Nintento Wii U Review
Momentum at Launch
Of the three major console makers, Nintendo had perhaps the most momentum heading into the Wii U's launch. While sales of the original Wii had slowed to a crawl, the company long had the most popular system of its generation, and one that was credited with bringing gaming to a whole new legion of casual fans. Nintendo would also have a one year start on their competition, with Microsoft and Sony not releasing their newest consoles until the fall of 2013.
However Nintendo was unable to capitalize on whatever momentum they had. The Wii U met with disappointing sales and a lot of industry confusion over what its features were and what games it could play. Even news stories even showed how retailers of the system thought it was effectively the same thing as the Wii, even encouraging their shoppers to purchase the older, less expensive system.
Current and Upcoming Games
Another problem Nintendo has been criticized for, and which has also been seen as a major reason for the system's slow start was the lack of major first-party releases for the console. Nintendo failed to bring out their biggest guns like Mario, Mario Kart, Metroid, and Zelda early enough in the system's life, and without strong third-party support (which also plagued the original Wii), the system lacked "system-selling" games.
Some of those major games have since been released or are on their way however, including Mario Kart 8 in 2015, a new Zelda game in 2015, a new Xeno series RPG from Monolith Soft in 2014, and the intriguing crossover titles Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem in 2015, and Hyrule Warriors (a Zelda-themed Dynasty Warriors-style hack and slash). Current releases include Pikmin 3, Wii Party U, New Super Luigi U, and Pokemon Rumble U.
Nintendo appears to have an uphill climb at this point, and seems destined to finish a distant third in this generation of the console wars. Their Wii U controller with the separate screen simply hasn't caught on and captivated gamers like their Wii Remote did, and the console's lack of technical strength compared to its rivals leaves it in an unenviable position. Still, Nintendo is the greatest game developer in the world, and with the release of more of their first-rate games, the system could see its fortunes reversed.