With Wii U turning one this week, here’s a look at the biggest disappointments in the machine’s first year (besides the biggest of all: the unit sales). I’ll gloss over the day one system update too, because I knew it was coming and it took me less than an hour to download it. I’ll keep my list to the point. 

miiverseThe slow operating system

Before the big system updates. It was frustratingly slow to post to Miiverse or change apps mid game to look something up on the internet. Apps would take ages to load and it really soured the experience in those first few months. Thankfully Nintendo delivered on their promise to speed the whole thing up, and now it runs a lot smoother.

The transition to and from Miiverse could still do with a bit more some speeding up, that’s the one we all use the most.

The YouTube app

Although HD videos look stunning, the interface for the YouTube app is clunky, awkward, and doesn’t make proper, logical use of the gamepad. YouTube through the internet browser is infinitely better, and that really shouldn’t be, given there’s a dedicated app. Missed opportunity.

Zombi U

I was gunning for Zombi U to be the killer Wii U title, that must-play game. It wasn’t. Although I enjoyed it for a while and it was a unique experience, I’m sure we were all hoping for something a bit more. It’s Wii U’s Red Steel.

nsmbuNew Super Mario Bros. U’s graphics

Although the gameplay was great fun and there was a ton of content, NSMBU’s graphics were really disappointing. I felt the whole thing just smacked of laziness. The sub standard presentation only became more apparent when I saw what Ubisoft had achieved with their side scroller, Rayman Legends, after I played the demo.

Rayman Legends being delayed

And what a delay it was. Nearly six months. I didn’t mind that the game went multi platform- it was never going to be a system seller- but at a time when there wasn’t much to choose from in Wii U’s game library, this delay hurt. The finished product was worth the wait though, except those damned Murphy levels.

Lack of Virtual Console titles

Where are the Gamecube games? I think Nintendo really should have make this a priority. I don’t see why they couldn’t have opened the market with ALL the previous Wii VC games, plus the N64 and Gamecube classics the fans have been asking for.  Get it happening, get the choice out to people. How hard could it be to add Miiverse integration to an existing game? Really, I don’t know. How hard is it?

No Grand Theft Auto V

What a shame this was. I never really expected it to happen, but still it would have been a good move by Nintendo to pull some strings and make it happen. The biggest game of the year skipping your system has got to hurt in more ways than one, and if it doesn’t, Nintendo has some waking up to do.

Game & Wario

Talk about a rip off. This game would have done better as a five dollar download. Not only does this mark a low point for the WarioWare series, it marks a low point in first party Nintendo titles. I wrote more about it here.

eshopRidiculous eShop prices

In Australia, at least. Full priced retail games were upward of eight dollars. Things have calmed down slightly (about ten dollars slightly) but considering toy could always get games cheaper as discs, it’s a wonder how Nintendo expects anyone to download a full retail release via the eShop.

. . .

There’s been a few other disappointments in the first year. The gamepad’s battery life, for one. It bugged the hell out of a lot of people.

The over-moderation of Miiverse is another. Nintendo are being a bit silly with their inconsistent, sometimes bewildering moderation of their social network. Some even argue The Wonderful 101 is a disappointment. I never played it so I don’t know yet. It’s only the first year.

Come back tomorrow for the next part of my “Wii U Turns One” series, where I’ll look at what Wii U got right and how it can improve moving forward. You can follow me on twitter: @rustyshell and Miiverse: zinger_AU

  • RJ

    You probably wrote this article with a bit of rage in you

    I raged too when you pointed out the digital prices for games

    I mean you can go to Big W and Kmart and get the games $20 cheaper than the digital price
    absolutely appalling