If you're a regular on any gaming-related site, chances are you've caught a glimpse of the seemingly-endless supply of Wii U doom-and-gloom articles as of late. Sure, the Wii U hasn't had the strongest of launches, and the company is set to endure a sandstorm upon the launch of the next Xbox and PS4 - but that's not to say that Nintendo won't put up a fight, and a strong one at that. Here's five ways the Wii U can potentially see Nintendo dominate once again:
The Wii U possessed a strong variety of first and third-party launch titles, from FIFA 13 to ZombiU to New Super Mario Bros. U. While Mario is arguably (I say that for the sake of opinion) the world's most iconic video game character, New Super Mario Bros. U was merely more of the same formula we've seen on every previous Nintendo console.
In saying that - the game-changers are still to come. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros. are examples of blockbuster titles yet to be released, that could potentially push millions of consoles.
Nintendo have primarily relied on their first-party franchises for success over the years, and with good reason. The company has created characters that not only resonate deeply within the minds of gamers (such as Mario, Link and Donkey Kong), but are also instantly recognisable to those who may be unfamiliar with the industry.
Nintendo know this is a big win, especially in the family demographic, and will continue to milk their big franchises until sales tell them otherwise (as long as the quality doesn't change, they can do whatever they please).
Microsoft and Sony's next-generation consoles are expected to be released anywhere between late 2013 to early 2014 - giving Nintendo at least a year up on its counterparts. By the time Microsoft and Sony enter the market, it's not too crazy to assume a price cut will be in order to lure fans away from the more powerful hardware in favour of the cheaper option.
Even if a price cut doesn't occur, we're sure to be seeing some big-name titles out by year's end, and currently-released titles will only decrease in value - ultimately creating more bang for your buck should retailers decide to bundle the console with popular games.
$350 ain't too shabby for a brand new console, and it's only going to become more affordable.
The Wii U has been copping a ridiculous amount of flak for its (often-labelled) "disappointing" and "mediocre" sales - but are they really that poor? Upon last check, the Wii U had sold just over 3 million units - nothing astonishing, but decent figures nonetheless.
Let's compare sales to that of the Xbox 360 and PS3 back in 2005/06. In its first four months on sale, the Xbox 360 sold a cumulative 3.2 million units. The year after, the PS3 achieved similar sales in its four month window, at 3.61 million sales worldwide.
Mathematically, the Xbox 360's first four months saw 800,000 consoles per month sold, with the PS3 slightly ahead with just over 900,000. Now I'm absolutely terrible with numbers but it doesn't take a genius to see that this time next month, the Wii U should see its four-millionth console sold - putting it at one million sales per month.
From Scribblenauts Unlimited to the inventory system in Vigil Games' Darksiders 2 port, we've seen some great uses of the Wii U GamePad so far. However, not unlike how game visuals tend to progress over the lifespan of a console, I'm sure the same applies to the GamePad and how developers are planning to make use of it.
Upcoming titles such as Ubisoft's Rayman Legends and highly-anticipated Watch Dogs are sure to make inventive use of the device, but it doesn't end there. Nintendo are also incredibly late to the whole online side of things, and need to make a serious push to the "core" gamers - that they're serious about creating a network on par with the services Microsoft and Sony currently provide.
I'm sure I'm not the only one who also hopes to see classic Nintendo 64 and GameCube titles make an apperance upon Nintendo's launch of the Virtual Console for Wii U later this year.
As I've already mentioned, the Wii U has received strong support from third-party developers and publishers thus far, and it doesn't appear slowing any time soon. The aforementioned Rayman Legends (now a multiplatform release) and Watch Dogs will be making an appearance on the Wii U later in the year, as will yet another Ubisoft title, Splinter Cell: Blacklist.
In case you were getting worried about Ubisoft being the only company providing third-party support, titles such as Injustice: Gods Among Us (NetherRealm Studios), Lego Marvel Super Heroes (Traveller's Tales) and Monster Honter 3 Ultimate (Capcom), will also be seeing a 2013 release.
It is crucial for Nintendo to maintain a strong relationship with developers and publishers to continue third-party support - the company's big mistake with the Wii was alienating the "core" gamers who were simply interested in the company's big-name franchises - they had no reason to return to the console after playing them.
The Wii U possessed a strong variety of first and third-party launch titles, from FIFA 13 to ZombiU to New Super Mario Bros. U.