News Article

CNET Outlines Console Purchase Choices And Highlights Wii U as a "Pretty Compelling Buy"

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Different talking head, different outcome

There have been a number of times this year when, sometimes correctly and on other occasions harshly, the Wii U has endured negative coverage and, as a result, subsequent issues with its public image. We've had — and still have, to a degree — issues with awareness, while some dry spells of software have combined with poor sales figures to undermine its chances.

Though opinion will naturally be divided on the matter, it can certainly be argued that Nintendo's gradually turning the tide of opinion — though we'll know with financial results in January whether that translates to strong sales. There's been a price drop and some good value bundles, a noticeable increase in marketing and the overwhelmingly positive reaction to Super Mario 3D World. Those factors — along with the growing roster of games — have perhaps boosted the system's image as a viable and worthwhile Holiday season purchase. In the most vital shopping period of the year, Nintendo's console may be getting closer to some shopping wishlists.

CNET, the prominent technology consumer outlet, has had some positive words for Wii U in its recent video titled "Xbox or PS4? Maybe that's the wrong question"; after outlining the options of Sony and Microsoft's new systems, the Wii U is cited for its expanded library and increasingly high-quality library, and also for the fact it's retailing for less than the PS4 and One. It's in stark contrast to CNET's fairly recent "Worst Holiday Tech Gifts" feature, which labelled the Wii U a "dud" in its list with the damning line, "there are only two game consoles anyone wants this year, and the Wii U isn't one of them."

The most recent assessment, from a different talking head, is rather different. To quote the close of the latest video — "timing is everything".

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User Comments (43)



wober2 said:

One article is based on demand and excitement and the other is based on the console's actual merits.



kidicaroots said:

Well, it's a good thing they aren't afraid to contradict each other. The inclusion of the Wii U on the "worst tech gifts" list was an excessively negative assessment about the console, especially considering the Wii U's holiday line-up is clearly superior to the other consoles's launch line-ups.



cammy said:

These video feels like it comes from someone who isn't a "gamer" and therefore not invested in any particular "brands". The other cnet felt like it was coming from a gamer (with baggage). Interesting takes.



GreatPlayer said:

I want to buy Xbone due to its camera (only). But then I look at their games... I am interested in none of them.



rmeyer said:

Even reviewers wanted to hate the new Mario and they just couldn't it's too hilarious and sucks everyone in



Captain_Toad said:

Wow, what a 180 after that cnet worst holiday gifts. And believe me when I say, that the 180 was needed.



earthboundlink said:

The only thing that will save the Wii U is great first party titles. These titles saved the 3DS the exact same way. Nintendo seems to get it, SM3DW kicked off the AAA run, and they've got some really great system sellers set for 2014.

Then, hopefully people can discover the existing gems like Pikmin 3 and W101, create some network effects, and get third parties to at least put a little effort into their ports (or gasp develop for Wii U first and maybe even bring some exclusives).



taffy said:

Urgh CNET, watched a video of theirs once called 3DS vs Vita. Was so poorly informative, contradictory and blatantly one sided that I can't take anything they say seriously.



heathenmagic said:

I said I wouldn't get a Wii I got one, I am converted! Keep the games coming along and job done I say!



hYdeks said:

people have no idea anymore, it's all about people preferences now. I love Nintendo, so I support Nintendo, about that simple!

Maybe the only other console I'm considering is Xbox One,but that won't be a any time soon purchase, I rather wait 2 years and get the games and system cheaper



WanderingPB said:

I wonder if the first guy who said the WiiU was one of the worst holiday gifts even did any research about the actual games? Maybe he should educate himself before trying to educate the public……we can all agree Nintendo has messed up in certain aspects but the games it has now speak an abundance plus the games that are being released next year is bananas…software selld hardware period…Nintendo should take this opportunity and improve their marketing and keep their release dates and the gamers will come. Same goes for PS & XB



2Sang said:

@kidicaroots barely and this is supposed to be the prime time of the wii u. It's all downhill from here excluding smash bros. and the next zelda which will probably be 3 years away.



MrGawain said:

Is it any different with CVG, IGN, Kotaku, Game Trailers, or Polygon? They all have staff with varying opinions, some that clash with the management or the games that are advertised on their sites. Also, I would say an opinion formed of the Xbox One and PS4 on the first couple of plays by a journo is probably a bit different when they have one with very little new quality content at launch and a bunch of small glitches and missing services. Nintendo has been battling imaginary future machines that now exist and aren't as all destroying as first thought.



rmeyer said:

Cnet says there are two consoles this year everyone wants and the Wii u isn't one of them, but I'm pretty sure the xbox one is the one nobody wants



Worthy said:

@Kodeen I think @rmeyer is talking about reviews like this from Game Central here:

They start the review off with this line:
"Super Mario 3D World is not the best game ever made. Which is about as far as we have to go in order to say anything negative about it"
...and then go on about the constant game saving messages, lol!

I've seen alot of reviews on other sites which are similar and sound more like the reviewer wants to hate the game, but can't find a good enough reason to do so.



IxnayontheCK said:

Honestly, anyone who is open minded and not a droid can see Wii U is a console worth owning. Its not perfect, but is by no means a "dud." Its all about who you ask.



GraveLordXD said:

@2Sang yes because mario kart 8, tropical freeze, bayonetta 2 and X aren't worth mentioning? And all those are exclusives so how is it all downhill from here? Seems like you're just being ignorant again



Sidewinder said:

Only 2 of those matter.
While Bayonetta 2 and X are going to be great they will both sell terrible.
You forgot Smash, Smash is worth mentioning.



Chomposaur said:

and yesterday they said "Wii U is not the console you should buy this holiday season" Which one is it CNET ?



HyperSonicEXE said:

Yeah, backpedal now, CNET. Now that Sony's and Microsoft's space heaters are out and causing havoc and not having any good games, yet.



GraveLordXD said:

@Sidewinder no 2sang mentioned smash I was giving other reasons why the Wii u is a compelling buy with other great exclusives that will be coming next year not what's going to sell more



Nintend0ro said:

Wii U would sell like hot cakes but the problem is that it's not for sale at most retailers. If I want one, there's only Argos or ToysRus, or GAME that still sell the console and it's games. None of others



Dr_Corndog said:

"There are only two game consoles anyone (who doesn't actually play video games) wants this year, and the Wii U isn't one of them."



Unit_DTH said:

@2Sang Barely? How can you even say that? I have the PS4 and I have not purchased a single game for it yet, there just aren't any worth buying right now… and I mean none. why would you get a brand new system for a multi platform game that you can already get on the system you own?? The Wii U's lineup for this holiday season is far better than XB1 or PS4, and they are only releasing 1 new game that we know of, but there is still the existing library of Wii games that you can play on it and the recently released titles like W101, Pikmin 3, Deus Ex: HR DC ( I know you can get it on other consoles, but I can't see it being better than it is on the Wii U and I played the original), Sonic Lost World, Mario and Sonic @ Sochi, Wind Waker HD, CoD: Ghosts (again already available on other platforms), AC4, Wii Party U and the gobs of great indie titles on the eShop. I can, almost entirely on my 10 fingers, count the titles coming out for the XB1 and the PS4, that are exclusive… that's a lame launch lineup if you ask me, but you didn't. PS4 - Knack, KZ:SF, Resogun, Warframe, Blacklight: R.
XB1 - Ryse, Forza, KI ( I think), CD, DR3, Lococycle, Fighter within.



element187 said:

@Kodeen You didn't see the review where they couldn't think of any negatives about the game so they came up with... I think it was the escapist review of 3D Mario World
Pros: awesome game blah blah, looks great blah blah, best game this holiday blah blah

But the cons were hilarious,
Cons: Multiplayer doesn't add anything, Bowser is still the antagonist

Seriously? Bowse being the big bad guy is a negative? Welcome to every single mario game, besides SMB2. Seems like a seriously foolish negative to put on this game. They are reaching so far to come up with a negative that they pulled a hamstring.



n057828 said:

Dudes its Value for money One $499, cont $99 $50 online and then one game $99 add it all up!
Guys its like the old PC days CPUVid cards ran the software now its the reverse software runs the hardware and Nintendo's famous saying is "its the games guys"
Mid 2014 will be the icing on the cake, Nintendo get the quality games out!



Dpishere said:

With the superb critical acclaim of 3D World I can only hope that the Wii U sales will improve in result of that. The coming weeks will be interesting that is for sure.



AcesHigh said:

@kidicaroots I agree. I have thought from day one that the media has done more damage to the Wii U and it's sales than the unit or Nintendo has done themselves. Yes, there was a drought after release. But this is what happens with every system since the Genesis.

The media has built this huge bandwagon that everyone who thinks they know anything (but clearly doesn't) was itching to jump on. Nintendo has been the giant in the industry since its rebirth in 1985. And everyone in the public eye knows that the best way to get noticed is to take on and take down the big hairy giant. This is why I believe there are so many people who publicly would love to see Nintendo fail.

The fact of the matter is, that the media has, until very recently, made every effort to jump on the bandwagon to take Nintendo down, whether they know the first thing about it or not. And parents, the 60 - 70% of people who actually make the purchase, listen to what they hear. Add to that problem the fact that half the people who work at Best Buy or Gamestop ALSO don't know the facts. And who do they listen to? The idiots in the media who don't know what they're talking about. So, it's no wonder why the Wii U isn't selling.

I have never, in my 35 years of following this industry, witnessed such an unfair media lambasting of an actually very good platform. Never. And look at the absolute fiasco of the XB1? There was about a week of noise from the media. And it wasn't even that harsh. And it went away. And how about the absolute lackluster launch games for XB1 and PS4? Not a word in the press.

Why? Because if anyone in the media took Sony or Microsoft to task, they know they would have serious financial reprecutions form the makers themselves and public backlash from the foul-mannered fanboys in each camp. But Nintendo? Nintendo is that gentle giant that all the kids that got picked on in school loved to take a cheap shot at cuz they knew he wouldn't fight back.

Yes, Nintendo has had some issues with their release schedule. But not that much worse than any platform release in the last 35 years. The media has a lot to blame for an unfair representation of the system and their effect on uneducated buyers. Now it's time for the media to redeem themselves and actually suggest the most logical value proposition for gamers and their parents this year. The Wii U has THE highest rated game of all platforms (new and old) going into the holiday buying season. It has 2 unbeatable bundles that are $100 and $200 less than the new platforms. They are in stock. And they actually work. Let's see you come clean media talking heads!



GamerZack87 said:

Nintendo has a running history of defying the odds. There's a reason I keep supporting them (well, there are many reasons, but to name them all would require a Wall O' Text). At the top of my really short Christmas list is a Wii U Limited Edition Skylanders SWAP Force Basic Pack, which is the perfect way for me personally to start having fun with Wii U.



Jimmy_G_Buckets said:

We WiiU owners are the best advertisers for Nintendo. To increase the install base, have a couple of friends over and play Mario together. Then show them Miiverse, etc...I'm trying to convert as many people as I can to buy the system for a few reasons. It has the best games to play right now. Free Internet connection. Backwards compatible. Off tv play. I'm compelled to sell WiiU's to silence all the naysayers, and spread the joy of the system. Have a WiiU Mario 3D party! Just don't expect any commission from Reggie.



unrandomsam said:

@SkywardCrowbar CNET is not good for anything. The parent company forced them to change their product of the year as they didn't like it. (Think its a TV Network). The only ones I trust are print publications who have some interest in being known as impartial. (Otherwise they would lose the readership completely.)



shaggyc said:

Best advertisement for me was the kiosk set up in walmart. The gamepad looked terribly uncomfortable. Them having new super mario bros wii u demo on the console sold them a unit, and got them an advocate for the system. I thought the same thing about the wiimotes. Guess I need to quit doubting and wait until I hold these things



sr388survivor said:

@AcesHigh Great comment. I agree it just seems like the hate has been flying around even though people don't know much about it. I have purchased 16 games for Wii U in it's first year and i continue to see people claiming Wii U has no games. The internet tells people to not be sheep and hate Nintendo so they do lol.
In all of it I find it extremely encouraging that Nintendo continues to do it's thing and while they are making changes, they're not getting caught up in the negativity.



AcesHigh said:

@skjia You reminded me of a great point! Thank you! Yes, I too am looking at my video game collection sitting right across from me. I count 8 Wii U games. To only 1 PS3 and 1 XBOX360 game purchased in the last year. And seriously, I'm a gamer. End of story. I have no allegiances at all. Nintendo just has extremely high quality games. There are great games on all platforms. But when I look at how many games I buy, and look at where they're played on, it's pretty profound. It's easy to let the games speak for themselves.

Yes I too am very happy with how Nintendo holds themselves in the public eye. I have wrote about this many times and I feel strongly about it. There is not one hardware manufacturer (or software publisher) that acts with the humility as Nintendo. And none of their competitors come even close to matching the amount of time they take to communicate directly to their consumers. This is a very important part of my argument that the media had a good part to play in the massive "misinformation campaign" against the Wii U... Nintendo Direct started before the Wii U was released. Well before. In their Nintendo Directs (and even E3), the Wii U was explained numerous times, in numerous ways for anyone who chose to listen. You seriously had to be a full-on noob gamer or poindexter to NOT get what the Wii U was about. What's not to get?! It's a new game system. With a huge touch screen that can have other "stuff" on it to control "stuff" in the game. And you can play games on the TV OR on the screen. And it has Mario. What's confusing? To this day, I refuse to believe the media professionals who all cried that the Wii U was confusing actually believed it. They just wanted to jump on the bandwagon and use the gentle giant as a punching bag so their talking head could rise above the rest of talking heads. And to top it off, the same media "professionals" all cried armageddon when Metroid and HD Zelda weren't announced or formally shown at E3. Seriously? Do we think Nintendo will never bring Metroid out? Zelda HD is coming. Metroid will come. Star Fox will come. To cry about games like this not coming out when they want ALL AT ONCE is just immature and unprofessional. Any industry professional who doesn't get the pacing and art of portfolio management is either too junior, has a bias or just wants to be a mouthpiece and make their mark. And through all of this, Nintendo, as you suggested, just quietly goes about their business crafting the best hardware and software - for the fans!



D3athBr1ng3r187 said:

@AcesHigh After all this ranting going on all I have to say which you state that you have but 1 game per system and the Wii U more? Dude I had the Wii U and had 1 or 2 games why because most of the 3rd Party titles that was on the Wii U was already on the "Other" consoles I have besides Nintendo and sadly half of them Nintendo titles wasn't even my cup of tea. Ok I'm a gamer also but I like variety I don't want the same Nintendo "Quality" titles every year besides Star Fox/F-Zero and a few others which I barley see. As for the media they keep trashing Nintendo because they aren't doing as they promised. Nintendo was the ones at e3 2012 stated the following that they system was going to be more of an Core based platform which was further from the truth. This whole year was their free pass to prove to the masses why should we want to buy a Wii U before the PS4/XBone launch and did they succeed sad to say not really except for SM3DW probably. Regardless Nintendo has been doing stupid decisions half of the year and was trying so hard to pull that casual audience which isn't coming back but also pushing away the core demographic and as well was more on the 3DS success track than getting poor Wii U out of the hole. So I know you probably rant on me about this comment and guess what it's the truth and there's more to say but i'm not trying to start a argument but i'm tired of people keep stating that Nintendo shouldn't deserve criticism so every other game company or businesses while get criticized for the wrong decisions they do but Nintendo shouldn't??? It's a company they going to get criticism remember PS3 and Sony they got criticized worst than Nintendo and they made a comeback why not Nintendo. Alas a hint of criticism of why no account system wasn't put in place for the 3DS/Wii U because NOBODY except the small minority of people from the Nintendo "camp" criticized them about it and there's more on the subject but i'll keep that to myself.



AcesHigh said:

@D3athBr1ng3r187 Ahhhh... A rant for a rant. That's cool. Mine has a little better punctuation though. You seem to contradict yourself a bit, unfortunately. You state that Nintendo abandoned the core gamer and that you want more variety than just quality Nintendo 1st party games. Well, the system released with several games that were on other systems. Sooo.... how is that abandoning the core gamer? Isn't that kind of APPEALING to the core gamer? What else would you have them do to appeal to the core gamer? They have 1st party games that no one else can replicate AND they had more quality 3rd party games than any other launch. I don't see your problem. OK, so they have games that are on the other systems you own. The PS4 has games that XB1 has. The PS3 has games that XB360 has. What's your point? But none of them have games that Nintendo has.

Nintendo has to make games for people who want to own only one system. And for people who have more than one system. I can't say that they've done a poor job. They came out strong out of the gate with a better launch line up by far than the PS4 or XB1 combined. What happened was, because systems didn't move, their 3rd party support dropped. They were depending on that 3rd party support and their pacing of 1st party releases reflected that. So when 3rd party support dropped, they were caught a bit with their pants down. And, in my opinion, that's what made a typical post-launch drought a longer one.

So what wrong "decisions" did Nintendo make to justify the ridicule by the media?! The media were on the Wii U from before release. And most of it were, "I don't get it". Which I addressed in my rant above. So what decisions dude?! And because Nintendo is so humble an organization, they didn't lash back but just said they have to do better. So what else are they going to say? It's not their culture to trash other companies, the media or make excuses. The only decision that I can fault Nintendo for - and I've been vocal about this as well - is that they should have released the Wii U last year with Mario U bundled. They haven't launched a system bundled with a Mario game from day one since the SNES - and that was the last time they were #1.

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