Let’s face it: The Nintendo Wii U has been plagued by software delays since its launch. In those days there wasn’t much to play other than New Super Mario Bros. U, with titles such as Pikmin 3 and Rayman Legends being delayed for the indefinite future. Pikmin 3 eventually made its way to the console (the summer after launch), while Rayman Legends was delayed and was given a multi-console release, which as of this point was a huge blow to Nintendo, given how Rayman Legends was going to be a Wii U exclusive. The Wii U seemed to have a drought like the Nintendo 64, which had a drought that spanned many months in terms of software available for the system. These two situations can be comparable; Nintendo was just making the jump to 3D, while on the other hand, Nintendo was just making the jump to HD. Outside a few mildly interesting third party titles, the Wii U failed to deliver on launch, and my of my own friends held back on the system simply until the new Zelda were to come out. While the innovation of the GamePad’s touch screen/tablet controller was a very interesting concept and incredibly innovative, it was not enough to push hardware sales. That doesn’t take away from the endearing quality of the system though.
One can say the “failure” of the Wii U (and I put that in parenthesis because failure is purely subjective) lies in its inability to release games on time. The release schedule has been all over the place and has been poorly paced, keeping gamers disinterested, although the Wii U has arguably the best exclusive content that this generation has to offer. Nintendo’s sheer lack of marketing didn’t help matters. Wii U owners have gone long droughts without games (sans high definition remasters), and while Nintendo seemed to rectify this in recent years, beginning ever slightly in 2014, they once again face a predicament where they are delaying pertinent titles which would have seen Wii U hardware sales increase significantly.
2015 was supposed to the year where the Wii U was finally breaking out of its shell. Splatoon was a major hit, coming out in June. Nintendo then had Super Mario Maker come out in September to commemorate Mario’s 30th Anniversary. Yoshi’s Wolly World was also released, and a welcome addition to the Wii U family. As far as holiday titles go though, Nintendo completely dropped the ball. Everyone was so excited to see Star Fox Zero and Zelda Wii U, despite assurances that they would indeed come out this yeah. For the first time Nintendo doesn’t have a holiday blockbuster title, and I love Xenoblade Chronicles X (I gave the game a 10) it is a niche game and will not drive holiday sales (I hope I’m wrong personally).
When Nintendo realized that they would not be able to deliver Zelda Wii U for the holidays they should have moved to bring in Twilight Princess HD as a holiday title. There is no way that Nintendo just starting developing this title and to he honest, this should have been their first high definition remake in the Zelda series. Fans have been clamoring for the title for years and overall (including both the GCN and Wii version sales) it is the highest grossing Zelda title of all time. I am not necessarily saying that the game will sell systems, but it has the potential to do so.
When the Wii was first released, it has a 75 percent attach rate to Twilight Princess. This would give Nintendo the opportunity to not only introduce the game to new fans of the series but also give the fans what they have always wanted: a Twilight Princess HD remake. With its March release date, it is the perfect appetizer to tide fans over for the next installment in the beloved Zelda series. Even as a remake, it has the potential to drive hardware sales and make people excited about the Wii U again, something that has been somewhat dwindling in the fandom with the lack of iconic releases.
Yes, it may be a little too late in terms of catapulting the Wii U to the top of the Console wars. But the innovative and iconic Miiverse, Nintendo’s superb first party content, and upcoming titles such as Zelda Wii U, Star Fox Zero, and Twilight Princess HD make this system’s future bright — and this is only apart of what Nintendo has in store for us in 2016. It’s going to be a long ride, but worthwhile for those who have stayed faithful throughout the Wii U’s lifecycle.