So the Wii U has officially been unveiled, the paint is still drying and we have a release date and how much that sucker will cost. The question that I’ve been asking myself since the announcement of the upcoming Nintendo console is; will I once again be suckered into purchasing a Nintendo console that I probably won’t play? I’m not saying that the Wii U won’t be quality, that it won’t be innovative and fun, or that it won’t feature a bevy of top notch first party titles that will without a doubt appeal to many gamers. Instead, what I’m looking at is my long history with Nintendo consoles and how the last few generations of Nintendo consoles have disappointed me and ended up costing me money that could have been spent better elsewhere.
I’ll start off with this; my plan for right now is to skip over the Wii U. This will be the first time that I have ever made a decision to skip over a Nintendo home console, after owning at least one of each console, and in the case of the N64, I believe I’ve owned around four or five of them. Go figure. It is a tough decision to make, because it means that I’ll miss out on this generation’s Mario, this generation’s Zelda and every other beloved franchise that Nintendo holds under their belts and continue to push out for every new console. In a way, it is letting go to those childhood memories of playing Mario and Zelda and saying, “I’m not sure what they offer is going to do it for me this time.”
That is not an easy statement to make. The Gamecube was the first Nintendo console that I was a bit uneasy about. I still was making regular use of my N64 at the time, and owned an Xbox, Dreamcast and PlayStation 2, all of which I was using regularly as well. For some reason, the launch of the Gamecube really didn’t affect me all that much. There were no games that stood out as “must buys” and no real reason to put down my hard-earned cash for yet another console when I had enough games to play and didn’t feel like I was particularly missing anything. For some reason still unclear to me, I decided that WWE Wrestlemania X8 was the straw that broke the camel’s back, and that I needed to buy a Gamecube, that game, and the first party titles that I had missed out on. To make a long, unremarkable story short, my Gamecube got about a month’s worth of use before it collected dust and I eventually gave it away to my step-nephews due to disinterest.
Then came the Wii. At this point, I was older and I believed to be much wiser. I remembered my purchase of the Gamecube and remembered how disappointed I was with the Mario and Zelda offerings, so, I sat tight. I wasn’t sure that waggling a controller was for me, anyway. At this point, I had an Xbox 360 and didn’t feel like I needed much else at the time; it played DVDs, it got just about every third party title in existence and the first party titles were pretty incredible as well. I held off for years until I finally played Wii Sports with a few friends back home and I was hooked. I knew that this dumb, inexpensive, simple game was going to force me to go out and purchase a new console. That is exactly what happened. It was good fun, but eventually, friends got sick of sword fighting my Mr. T Mii or playing ping pong against my Bruce Lee Mii. The dust collected and my bitter memories of the Gamecube’s first party offerings kept me away from new installments of some of my favorite series.
Eventually the dust gathered again on a Nintendo console that I hastily purchased. It was, as Philip K. Dick would have called it, merely kipple in the pastiche that was my apartment. Eventually, the Wii became much like my Gamecube was, and it turned into a gift for my dog-sitter after a few weeks of unexpected travel turned up, and proved to be a rather inexpensive method of payment for me. I think that it is high time for me to accept that I’m simply not Nintendo’s target audience anymore and simply sit this one out. Let me know how it turns out.