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Topic: An alternate reality where the Wii U didn't fail harder than the N64...

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Z-Core

The Wii was a success, and as we all know, success can lead to disaster. That's exactly what happened with the Wii U. Only selling 13.56 units, the Wii U is Nintendo's 2nd worst selling console (1st being the Virtual Boy) for multiple reasons. Despite it being a failure and most of it's golden games being ported to Switch (waiting on you Nintendo Land), I still love the console, which got me to think "If the Wii U didn't flop, what would be different?"

Feel free to discuss!

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Z-Core

If the Wii U sold better, Nintendo Land 2 would exist. I guarantee it.

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Tasuki

The Wii U flopped for a variety reasons. The fact that it was called the Wii U didn't help as it confused alot of consumers and then their was the lack of third party support. I think however Nintendo didn't know who they were targeting. It seemed like they were targeting the casual audience from the Wii generation yet they were also targeting the hardcore gaming audience.

I think if the Wii U was a little bit less Wii and more of its own thing it would have been successful as is evident by the Switch, but trying to ride on the coattails of the Wii was a big mistake.

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Grumblevolcano

I think if the Wii U was a success, Pikmin 4 and the vast majority of new 1st party Switch games in the current reality would've been Wii U games released in 2016 - 2019 instead. So for example 2016 looking like:

  • Twilight Princess HD
  • Star Fox Zero + Guard
  • Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE
  • Paper Mario Color Splash
  • Luigi's Mansion 3
  • Pikmin 4
  • BotW
  • Animal Crossing New Horizons + amiibo Festival (bundle like with Star Fox, amiibo Festival delayed from November 2015)
  • Mario Kart 8 DLC Pack 3 (containing the Deluxe content)
  • Pokken Tournament DLC (containing the DX content)
  • Hyrule Warriors update (contains Legends content not in the Wii U version)
  • Splatoon expansion (contains Splatoon 2 campaign)
  • Splatoon updates (contains Splatoon 2 maps, modes and Salmon Run)
  • Mario Maker updates (contains some of the Mario Maker 2 additions)
  • Mario Tennis Ultra Smash updates (contains some of the Mario Tennis Aces content)

Edited on by Grumblevolcano

Grumblevolcano

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iLikeUrAttitude

Would the Switch even exist if the Wii U didn't fail?

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Tasuki

@iLikeUrAttitude I believe so. The Switch just seem like the next evolution. The question is would it have been released when it was or would they have waited for the OLED model to bring out the Switch then.

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Fizza

I would've loved to see the Wii U be a success because the core concept and general execution of it's gimmick was so cool. I remember using it at a friend's house and being able to play a big home console on my lap while they watched TV was mind-blowing to me at the time. I would've killed to see more games take advantage of it honestly. RPG'S WOULD'VE BEEN SO MUCH BETTER SINCE YOU COULD JUST HAVE INVENTORY ON THE BOTTOM SCREEN WHY DID NOBODY USE IT.

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Dogorilla

I expect there would have been more third-party ports with bespoke GamePad functionality, which would have made the Wii U arguably the best way to play some big games. Breath of the Wild would have had the Sheikah Slate on the GamePad too.

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Z-Core

@iLikeUrAttitude Most likely not. I'm sure Nintendo would have made a 3rd Wii console because "3rd time's a charm!"

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iLikeUrAttitude

@Z-Core Well in that case I think the Wii U paving the way for the Switch was a good thing despite it being a dark time for Nintendo. And Nintendo gained back their losses with the Switch's success anyway.

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DM7Dust

@Z-Core I think Nintendo Land 2 would be cool to see. New mini-games and expanding on the old ones sound pretty good, though I'm not really sure what kind of stuff they could do.

@Grumblevolcano I think if the Wii U did do better, we probably would have seen more cross-platform stuff with the Switch, like how Breath of the Wild was. I think they also would have done more DLC for Smash 4 on Wii U/3DS, like extra stages (like ether putting stages from one version into the other, or retro stages that would eventually return for Ultimate) or bringing back missing veterans early (Wolf, Squirtle, Ivysaur, Pichu, Snake, etc.) or debuting some of the Ultimate newcomers early (such as Ultimate's echo fighters. Inkling, Incineroar, maybe Kazuya, etc).

@Dogorilla I think the problem was that for the most part, the 3rd party devs not only felt the Wii U was underpowered compared to the PS4 and Xbox One, but also felt the Gamepad was a gimmick that didn't really mesh well with their games.

DM7Dust

NinChocolate

After Nintendo’s hardware R&D put out the Wii U and 3DS Nintendo merged the separate departments without delay, which then engineered the Switch. So even at the release of the Wii U, Nintendo was on to shaking up the hardware strategy. They probably didn’t expect a flop, but they probably expected to ride out the rest of that DS-Wii R&D period. So what would would have been different? Maybe not all that much except timing.

NinChocolate

Grumblevolcano

@DM7Dust I don't think the Switch would've launched in March 2017 had the Wii U been a success, rather something like 2021/2022 (planned for 2020 but delayed due to COVID).

Grumblevolcano

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Matt_Barber

I don't see the Wii U lasting past 2018 even if a success. The hardware would be six years old at that point and it wasn't exactly bleeding edge when new. That's about as long as the Wii managed, after all.

That said, it'd have bowed out to a glorious finish, getting the games that the Switch saw in its first 18 months instead. Well, obviously minus the ports and the revamps.

I'd think that a handheld Wii U might have been a possibility too, given a die shrink, ditching the optical drive and a bit of imagination. It wouldn't quite be a Switch but the backwards compatibility would be handy.

The Switch still happens though. It just gets pitched as a successor to the 3DS at first, it being the older and less successful machine in this scenario, and goes on to supplant the Wii U when it fully takes off.

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DM7Dust

@Grumblevolcano Eh, that's probably true. I think they might have revealed the Switch a bit earlier than that just for some buzz, though.

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kkslider5552000

I think the Switch might've been in serious consideration anyway, since making HD games along with handheld games is...clearly difficult, and they'd combined the teams for both early in the Wii U days.

I think mostly just the expected Nintendo sequels that didn't end up on Wii U would've been on it (barring Metroid considering we didn't get a new one on consoles until literally 3 months ago) and the most lacking games wouldn't have had the same issues (mostly Ultra Smash and also Star Fox Zero needing an extra game to justify being 60 dollars).

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DM7Dust

@Matt_Barber I'm not sure about handheld, per se, but I think we probably could have seen a New 3DS style upgrade for the Wii U with extra power/specs for some exclusive games, as well as a redesigned/smaller Gamepad without so much fluff crammed into it.

DM7Dust

skywake

I tend to agree with @kkslider5552000 but I'd probably go a step further. I think if the Wii U was a success we would've still had the Switch just the emphasis probably would've been on its portable nature. It would've been marketed as more of a 3DS replacement than a Wii U replacement. You have to remember that the 3DS had been on the market for 6 years when the Switch launched and the Wii U just under 5. And they weren't exactly bleeding edge at launch

So yeah, I think we still get the Switch but maybe a year later than we did. And possibly we get a bit more of a co-existence period between Switch and Wii U. Eg Odyssey launching on both, Animal Crossing getting a release on Switch, Splatoon 2 coming to Wii U rather than Switch. Probably less Wii U ports given they would've sold well on Wii U already so maybe no Mario Kart 8 Deluxe etc. Maybe in that alternate universe we get Mario Kart 9 on Switch in 2019. That sort of thing. But overall, probably not THAT different

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Savage_Joe

The Switch was rushed with a not so great mobile chip, making Nintendo break ties with AMD, because the Wii U failed. If the Wii U would've lasted longer, the Switch might have been released last year with AMD chips similar to the Steam Deck, and with oled to boot

Edited on by Savage_Joe

Savage_Joe

DM7Dust

@skywake I think MK8 Deluxe probably would have still happened on Switch, considering it sold really well on Wii U. Though I do think if the Wii U did better, the Wii U version probably would have gotten some of the Deluxe content, such as the improved Battle Mode, while the Switch version of Deluxe would have gotten a lot more tracks to make it worth more of a 2nd purchase, similar to the Battle Course Pass. I think Wii U possibly could have gotten more tracks than it did too, it's just that the Switch version having that content from the start would have made it more enticing to buyers since the extra content for Wii U probably would have been DLC.

DM7Dust

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