The Wii U has endured a lot of negative press for various reasons and in some cases, we're sure many would agree, criticism has focused on genuine weaknesses in the system's early days. While various developers and publishers have voiced support and optimism for Nintendo's console, a good number have also spoken negatively and shared views on where Nintendo has — in their view — gone wrong with the hardware.
One of these developers down on Wii U in past times was former THQ and Vigil man Xander Davis, who spoke in damning terms of the Wii U GamePad as a "gimmick" and referred to it as a "$400 Xbox 360 seven years late". That was in an interview with notenoughshaders.com back in August 2012, but the developer has now published a blog post that explains why his opinion of the system has changed.
Davis is the founder / owner of Astrogun, which is currently working on a "Mythic Sci-Fi Action-Adventure Game" called CIDER, which will have a top-down perspective. When fans of the studio expressed an interest in seeing the title on Wii U, Nintendo approached the developer pro-actively and provided the documentation outlining the steps to publishing on the system. Davis has stated that the terms "looked great", and that he then went out to buy a Wii U to experience the system for himself.
While the full blog post outlines a number of key reasons why his opinion has changed so substantially, one of the most telling examples given is that, in Davis' view, you need to try the system to truly appreciate what it can deliver.
None of these things ever truly clicked with me until I rolled the dice and finally just bought the console and a proper first-party Nintendo game for it. I was basing a lot of my assumptions on deductive logic from a large web of industry-related factors, many reasons that suddenly don’t matter. Now that I’ve played it, I’ve enjoyed it. In a metaphor inspired by the above Smash Bros / Fight Club mash-up, sometimes you only “get" Fight Club when you start playing its game. And in combination with all other four reasons here, I think Wii-U’s best days are indeed ahead of it.
Perhaps most importantly, from an indie games perspective, Davis highlights that Nintendo is opening up the system to developers, and shares his belief that it'll reap the rewards of that policy.
I can’t go into details, but from what I’ve read of the initial Wii-U Developer overview, Nintendo has set the bar for their support and terms to make indie development very attractive. This is a win for indie devs and it’s a win for gamers. The console is about to get a lot of great content.
...I’ve come to believe, especially now, that the Wii-U’s fate is in our hands. If we make great games and make them for Wii-U, it can be an awesome console.
We recommend reading the full blog post, but it's another encouraging example of a figure in the industry appreciating the Wii U and planning to bring content to the platform.
Thanks to Emily Rogers for the tip.