Wii U Launch: Nintendo Dropped the Ball

by Harry Hughes 14 Comments 18 Likes 1,494 Views 04/12/2012 Back to Wii U articles Wii U

Before I start, I want to set the record straight: I am one of the biggest fans there is of the Wii U as a platform. I was initially amazed by the idea of having two screens for console gaming, and even more amazed at how well the concept works in motion. I have already notched up hours and hours of game time. Finally, I have extensively played and owned every Nintendo platform dating back to the NES.

It should be clear to you that I absolutely love everything Nintendo does. This is what makes it hard for me to acknowledge that they’ve completely dropped the ball with the launch of the Wii U.

Don’t get me wrong, the launch lineup is absolutely incredible. Admittedly, several titles are just enhanced versions of titles already released on other platforms. But the calibre of such titles, such as Mass Effect 3, Batman: Arkham City and Assassin’s Creed 3, in addition to the numerous original and wonderful original titles such as New Super Mario Bros. U, Nintendo Land and Scribblenauts Unlimited, has led me to the belief that the Wii U’s launch lineup is one of the greatest in recent gaming history.

So you might be wondering, then, what my problem is, given how much I love the platform in motion and the games it has already brought to the table. Simply put: firmware.

Wii U

To begin with, out of the box, the Wii U ships with very little. Only the bare minimum is present, and that’s if you can be bothered with the tedious day-one patch. I don’t have a problem with this patch itself, as online services are essential, but it delivers very little content that promotes the Wii U’s drawcard (its gamepad). Even the 3DS had several applications which showcased its abilities, such as AR cards and Face Raiders. The lack of such material in the Wii U, I feel, is disheartening. Essentially, everyone who bought the basic Wii U pack will have to go and buy $90 software in order to learn what the Wii U can really do. This hardly seems logical to me -- why does Nintendo not want to convince customers to stay with them in the long term?

However, this is hardly a crippling issue, and it pales in comparison to the ultimate turn-off with a launch console: hardware crashes and lockups. See, all those players who spent hours downloading an update for their Wii U are placed at a risk of bricking their console, as the MiiVerse system (introduced through the day-one patch) is unstable, and can lead to console crashes and malfunctional hardware. This is an issue which has the potential to be of the degree of the Xbox 360’s famous Red Ring of Death, should Nintendo not get onto it quickly enough. There has been an incredibly high number of bricking reports, and this is simply not good enough in this day and age.

Keep in mind that some analysts have predicted a stock shortage over the holiday season just as the original Wii had. Early adopters of the Wii U may miss out on having a console at all (in the short term) if they have to return defective units because of firmware issues.

Will this alienate potential buyers and turn them back to Sony and Microsoft? Who knows. After bricking my Wii U yesterday, I can safely say I’m not going anywhere. That said, I’m really concerned that Nintendo have shot themselves in the foot by rushing a console’s release and loading their consoles with incomplete firmware.

What have your launch experiences been like with the Wii U?

By Harry Hughes - Bio

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Wii U Launch: Nintendo Dropped the Ball Comments

  • M@ndyz 242671 XP 04/12/2012
    Yes lots of issues at launch.. I read on neo forums Nintendo saying a week ago they would have a patch to fix thehardlocks but its still not out yet.. I still love the console it's just a shame about the wifi, hardlocks and bricking issues,, better then the red ring I guess but even that never stopped me from owning 3 xbox360s :)
  • Heller 186950 XP 04/12/2012
    I had a faulty GamePad on launch day. Thankfully Swanston Street still had some premium consoles in stock and swapped it over for me right away. Think about this though - of the few of us who bought one on launch day, you bricked your console and I had a faulty controller. Failure rate seems a little hight don't you think?
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  • DarkEnemy 29567 XP 04/12/2012
    I think I'd rather it come as early as it has than to wait until after Christmas or probably early next year for them to of added firmware. Nintendo probably realised that they weren't going to make the release date planned and changed to adding an update upon release, I think it would of effected sales drastically if they missed this launch window just before Christmas. Oh well. I'm sure plenty of updates will be on the way just as with the 3DS to add more firmware.
  • CheeryDog 52349 XP 04/12/2012 +1
    I'm going to personally wait until new consoles are preinstalled with the patch before I go out and buy one, even if I decide I want a new console earlier, I'd either convince myself to continue holding off or get one without the update, since nothing interests me on the with the PS or xbox's I'm not going to change to them.
    Nintendo's first party games are just that good.
  • barters81 5142 XP 05/12/2012
    I've been getting hard locks trying to launch Nintendoland every single time.....so I've decided to give that a miss until a patch comes out.

    Love the console, but you're right that some things are a bit off.

    Can I ask how you bricked your wii U? Was it during a hard lock? Or patch? I was under the people were bricking their wii Us by turning off the power during an update which is an obvious no no.

    Also, what was wrong with the wifi. Mine works like a dream and gives me great games everything in BLOPS2.
  • Harry 77521 XP 06/12/2012
    My bricked Wii U was the result of a hardlock, I'm afraid =[ while stuck in the system settings (was not anywhere near software update.. not even i am that silly! :P )
  • barters81 5142 XP 06/12/2012
    Bummer dude, I feel for you there. And yeah, I figured it had to be something other than the update. I'm a little concerned and happy to stay away from my Nintendoland for the time being. . What's you plan now? Replacement or repair?
  • chucky110 35978 XP 06/12/2012
    Have yet to have a hardlock. Though at least it didn't completely crash like the 360 launch consoles.

    YOu have only owned 3 360s, all up i have had 4, only one of them stuffed up which was the launch console after about 3 years. I only have an arcade and slim left now. Might eventually get rid of the old arcade and get a second slim
  • gammaray13 7379 XP 10/12/2012
    i would have to say that the wiiU is a peice of crap i have tried to like it but its really just a piece of trash with a crap line up
  • chucky110 35978 XP 10/12/2012
    WTF, you have no idea at all. The Wii U is brilliant. Then again not everyone thinks alike. Some people might call you a complete idiot for talking crap like that but not everyone will agree.

    99% chance you haven't even played it properly
  • gammaray13 7379 XP 10/12/2012
    if you mean leaving against the front door open to let the breeze flow through then yeah i have played it properly as that is whats its good for, as for playing games the atari 2600 is way more advance than this piece of trash, but then again if your only 6 years old and your mother bought it for you i could understand you liking it but anyone with half a brain and a gamer would not touch this piece of girly trash [Facepalm]
  • 1wiierdguy 8258 XP 10/12/2012
    So limiting which systems you are willing to play on makes you a gamer with half a brain? No thanks. I'll just keep playing on all systems.
  • chucky110 35978 XP 19/12/2012
    LMAO at atari being more advanced, now we know you are just trying to start something. Only a complete moronic twat would say that crap. Oh look someone did
  • gammaray13 7379 XP 19/12/2012
    lol [Facepalm]
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