Of course you'd release a new type of Wii, which blended everything that made the original great with some sort of a touchscreen controller. We're living in a dual-screen world now. It's smart to embrace that, probably.
See... that's the thing: the Wii U gets a lot of stick, but it's mostly from the lofty, arrogant, perch of the hindsight bird. On paper, the Wii U isn't an obvious balls-up. We didn't know until it was over that Nintendo had behaved like the corporate equivalent of a dirty fox thrashing around in a bath. If they'd announced that they were releasing a console with a controller that was basically a couple of raw carrots dangling from a bell, then maybe we could've all leant back on our sofas and exhaled... "This isn't going to go well".
I mean, at the time - before it came out - I think most of us thought that the idea, in principle, was reasonable enough. Even the name - after we'd all mocked the Wii for sounding like "wee", only to realise that it was actually quite clever - seemed okay. We didn't want to make the same mistake twice (something which Nintendo would never do... oh... a-hahahahahahahaahahaaaaaa!).
"Oh yeah... yeah... so, the original name meant, like... 'we', and this one means, y'know... 'we-you'... uh... so... yeah."
Yes, alright. It doesn't work as well, but I defy anybody to admit they knew that Nintendo was stumbling into a flop-hole. Relatively speaking, of course. After all, around 13.5 million Wii Us were sold over its lifetime. That's still a lot of Wii Us... but, well, not so good when you consider that around 26 million Xbox Ones have been sold, and 53.4 million PS4s - in less than the time it took the Wii U to finish mashing its own face against a wall.
One of Nintendo's stated aims with the Wii U was to bring back the "core" gamers it felt had been lost with the Wii.
Though the Wii itself had sold phenomenally well, it was also something of a failure in certain respects, and didn't make as much money as Nintendo had wanted.
""The Wii was able to reach a large number of new consumers who had never played games before by bringing hands-on experiences with its Wii Sports and Wii Fit," Nintendo's then-CEO, the late Satoru Iwata, bellowed at investors.
"However, we could not adequately create the situation that such new consumers played games frequently or for long, consistent periods. As a result, we could not sustain a good level of profit."
That makes sense, but within Iwata's statement can also be found the seeds of the Wii U's downfall. The hardcore gamer audience is the one to which Sony and Microsoft cater. That market was pretty much all swallowed up, and would continue to be so. Part of the appeal to that audience is the visual experience - high-powered machines, sexy-sexy high-tech toys, which are at the cutting edge of stuff.
There's literally nothing sexy about the Wii U. It's the console equivalent of a boar shuffling around with its head stuck in a fishnet stocking, while Sexual Healing is played on a leaky bagpipe by a fiftysomething accountant.
The bulky controller - with its slightly fuzzy touch-screen - looks and feels like a cheap tablet computer that you'd find on the end of an aisle at Morrisons. Furthermore, over the course of the Wii U's life, it is pretty evident that it simply didn't have the oomph to compete with its rival machines. The decision had been taken instead to go head-to-head with the ageing Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 - not the consoles that were just over the horizon. That was mistake number one, in a series of fifty.
Whereas the Wii seemed to step outside the console war, and do its own thing, Nintendo's stated aim with the Wii U was to reclaim its place at the heart of the games industry. It picked a fight with the playground jocks by hiding behind a hedge and throwing conkers at them.
Therefore, you've got to wonder why the company chose to hobble its chances from the off by releasing such an esoteric and - relatively speaking - underpowered machine, which felt like a relic from the previous generation. Perhaps they were all drunk.
Still, the European launch line-up for the Wii U - released just in time for Christmas 2012 - was the most bountiful in Nintendo's history. Inevitably, it was 80% filler, and it's unlikely anybody was picking up a Wii U on the strength of Rise of the Guardians: The Video Game.
That said, Nintendo's stated aim of reclaiming core gamers got off to a good start; amid the landfill kiddie games were Assassin's Creed 3, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, and Batman Arkham City: Armoured Edition. The good news for Wii U owners was that the games were graphically comparable to their PS3 and Xbox 360 counterparts. The bad news came, again, when you remembered that the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 were only a year away.
Of the day one Wii U exclusives, few made real use of the Wii U controller, and its dismal 3.5 hour battery life. Nintendo Land was a decent enough demonstration of its capabilities, but hardly a new Wii Sports. Whereas the Wii's motion controllers were affordable enough for two players to go head to head, buying a second Wii U controller was an expensive proposition. As a result, the multiplayer games in Nintendo Land would mostly use both a screen and Wii controllers - muddying the message of what exactly the machine could do.
Nintendo's biggest launch title was New Super Mario Bros. U - a return to Mario's side-scrolling origins that was never going to make the same impact as, say, Super Mario World or Super Mario 64. It's inexplicable, really.
One oft overlooked highlight of the launch was UbiSoft's Zombi U. A clever first-person survival horror, which felt very different to Resident Evil, it unfortunately has the postscript that Ubisoft shortly afterwards stopped supporting the Wii U with exclusives, due to lack of sales.
Rapidly, the Wii U slipped off the radar of the core gaming audience that Nintendo had the intention to court.
The Xbox One and PlayStation 4 offered the things that their audiences demanded, while the Wii U had the misfortune to be too little too late, an underpowered console with an unwanted control system, and precious few of the sorts of defining games for which Nintendo is best remembered.
Once it became clear that it wasn't the sales phenomenon Nintendo needed, third-party support evaporated like a tepid fruit drink left on the dashboard in a Florida carpark.
There are great first-party games on there - Super Mario 3D World, Splatoon, Mario Maker - but when you look across the entire span of the Wii U's three-and-a-bit years of existence, the classics are spread so thinly you can see Shigeru Miyamoto's plums through them.
Where were the sort of big, noisy, Nintendo games of the past, which demanded your attention? It's as if Nintendo fundamentally misunderstood the very audience it was attempting to court this time around, and set out to test the loyalty of its own core fanbase.
Of late, there has been something of a trend in Wii U apologists, to bury their heads in the sand/up Nintendo's arse and paint everything in Nintendo's garden/colon as rosy. The Wii U wasn't a failure, they insist, because 13 million were sold. Taken at face value, that's a reasonable argument... but it crumbles to flakes, like a psoriatic scalp, once you give it a rub:
- The Wii U sold 85 million units fewer than its predecessor.
- It lost third party support because of those low sales.
- It failed entirely to capture the audience Nintendo was aiming at.
- In the process, it also alienated the non-core audience which had loved the Wii.
Place it on your turntable of spin at 45rpm if you must, but that's not great. Nintendo displayed an almost profound inability to learn from either its mistakes or its successes. The Wii U, as a result of Nintendo's inexplicable behaviour, became a machine for nobody - one which has now been throttled prematurely to make way for its successor.
However you wish to paint the picture, the Wii U was, is, and always shall be, one of Nintendo's greatest failures. It's hard to ascertain whether its litany of missteps were the result of arrogance or isolation, or just bog-standard bad management. Regardless, almost everything about the Wii U has the sniff of Amiga CD-32 about it - Nintendo displaying the sorts of desperate last-chance-saloon errors which consumed the likes of Commodore, Sega, and Atari.
One console balls-up does not spell the end for a company of Nintendo's size and legacy... but history tells us that it can certainly be a signpost on the road to the end.
If the Switch isn't a respectable hit, a very different Nintendo could emerge. History is like a garlic korma; it repeats.