The Wii U is an interesting console (or why truth can be stranger than fiction)

Back in 2013, when gaming was ruined for the umpteenth time and when it was going to crash yet again, I had a stupid plan for a video that I never went through with making (I don’t go through with a lot of them for various reasons, from time to not having anyone to film with). Since I made a lot of parody videos with the equipment/editing skills I had (It’s harder to do it all by yourself with regards to filming, especially if everyone in your town doesn’t care), my plan was to make a fake console advertisement for a “new next gen console”, but instead show something like a Retro Duo, FC Twin, Sony PS2, or similar older or “retro remake” console. Eventually due to the lack of a tripod, and the fact that I had limited filming time due to parents being home all the time (I still need to get a tripod :c ), I gave up on the plans and made other videos.

However, those are only some of the reasons. You see, sometimes truth is weirder than fiction, and that is the case with the Nintendo Wii U. Marketed as a return to form in 2011, with a flashy E3 preview advertising a return to the “good old days” of third party with even third parties that had dumped Nintendo such as EA making a return, it was supposed to put Nintendo back on top and on the level of the Xbox One and PS4.

Just a reminder, this is how the Wii U was marketed.

The rumors of Nintendo’s return were heavily fueled by rumors as well, some of which were started by an IBM Watson team staff member who initially claimed the Wii U used a Power7 CPU, a CPU you’d find in high end workstations and servers, not consoles (Imagine if the new Xbox One or PS4 used a Xeon)


So, what happened? Well, interestingly enough, IBM later retracted that and claimed the Wii U used a custom POWER based CPU, giving no other information about how fast it was for example. 

And then the console itself came out, after tons of speculation and rumors. As it turns out, the console used a PowerPC 750 (Also known as the G3, due to the fact that Apple branded it as the G3 when used in Macintosh computers) based processor, which added multiprocessing while leaving the main core untouched (source). While this sounds like a good idea if you want backwards compatibility, the problem is the system did poorly when it came to real world performance. Games like Call of Duty would consistently run worse on the Nintendo Wii U compared to the Xbox 360 and PS3, and while some people tried to damage control it with comments like this, as the console aged it became evident the system was underpowered.



Now, here’s where it gets interesting. You have a system that all the nerds who called themselves true gamers are preaching for online, yet it’s underpowered, and not long after it first came out all the third parties jumped off like it was a sinking ship. And then to make it all funnier, you had these nerds trying to say how much more powerful the Wii U is and how underpowered the other systems are/were, before specs were even revealed. Despite developers calling it weak and underpowered, some people who’ve never programmed continued to praise this system, saying the developers just didn’t understand it. 

It got even more interesting when they started buying kids games for the console, from Lego City Undercover to Splatoon to all the casualized Mario series games, and as third parties stopped developing games for their console, they started lashing out at every third party, despite never buying a single game for the Wii U from a third party. And then, in behavior reminiscent of Bronies in 2011/12 trying to convince everyone why MLP was an amazing show and using “A SHOW FOR EVERY1” to describe a kids show to try to get rid of the kids show stigma (Spoiler: it didn’t work), Nintendo fans would convince everyone about how E rated games are somehow the best games ever and totally not for kids. Despite you know, playing games with low skill levels required and which included everything that would appeal to a kid.

And several years later, that’s the one thing the Wii U is good at doing. Why make a joke about “true gamers” online nowadays only wanting to play retro games and kids games? Just look at the Nintendo Wii U if it’s proof of anything. It’s a underpowered console, it lacks nearly all the upcoming games that aren’t published by Nintendo, most of the games coming out for it are for kids, the marketing tries to pander to the “ideal family” image you’d see in marketing years ago during an ad break on Cartoon Network instead of the gamer audience, and in fact Nintendo’s marketing has devolved heavily to the point where they’re marketing based off of how they were back in their golden years. Like you know, something you’d see with any other company on April 1st.  The jokes literally write themselves, that’s all that needs to be said.