Through-out this generation, it should be clear that the Wii was treated as a second-class citizen by developers with very little third-party support and few of the AAA multi-plats on the other platforms. Given this, it’s natural for people to worry as to whether the Wii U will suffer from the same. Personally I don’t think that will be the case this time.
While their handhelds have enjoyed great support from third-parties, the situation hasn’t been as rosy for their home consoles since the N64. While some claim that it’s because of a so-called vendetta against Nintendo, I disagree. There have been a number of clear issues that prevented the systems from getting the necessary support.
- N64: Unlike the PSX, it used cartridges. Compared to the CDs used by its competitor, producing large cartridges were very costly. The increased manufacturing costs of cartridges affected the end prices of games resulting in some N64 games debuting in a $60 or even $80 (Mortal Kombat) versus the $40 games on the Playstation.
- Gamecube: Just like the N64, the Gamecube’s limitation was with the storage-medium it used. The Mini-discs it used did not have as much space as DVDs used by the PS2 (1.4GB vs. 4.7GB).
- Wii: While it did not have any limitations with the storage medium like previous platforms, it suffered because it had a large gap in power. It was using outdated tech from the late 90’s and did not have as much grunt as the other platforms preventing devs from porting their games over.
The Wii U should not suffer because,
- It uses a modern architecture. Even if it doesn’t turn out to be as powerful for the PS4/720, it should still be capable of getting ports with some effects toned down. Devs have already came out and said that the Wii U features a great processor.
- It uses discs with a capacity of 25GB single-layered. That should be more than enough space for games released next-gen.
- It has a standard controller. One of the complaints regarding the Wii was the unique control-scheme. The Wii U is different in that while the controller is still unique with a touchscreen, it hosts all the standard buttons featured on other controllers. Even if that isn’t enough, Nintendo is offering a Wii U Pro Controller for those who would prefer to use that.
- Nintendo is implementing a modern online system. Unlike Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection before it, the Wii U uses a new system called Nintendo Network which links your data to an account rather than a specific console like before.
The Wii U has a brighter future for third-party support than all Nintendo systems before it and will most certainly not be in another “Wii-situation”. Personally, I’m excited. Tell me your thoughts in the comments below.