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Man reminiscing about the Wii U is somewhat bittersweet for me.
I was a diehard Nintendo fanboy growing up. Owned everything Nintendo released between the era of the N64 to the Wii U. I argued with people (both online and off) about how Nintendo was the superior console manufacture and how their games far surpass anything seen on Sony or Microsoft’s machines. I watched E3’s hoping that Nintendo would come out on top and dunk on the video game industry. I was active in the online Nintendo communities found on Screwattack and Gametrailers, back when both those sites were still alive. I was apart of Operation Rainfall and sent letters to Nintendo asking for the localization of Xenoblade, The Last Story, and Pandora’s Tower. For literally thousands of hours of my life, I only knew video games through the lens of Nintendo.
Then the Wii U happened and it hit me hard.
I never quite experienced a disappointment like that. Out of the gate, the system showed promise, with all of the possibilities of the dual screens. But only a year in and the system started to lose steam. It became really difficult watching those 4-5 E3’s and seeing a small selection of games showing up to the Wii U. Companies didn’t quite know how to support it and the marketing was so poor most people who came over to play it asked if it was an add-on to original Wii. Yet, I found myself online still defending it because it’s Nintendo. But I never really quite believed in the arguments I was making. I liked the Wii U sure, but out of my entire library, I only played a small selection of games. (Smash, Nintendo Land, Monster Hunter Tri, Mario Kart 8 and funny enough Xenoblade Chronicles X) The last two years of the systems life were the hardest. Nintendo was shifting gears to the Switch and moved their focus to that new platform. The Wii U was a sinking ship and they knew it. They pushed out basically Nintendo branded shovelware. Mario Tennis, Amiibo Festival, Star Fox Zero. I remember talking to people around that time, people who lived and breathed Nintendo, telling me the next console would be different. But I couldn’t really trust that belief just yet. All I could think about was how the Wii U failed and how tone def Nintendo was acting around this time. So I did something I would have never considered before purchasing a Wii U.
I went out to Best Buy and bought a PS4.
It felt like sacrilege, I kept thinking about how I defended Nintendo my entire life, and with one console failure, I abandoned them. But in reality that wasn’t the case. The Wii U showed me that there was more to games the just Nintendo. That I didn’t have to pick a single side and die on it. Just because I play games on PlayStation doesn’t mean I don’t still adore Nintendo. I bought a switch on launch day and have been playing it 10x more than my Wii U ever got. Though I do also still boot up the old Wii U every now and then, it’s still the only platform I can play Xenoblade X on.
All that said, I am glad Nintendo is back on track with the Switch’s success and I’m looking forward to playing the Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition.