I am a major fan of Nintendo. My childhood was spent playing a Gameboy, my teenage years a Gamecube and Wii, and my dedication to the franchises I've grown up with has the potential to endure for the rest of my life. Having said this, I need to make a statement that's going to bother a few people.
At the moment, the Wii U is a failure. Its game library is intensely lacking, its reputation has been drug through the mud, and its starting price tag doesn't sit much lower than its competitors, removing Nintendo's usual low price advantage. It simply doesn't have the clout in gaming circles to draw any attention to itself. Unless you're in love with the New Super Mario Bros series or you need a really expensive Netflix machine, the Wii U just isn't the best choice for the average gamer.
Now that we have the bad news out of the way, let's move on to some good news. The system may be dead now, but it has a lot of potential.
This iteration has the highest graphical output yet, putting the previous generations to shame and showing off exactly what Nintendo can do when it gets its act together. The company has a vast array of franchises under its belt and massive fan bases behind almost all of them. If Nintendo can manage to get a few solid releases out that properly utilize the graphical potential and the new game-pad mechanic, other third-party companies may see beyond the problems they've been experiencing and jump on the hype train.
Nintendo needs to stick to what it does best'careful innovation. The Wii was a major step in gaming that few had seen before and none have replicated well; moves like that separate the good from the great. Nintendo needs to figure out what they want to do with the hand-held tablet they've added onto this system or abandon it in favor of what they know is effective.
Gaming companies have to remember that the price tag they put on their systems should translate directly to a player experience; if I'm buying a tablet controller for my game and paying the extra money to see that tablet integrated, I had better use it frequently and smoothly as a part of my regular gaming experience. Otherwise, I'm being charged for a gimmick, and no one likes buying useless technology.
Hopes are high in my mind. I sincerely believe that as it stands, Nintendo could pull this off and the Wii U could be one of the best consoles yet. Until it gets its act together though, the Wii U is dead weight on a proud company's back.