Wii make the rules.

It’s easy to kick someone when they’re down. It’s even easier to lay the boot into the forlorn figure of Nintendo. Just look at them, lying there like such fools. What the hell were they thinking when they thought of the Wii U? Hmph!

After all, let’s not forget that Nintendo brought this misfortune on themselves. We all warned them, didn’t we? We sat high above the clouds in our ivory towers, yelling out words of wisdom into the anonymous mouthpiece that is the Internet, pointing with our pointy fingers and stroking our thick, all-knowing beards.

“Make it powerful!” we cried. “Include Achievements and Trophies!” we demanded. “Copy your competitors so you don’t get left behind!” we begged.

But did Nintendo listen? Did they hell. Instead, the arrogant entertainers decided to do their own thing. They actually had the sheer audacity to be different! I mean seriously, who on Earth asked for that?!

No-one apparently. Because just look at the result. The Wii U has failed to shift a measly 4 million units, and it’s been almost 9 months. 9 MONTHS! Hahaha! I mean seriously, let’s just kill this thing off right now and cut our losses. This never happened to the PlayStation 3, or those two popular handhelds I bought – I forget their names, but I think they were called DS and 3DS, or something like that. Boo! Hiss!

wii u iwata banana

It’s official. Satoru Iwata’s clearly gone bananas.

And so the vitriol continues. Comment section after comment section, forum after forum, journalist after journalist.

Yeah, I know Nintendo makes a profit on the Wii U after one game sale, and has cash reserves to fund them for the next ten years, but seriously, they’re in big, big trouble. Even EA wants nothing to do with the console. Well, EA will make some games apparently, but not the ones that matter: the ones with numbers in the titles.

I mean just look at that controller! GamePad? More like LamePad! Am I right? And hello, Earth to Nintendo’s R & D department, no analog triggers? What’s up with that?! Honestly, it’s time to put Mario out on mobile platforms and be done with it. Because you know, the PS4 and Xbox One will tear Mario a new one with their superior graphics and such.

And so the vitriol continues. Comment section after comment section, forum after forum, journalist after journalist. The global consensus is that Nintendo has failed. Nintendo… is dead.

Wrong.

I Like U

Now, you’re probably expecting me to continue this article with compelling words that proudly wave the flag for Nintendo’s sinking ship, firing down counter arguments with more fidelity than Samus at a shooting range. But I too have a beard, and luckily, it’s thick enough to tell me that no matter what argument I present, people will continue to rain on Nintendo’s noble parade. I guess I’m just one of the few crazy people who’s happy to stand under Satoru Iwata’s umbrella and avoid the shower of dissent.

Still, we’ve been here countless times before, haven’t we? A console hits the market and, low and behold, consumers haven’t immediately rushed out to pick up every possible piece of hardware that lines the shelves. Figures and stats come in, and industry experts have their say on the state of affairs for the struggling piece of hardware.

mario knocked down

Mario may be down, but don’t count him out yet.

But history and Take That’s Gary Barlow have taught us that sometimes it’s best to “have a little patience”, and that’s exactly what a console launch requires. The PlayStation 3 was a barren wasteland during its release, a problem which took years, not months, to correct. And so was the 3DS, a handheld that has gone on to rebuff countless death certificates and soar into the homes of millions upon millions of gamers. Even the PS Vita, a handheld which has been dogged by a lack of quality titles, is set to receive a huge boost with PS4 remote play connectivity.

It just takes time.

Nevertheless, it seems that gamers have become strangely infatuated with sales, reciting the latest figures from chart tracking companies with unnerving ease. Personally, I always remember staring to the skies in utter despair whenever Reggie Fils-Aime or Jack Tretton rolled out their mind-numbing graphs and pie-charts highlighting a console’s sales; my reaction is the same, even to this day.

But why do I show such contempt for these shareholder pleasing stats? Great sales equals great console after all, right? Well, actually, no. Hell no. Because sales mean as much to you, the gamer, as the birthplace of Link’s horse, Epona. You shouldn’t care!

Sell Me Another Sob Story

But wait! I can hear the grumbling voices above me… The residents of the ivory tower are speaking… “If a console doesn’t sell well, then publishers won’t support it. Therefore, the console won’t have any games!”

Well, yes, it’s technically hard to argue with that statement – all three companies are out to make money after all. And we’ve all seen hard proof that if a console performs well, publishers will flock to the next money spinner quicker than Wayne Rooney uses another club as leverage at a contract renegotiation. But ask yourself this, how many units did your favourite console of all time sell? Was the N64 an unstoppable powerhouse in the sales department? Did the original Xbox set tills ringing? What about the unforgettable Sega Dreamcast? Would you casually dismiss these consoles because they failed to meet corporate expectations and targets? Further more, would you confidently declare the Nintendo Wii as the best console of the last generation? I for one, would not.

pikmin 3

It doesn’t matter if Pikmin 3 sells 100 or 1 million copies. As long as I own it, I don’t really care.

In fact, every console I’ve ever owned stands judgement to one simple measure of success: the memories it created.

In fact, every console I’ve ever owned stands judgement to one simple measure of success: the memories it created. I absolutely adored the Nintendo GameCube – the console that was obliterated by the PS2. I continue to cherish my Sega Dreamcast – a console that spelled the end of Sega as a hardware manufacturer but one that should be remembered for so much more. And what about my all-time favourite, the N64? It’s just another console that once again lost out in the sales war. And I couldn’t care less.

And that leads me back nicely to the latest victim in all of this, the much maligned Wii U. The Wii U hasn’t even been out 9 months, and in that short time I’ve managed to have more quality playing time and fresh experiences than I’ve ever had with a console at launch. Ever. Yes, more games are needed – that much is obvious – and I’m as gutted as the next football fan that FIFA 14 and PES 2014 will skip the console. However, I’m old enough and wise enough to realise that Nintendo’s big hitters are coming, along with heap of others. In the meanwhile, I can happily play Monster Hunter 3: Ultimate in bed, on the porcelain throne, or even in the bath should I be so bold, all while my girlfriend blissfully rots her mind watching The Only Way is Essex. And that, my friends, is reason enough for me to champion Nintendo’s latest vision.

The Wii U isn’t dead; it’s just starting to come alive.