Not long ago we published The Big Wii U Survey, as we asked you whether you owned a Wii U and, if you do, what you think about it. The response was terrific, with over 4,300 fully completed submissions being returned to us.
As promised, below is a summary of what you told us, with some surprising statistics thrown in.
Upgrading and spending money
The big question, which ultimately determined whether you had much of a survey to answer at all, was whether you actually owned a Wii U. Perhaps not surprisingly for a community on a Nintendo-centric website, 79% of you (3,338) answered yes, which gave the questions that followed plenty of diversity in responses. Of those that own a system, over 90% confirmed that the Deluxe/Premium console had been their model of choice, reinforcing a sense from industry estimates and stock on shelves that the cheaper model has struggled to find an audience.
Even with the cheaper model, the issue of cost also accounted for the reason why the console wasn't purchased by a number of people — 45% of votes of those without the system said that they hadn't bought a Wii U as they couldn't afford it, with 33% waiting for a cheaper bundle. Other reasons that earned significant votes were some desired games not being on Wii U (24%) and 14% of votes saying that they were waiting for the next Microsoft or Sony console. Those waiting to be persuaded to buy a Wii U had similar priorities in terms of what would change their mind: a lower price point as well as more first-party/Wii U exclusive games were selected by over half of those yet to dive in.
A major target of Wii U, meanwhile, is to attract Wii owners into the upgrade. Although the question wasn't posed directly, it's clear that the vast majority of you did upgrade from the little system: just over 2,500 of you own two Wii Remotes or more, while a similar number (2,484 — 74%) stated that they didn't buy any Wii Remotes with the new system. Nintendo is arguably relying on this, as the relatively high cost of entry makes buying Wii Remotes an expensive luxury — with over 90 million Wii systems in the wild the company is likely to be hoping that most will already have the controllers that they need.
To wrap up the Wii segment here, special mention must go to the Wii U backward compatibility, which is functional if not very stylishly implemented. The rather fiddly Wii transfer process, in which it helps to have both systems hooked up at the same time, has evidently put some off bothering: 1,894 (57%) of you said you haven't completed the process. Maybe some of us aren't ready to say goodbye to the older system quite yet.
In terms of Wii U specific responses, even the Nintendo Life community's results support some claims that the software attach-rate on the system is disappointing. Exactly 50% of you bought either two or three games with the console, with the next highest response (16%) stating that only one game was picked up. While many would argue that it was a launch line-up with impressive depth, perhaps it lacked a definitive "killer" game or two to truly set the pulses racing.
Taking the Wii U online
After issues with DS and Wii, particularly, there are encouraging results in terms of how many of you have connected your Wii U systems online. Admittedly, the Nintendo Life community is likely to be more than comfortable setting up broadband for their new console, but nevertheless 99% of you said you'd gone online with Wii U, which is almost as good as it gets. The system setup process has clearly been followed by the vast majority, meanwhile, with 98% of you confirming that you've setup a Nintendo Network ID.
Of course it's only truly worthwhile going online with the system if the functionality is put to use. In terms of the eShop, well over half of you have used the platform in some form or another. As partial proof to publishers that they're popular and worth the investment in preparation time, 2,276 (68%) of you said you've downloaded demos, while just over 50% have also purchased some download-only software. Retail downloads fared, considering the early days of the service, respectably — 555 of respondents (17%) have purchased a retail download title.
The big online social networking feature, Miiverse, has also attracted plenty of attention from the community. Around 78% of responses stated that they'd both added comments and "yeah'd" others on the service. The majority have also added friends and posted hand-drawn comments (both 59%), while half of you have decided to "follow" others. When you're not dabbling with Miiverse a number of you are also using the available apps to watch TV and videos on the Wii U, with 68% using YouTube and 43% making use of their Netflix subscriptions in the available app; UK service LoveFilm on the other hand trailed with only 147 (4%) of you trying the service on Wii U.
Why go for Wii U?
So, what made you want a Wii U? In pleasing news for Nintendo, many of you were drawn in by the concept:
The GamePad controller — 2,592 (78%)
It's a Nintendo console, I need to have it! — 2,410 (72%)
The HD graphics — 2,277 (68%)
The new ways of controlling/interacting — 1,906 (57%)
It's totally different from other consoles — 1,750 (52%)
In terms of the broad question of what you've liked most since trying Wii U, most (70%) cited Nintendo's launch games, the experiences of both clearly earning plenty of fans. That said, the following responses all did well, scoring votes from over half of the submissions:
Playing games on the GamePad while I or somebody else can also watch TV — 2,180 (65%)
How it expands the experience outside the TV — 1,820 (55%)
Miiverse — 1,735 (52%)
The new multiplayer possibilities — 1,668 (50%)
So what about the future? The easy winner in terms of what game is most anticipated was Pikmin 3 with 637 votes (19%), with particularly varied responses all around. The range of answers for "what improvements would you like to see with Wii U" were varied and, on occasions, wacky. In general, however, the most popular answers matched much of what we've read on the forums and in article comments. More games and a slicker interface scored highly.
Faster user-interface loading times — 2,564 (77%)
More first-party games — 2,385 (71%)
More Wii U Exclusive games — 2,253 (67%)
More third-party games — 2,144 (64%)
Better GamePad battery life — 1,782 (53%)
So there you have it, a summary of what you think of Wii U so far. We're truly grateful for the time that you took to respond, and let us know what you think of these results in the comments below.