Is Nintendo doing a disservice to Wii U owners?
With Nintendo’s shiny new hybrid console the Switch having well and truly arrived, it’s laid down the necessary groundwork needed to thrust the once-great Video Game company who have been struggling as of late, back into the action with a unique new method of playing. The new console’s recent launch has gone so well in fact, that the Japanese company has recently re-evaluated its expected lifetime sales numbers.
“We have greatly increased the quantity we can produce in a single month,” explained Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima in a recent statement, but while all this is well and good there’s one section of the gaming audience I can’t help but feel have been dealt a bad hand – The Wii U owners. Simply put, though the Switch is resoundingly a must-have for anyone that skipped Nintendo’s troubled Wii successor, those that didn’t haven’t been treated to anything worth experiencing so far.
This sentiment all boils down to the fact that when looking ahead at the Switch’s software line-up for 2018, the breadth of entirely new experiences is minimal to say the least. The recently released Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is a great game, but nothing other than a re-packaged “game of the year edition” of sorts for a previously released Wii U game, meanwhile the admittedly brilliant Zelda Breath of the Wild isn’t a Switch exclusive.
Recently there has been a lot of call for Nintendo to fill out some of the Switch’s release schedule gaps by updating and remastering Wii U titles that the vast majority of gamers didn’t have the chance to experience. However, this doesn’t help the diehard Nintendo fan that queued up on day one of the previous system’s release, and should this opinion come to fruition, intentional or not Nintendo themselves are punishing Wii U owners for doing so.
The likes of Mario Kart 8 and Splatoon 2 aren’t going to do much to appease the Wii U purchasers who were there when Nintendo needed them most, so if the industry’s third pillar is going to do right by them an alternative resolution should be found. The most sensible and obvious workaround would be for Nintendo to introduce something like a ‘Wii U Ambassador programme’, in the vein of how the company rewarded early 3DS adopters who were left a little short-changed following a swift price hike for the handheld.
In this programme, anyone who had purchased the 3DS prior to August 11th 2011 was appropriately rewarded with a slew of 20 free downloadable games from the eShop. They’ve done it before and history has a sometimes-welcome habit of repeating itself, so who’s to say that lightning couldn’t strike similarly for Wii U Owners. Heck a simple free download for Switch games that were previously purchased on the Wii U seems like a logical resolution, but if there’s one thing the very existing of a console like the Switch teaches us, Nintendo is anything but logical.
With Nintendo Switch sales currently sitting upwards of 3.84 million, a significant portion of these people are already hoping that the company’s approach to online infrastructure as a whole will be given an overhaul. So with regards to a hypothetical ‘Wii U Ambassador programme’ the chances seem slim, but it’d be a crying shame for Nintendo to do such a disservice to their most devout and resilient audience, especially when considering the suite of remasters, reworks, and re-releases on the way.