Specifying “mid” simply because of the amount of Wii U ports to the Switch that have happened this year… Which is why I thought discussing such a topic was worth while.
When Nintendo is porting almost every first party title to the Switch, and we can probably assume ones that aren’t, will be,
Is the Wii U, still worth purchasing?
My personal answer is yes, but by personal I mean, me, not necessarily other people, and as with most gaming related purchasing questions, it really does come down to the individual.
For me, I’ve made it a hobby of mine to collect as many consoles as possible, not like as in hoarding consoles, but simply one of each, or maybe if there are different models, one of each model (eventually). So for that reason alone, I knew I wanted one. Beyond that I love first party Nintendo games and the Wii U has a number of stand out titles (many of which are coming to the Switch, I’ll talk about this later). Virtual Console exists on the Wii U and serves as a great option for playing retro titles in a handheld format, or on the TV. It’s still a relatively new console, coming out in late 2012, for comparison the XB1 and PS4 were only a year later, coupled with this you can often find consoles and games for bargain prices because the Wii U is becoming ever more obsolete thanks to the Switch. Also I wanted to play some of the gimmicky games that it has (I am indeed one for gimmicks).
So for me, that was enough. Which really is enough said, if this resonates with you:
- Nintendo first party titles
- Virtual Console
- Cheap games that are still relatively new
- Cheap consoles
- Gimmicky titles
Further it has a suite of applications for the Internet and Youtube etc. and it has a clever way of handling the Internet on the Gamepad and the TV if you want to swap between the two. Secondly it’s completely backwards compatible with the Wii, games, controllers, accessories, all work.
It’s drawbacks, at least in Mid 2018, are of course they are no longer produced, so you’ll have to get a second hand one, it has limited titles beyond the first party ones, and I’ve found the interface to be sluggish especially when popping into the settings and the store. Lastly of course there’s the simple fact that most games are being ported to the Switch anyway, so if we assume that the Wii U eventually becomes rendered ‘redundant’ will it serve any purpose at all?
It once again, depends on you. For me it will because I bought a bunch of cheap Wii U first party titles that I didn’t need to fork out full price on the Switch. Virtual Console exists and can be played from the gamepad or TV. Also it’s completely backwards compatible with the Wii, including all games and peripherals. Which I think makes it stand out as a console worth buying if you want a HD system, that can play your Wii games, has Virtual Console, and is cheap as chips for most things, it could serve you and/or your family as a great all round system to buy.
However it’s worth noting that beyond this, it may not be worth it. All the games being ported to the Switch, reportedly play better there, along with extra features. The Switch is a new hybrid console with games still coming out on it, including plenty of cheap indie titles, so if you are on a budget you can save up for larger titles and stay occupied on a few cheap games on the eShop. If you have a Switch and virtual console doesn’t interest you too much (pending how this Nintendo Online library goes), if you really want to play Yoshi Woolly World, or Super Mario 3D world, but literally nothing else, it really depends on you if you think that’s worth picking up a Wii U for. Personally I think these two games are a couple of exceptions of first party titles that won’t come to the switch. But if you want a huge number of these ports like Hyrule Warriors, Bayonetta 1 and 2, Captain Toad Treasure Tracker, Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze, and aren’t too interested in the extras that have been added to the titles on the Switch, then I would recommend a Wii U because if you look around, these games are dirt cheap, anywhere from $5-30. For example I recently bought Bayonetta 1 and 2 for $5 each second hand for Wii U as opposed to the $50 and $80 asking price for each game on the Switch.
To conclude, I think the Wii U is an underrated console. Poor marketing and weak first party launch titles, lent many to simply sticking to their Wii’s and current gen systems. However during the four years it was Nintendo’s flagship console it had a bunch of solid AAA first party titles released on it. Many coming to the Switch, some likely aren’t, but if you do want to play alot of these Switch games that are Wii U ports, just don’t want to pay the ‘Switch Premium’ it may be worth the investment.
Featured Image: Free Image from Wikimedia Commons of the Wii U
Attribution: By Takimata (edited by:Tokyoship) (File:Wii U Console and Gamepad.jpg) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons.
Post Image: My Wii U collection taken by the author of Gaming Detour.