The Wii U is a fantastic console, but falls short in a few areas. From trying to force the tablet controller into any game to poor online multiplayer, this is a list of 10 things I wish the Wii U did better at.
1 – Forced gamepad use
The worst offence of the Wii U for me is how the gamepad feels forced into many titles. Super Mario 3D world made interesting uses with the ability to blow into the controller to find hidden items or tap to stun enemies, but having both the gamepad and the TV display the same information made it feel like I should be able to get the full experience without it. The game is telling me I should use the gamepad but I have a nice large TV to play on. This goes the same for many games. Smash Brothers is another. I use the gamepad to launch the game and then it sits with the screen until it dies as I use standard controllers or GameCube controllers to play. Yes, I can disable the screen but why should this be an extra step? This leads to number two.
2 – No button to turn gamepad on/off
The gamepad is great for games that have legitimate needs for it. The planned use for the new StarFox game and map/items in the upcoming Zelda game are perfect. However for games where it’s not needed, it would be great to have an on/off switch to disable it.
3 – Short gamepad life
Not only does the gamepad seem to be out of place in many games the battery life is a bit short. You can buy a high capacity battery which will about double the life. However, why isn’t this standard? I think the gamepad life would also be better if it was more convenient to turn it on and off during gameplay.
4 – Unified Charger 3DS/Gamepad
It would be great if both devices could use the same charger. Many times I have found my 3DS low on juice and had the Wii U charger readily available. I realize that the power requirements and charge times would end up being changed, probably significantly for each device, but the convenience would be great.
5 – Lack of modern online play
I understand that they may be keeping their online play from using voice chat and playing with strangers, but having the option is something needed. Mainly the more painful part of online is that many of their current systems don’t let you play with friends and strangers. Smash Brothers for examples only lets two friends play if they are on the same console or in a friends only group. Adding party support and voice chat for at least friends would be a welcome addition.
6 – Treat games as Apps
I realize that the make up for virtual console games can be different than how they built and stored on each console and should be treated separately. However, in the modern world where you can buy apps on your phone and then redownload them to your tablet or even your PC without additional cost, it’s time for a unified store experience. Buy once, play everywhere you can log in and verify your account. Maybe even let you store and transfer apps via SD cards as well?
7 – Reduce the number of controllers/accessories
The Wii was guilty of this as well, and from what I gather, it looks as if things are getting more normal. So, we have the Wiimote, the nunchuck, Motion Plus(although you can’t find those anymore) the classic controller(pro), the Wireless Pro, and the GameCube adapter. Not that I don’t like the options, but I have found that games like New Super Mario Brothers Wii U doesn’t work with classic pro and only the Wireless Pro. I would like to keep the number of controllers and accessories down. So having the Wiimote with nunchuck and classic controller/wireless pro is enough. Ultimately if there was only a single controller, that would make things the best, but having the Wiimote, nunchuch and some form of classic controller that works universally would be great. Especially for those of us that invested early in the Wii days with accessories. I know most companies make new controllers each round of consoles, but if I understand correctly, PlayStation is pretty friendly with backwards compatibility here, but I don’t play that so not sure of the details.
8 – Number of Virtual Console games
One of my favorite features of the Wii U is the Virtual Console. However there are a number of games that are available only in the Wii Menu’s virtual console that are not yet available for the Wii U. This is incredibly frustrating as I would love to have all my games in a single place and not have to span menus and reboots to view/play them. From reading online though, I guess the North American Virtual Console shop is the one with the least amount of games. Not sure what the reason is, but please keep adding games!
As a matter of fact according to this article over on Kotaku the Xbox One has more natively available N64 games through the Rare Replay collection than what is available on the Nintendo e-Shop (7 in the Rare Replay, and 6 on the Wii U). The Wii U does have more N64 games if you count the Wii shop channel, but that requires jumping to a separate menu in a store that I had thought was already on it’s way to being unsupported. So, although more of a funny joke to availability it does say something about the state of the Virtual Console service since it’s been available on the system from launch almost 3 years ago(Fall 2012).
This is the feature I love the most. Especially with Wii and N64 games available. So I am dying to have more games available to purchase. However the utter trickle and lack of porting even the old Wii titles makes me question the availability of these games on the next console. So as long as it’s sticking around, how about some GameCube games while we’re at it? Please?!
9 – Make use of the GameCube adapter
Ok, so I don’t like all the accessories, but I did buy the GameCube adapter. Mainly because it’s the controller from my all time favorite game console ever. I also wanted to see what the community has done for it and unofficial PC support. Currently it’s only compatible with Smash Brothers, but it would be great if it could be used for Virtual Console games as well. Actually that would make it a more viable accessory then for everyone to buy and help sell GCN games if they ever hit the store.
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10 – Have more time to play
Ok, so this isn’t anything the Wii U could do better, but I find myself playing fewer games these days attempting to keep up with all my projects. It’s way past time to schedule in time with this awesome game console.
What do you think? The Wii U I feel is a strong console and well worth it, but as with anything has it’s flaws. What would you change about the Wii U?
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