One of the most prevailing criticisms of Nintendo’s Wii U is that the console lacks decent third party support.
Though what these same critics are quick to forget is Wii U’s existing third party, multiplatform, games are better than their Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 counterparts.
Assuming you’ve read past these first paragraphs, I’ll underline here that I’m not implying Wii U has the best third party support, only its third party offers are better.
Assassin’s Creed III, Need for Speed: Most Wanted and Darksiders II have all been said to be superior to their Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 brothers, with Most Wanted on Wii U considered the best console version by far.
And this isn’t me just shooting off nonsense, this is fact reflected by each game’s respective Metacritic scores based on platform.
From using the GamePad in intuitive ways, to directly interacting with other players instantly over Miiverse, and its technical edge over current-gen systems, the Wii U versions of the above games – and others – provides an enjoyable experience you can’t find anywhere else – again, a fact reflected in review scores.
There’s also that whole Off-TV play feature that’s not only convenient, but immerses you in full-console gaming experiences just not possible on something like a 50″ plasma TV.
Looking to the future, history is sure to repeat itself with upcoming third party titles. Games such as Splinter Cell: Blacklist, Batman: Arkham Origins, Watch Dogs and even one-time exclusive Rayman Legends are poised to potentially offer a far more robust, immersive experience than what’s possible on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and yes, even Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
Now, clearly Xbox One and PlayStation 4 are technically superior than Wii U if you simply go by what’s under the hood. After all, both platforms are designed to essentially be a PC that sits underneath your TV set. However, coming off the back of E3 it’s clear companies such as Capcom and Ubisoft are investing in employing second screen dynamics into their games.
This is made abundantly clear with Ubisoft’s Watch Dogs and Capcom’s Xbox One exclusive, Dead Rising 3. The former was demoed alongside a smartphone companion app where a second player was able to provide basic support to the console player, whereas the latter used SmartGlass to call in an artillery strike.
My point is, publishers are looking to push a second screen experience through “band-aid” methods, all of which ultimately rely on the player owning the latest smartphone with the most up to date OS, or a tablet costing $500 and more that supports SmartGlass. Wii U already has a second screen built into the whole package, and that will give the console an advantage in the coming years.
That’s why with games such as Splinter Cell: Blacklist and Batman: Arkham Origins, games which are expected to heavily implement the second screen nature of the GamePad, will be better than their Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 brothers.
Warner Bros. Montreal are already familiar with what the Wii U and GamePad can do, and will use their knowledge to deliver an experience in Arkham OriginsMM that will make you feel more like Batman than ever before. Whereas Blacklist will use the GamePad as an in-game second screen to scout ahead of your current location with a remote drone.
And that’s just what will be possible with “current generation” games. As time passes and developers have more time to discover what’s possible with two screens, new gameplay possibilities and experiences will open up that just won’t be possible with a smartphone phone, SmartGlass or Remote Play.
Wii U is off to a sluggish start in respect to third party games, yes, but that is an area that will grow over time. Nintendo are quite good at predicting trends and introducing new concepts before the rest of the industry are indeed ready for them.
In respect to all the console’s third party content that is available now, and in the future, they are certainly worthy of your purchase.