Wii U Surge Due to Disappointment Over PS4 and Xbox One?
Wii U sales are on the upswing.
The system is selling very well in Japan and in the US in the month of June, sales skyrocketed 233 percent (as compared to June 2013). The release of Mario Kart 8 has certainly helped, but are there other factors at play?
The next-gen war is just that: A war. It's a competition. These consoles are competing against each for video game market share, despite the fact that the intended demographics are a little different. The Wii U's audience simply is not exactly the same as the audience for Sony and Microsoft. That doesn't mean Wii U is a "kiddie" system; it just means the demographic is a little different.
The bottom line is that when one product surges, we need to look at the competition.
Is anybody wildly impressed with the PS4 and Xbox One right now?
If one puts his or her finger on the pulse of gamer nation, the answer becomes clear. While I'm sure everyone has high hopes for both systems, and although we've already seen glimpses of true "next-gen" brilliance, neither system has really shown off its full potential. That could take some time, of course, but let's not forget that several key exclusive titles for each console have fallen a little shy of expectations.
Killzone: Shadow Fall really wasn't the killer AAA exclusive Sony needed for the PS4 launch; it ended up dragging down 7s and a few 8s, and that's really not what we wanted. Dead Rising 3 didn't cut the mustard, either, and Ryse: Son of Rome was a major disappointment, according to most critics. inFamous: Second Son was a good game but again, the majority agree that it's not indicative of full "next-gen" power. Titanfall is probably the closest we've seen to a killer app for the new consoles, but that game has plenty of detractors.
The point is, as of now, is there any super compelling reason to own or purchase the PS4 or Xbox One?
And maybe the Wii U has benefited greatly
I wouldn't say there's any pressing need to own the Wii U now, either, but it's cheaper, and Nintendo had a solid E3. I wouldn't say the recent sales surge is due entirely to Mario Kart 8 and the unveiling of Hyrule Warriors, but these games certainly had an impact. The majority of that impact, however, may be due to a general "ho-hum" attitude concerning the competition. The biggest game of 2014 so far for the PS4 is The Last Of Us: Remastered, which is, of course, a gussied-up PS3 game. And unless you're into shooters, Xbox One doesn't have anything, either.
Sure, we'll see games like Sunset Overdrive, Fable Legends, Driveclub and LittleBigPlanet 3 in the fall. But the big-time heavy hitters like Uncharted 4: Among Thieves won't come out until 2015, and there have been several delays of high-profile multiplatform titles, too. In such an atmosphere, the Wii U - which is decidedly different from the competition - can gain traction. Gamers might want to try a little something new; the legendary Nintendo brand might become more appealing in their eyes.
Is the Wii U selling based on its merits alone? No. If the PS4 and Xbox One were pushing out the amazing cutting-edge next-gen games at a rapid clip, I seriously doubt we would've seen such a surge. We would've seen an increase, but nothing like this. That's where I come out.