5 Things We Miss About the Wii UReading Time: 3 minutes
The Wii U was certainly an interesting offering from Nintendo. While it wasn’t the success Nintendo hoped for, there’s still a lot to enjoy.
Nintendo is one of the oldest and most respected companies in the gaming market and has made many consoles that generations of gamers have enjoyed. The Nintendo Entertainment System saw the birth of some of the most important franchises in gaming, and the Nintendo Switch is within reach of becoming the highest-selling console of all time.
Nintendo knows how to get it right. So what happened to the Wii U? Nintendo ceased production of the successor of the Wii a mere five years after its release. The Wii U was a massive flop, but it had many interesting qualities that we still miss today.
1. The Wii U Was Innovative
Nintendo often takes risks in its designs and is constantly coming up with something new to completely revolutionize gaming consoles as we know them. The Wii U was no exception to this rule. The Wii U was a two-piece unit that consisted of a console that you would connect to your TV and a handheld controller unit complete with a touch screen.
The Wii U was starting to blur the lines between the home console and the handheld console. It is easy to see the progression that eventually led up to the creation of the Nintendo Switch. Sure, the Gamepad was bulky, and although it looked like it could be a portable console, it was really just an embellished tablet controller. But you have to give credit where credit is due and give the Wii U props for its innovative design.
2. The Wii U Had an Interesting Library of Games
The Wii U Gamepad’s design opened the doors for developers to create interesting never-before-seen games that incorporated its unique touchscreen capabilities. Suddenly you could draw on the tablet and see the results appear on the TV screen before your very eyes.
The options were endless for the Gamepad. Developers were able to create games like Art Academy: Home Studio, where you could compose digital art using a range of different mediums on the Gamepad’s touchscreen.
Even ports like The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker benefited from the Wii U’s design. The Gamepad made it easier than ever to organize your inventory or reference your map. The Wii U’s innovative design opened the floodgates for an equally innovative library of games.
3. The Wii U’s Backward Compatibility and Virtual Console Were Amazing
The Wii U had incredible backward compatibility. Not only did the Wii U support almost all Wii games and accessories, but you could also play games from almost every Nintendo console that ever was.
The Wii U offered games from the Nintendo Entertainment System, Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Nintendo 64, GameBoy Advance, Nintendo DS, and even the Turbo Grafx-16. The Wii U was quite literally a retro gaming machine.
Retro games are now mostly only accessible on next-gen consoles via subscription services. These cost a monthly fee and also only feature a fraction of games that were available on the Wii U’s Virtual Console.
Games on the Wii U’s Virtual Console are only available on the Wii U eShop, which will be closing in March 2023. For recommendations on what exactly to pick up, check out our list of games to buy before the Wii U eShop closes.
4. The Wii U Was the Best Place to Play Zelda Games
If you were a Zelda fan, the Wii U was the place to be. Thanks to the Wii U’s HD remakes of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker, and its huge library of Virtual Console titles, the Wii U had access to every Zelda game that had ever been released. Even The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is available on the Wii U.
Zelda is a cult classic long-running franchise that is near and dear to many gamers’ hearts. There is no other console on the market today that can compare to the Wii U’s massive Zelda library.
5. The Wii U Had Voice Chat
The Wii U also had something else that the Nintendo Switch doesn’t, and that is, of course, voice chat. Many gamers are dismayed at the lack of voice chat on the Nintendo Switch as it is a staple feature of competing consoles.
There are a small handful of games that have built-in voice chat on the Nintendo Switch, and the only other way to access the feature is via the Nintendo Switch Online app. But this experience is not necessarily recommended. If you would like to know more information about how that works, check out our guide on how to use voice chat on the Nintendo Switch.
There Is a Lot to Miss About the Wii U
The Wii U had many useful and quirky features that are still missed today. Even the Nintendo Switch could benefit from many of them. It may have been Nintendo’s biggest failure, but the Wii U was a unique console that still had a lot of great aspects. Unfortunately, sales just weren’t one of them.