen, reactions (including my own) were negative. But now we’ve had time to think. While their E3 showing was safe, their games are still enjoyable.
Never fear; that “oomph” is still on its way and Nintendo is poised to have a steady release of games throughout the next twelve months. While their head start in the next-gen war was essentially wasted, they’re not going to go away. At worst, the Wii U will be a glorified Nintendo box. Last time I checked, there’s nothing wrong with that.