With Nintendo’s Wii U, Sony’s PlayStation 4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One now well and truly bedded in we take a look at the performance of each system so far and weigh them up against each other across a number of categories s to find out which one can be crowned King of the Consoles so far...
The current generation of consoles kicked off on November 18th, 2012, with the launch of Nintendo’s Wii U, complete with its touch screen GamePad controller, before Sony and Microsoft stepped into the fray on November 15th and November 22nd, 2013, respectively. In the time since those launches, all three consoles have had the chance to bed down and carve their own niches ( or attempt to), by rolling out an assortment of different services and showcasing wholly unique tactics and approaches in an attempt to claim as much of the market as possible for themselves.
As the tag “next gen” finally begins to fade out of the gaming dictionary until the next goaround, and all three platforms have had the time to establish themselves, or at least their identities and how they aim to appeal to gamers, it’s as good a time as any to take a look at how each of these consoles has performed since launch. We appreciate that these so- called “console wars” can prove to be a very touchy area for some gamers, particularly those who like to pick a brand or platform and stick with it through thick and thin, but we’ve tried to be as objective as possible, and would like to stress that, with the way things stand right now, there really isn’t a “wrong” choice for anyone who has yet to take the plunge and decide which system will play host to their gaming activities for the months and years ahead. Unless you like Nintendo games, in which case there’s really only one “right” choice, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves here!
Launching on November 18th, 2012, Nintendo’s Wii U has had a mixed life to date. Launching with a pretty sizable catalogue of 23 titles, running the gamut of first party and third party releases. Notable launch games included Assassin’s Creed III, Call of Duty: Black Ops II, FIFA 13, ZombiU, Scribblenauts Unlimited, Darksiders II, Batman: Arkham City - Armored Edition, Skylanders Giants, Nintendo Land and New Super Mario Bros. U, offering gamers a decent selection from which to start their collection. However, things didn’t continue in that vein. Poor console sales beyond the initial sold out batch of hardware meant that third party publishers soon got cold feet about the platform, and today it’s a rarity to find multiplatform games making their way to the system. Indeed, even Ubisoft’s Watch Dogs, heralded as a major release for the system, arrived six months behind all other versions, and wasn’t exactly the greatest port the world has ever seen. That early third party enthusiasm has certainly waned, but in its place Nintendo continues to go from strength to strength with its own offerings, pushing out gem after gem at a breakneck pace. Already, titles like Super Mario 3D World, Pikmin 3, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD, Mario Kart 8 and Nintendo- published Platinum Games offerings like The Wonderful 101 and Bayonetta 2 have made the console a must- have for many gamers, but sorely lacking from third parties. Nintendo hasn’t done itself any favours with its poor marketing of the console. In the run up to the system’s launch, an astonishing number of people in the general public remained blissfully unaware that the Wii U was even a thing, while a hefty percentage of those who had heard rumblings of it believed it to be little more than a new touch- screen controller for the original Wii. The success of the Wii undoubtedly clouded Nintendo’s judgment with its successor, with the company believing that the same people who snapped up the 2006 device would happily pay out for the follow- up, but we all know that was never going to be the case. In terms of sales figures, the Wii U has seen a recent upturn in fortunes, but it’s still struggling, relatively speaking, with just 9.2 million units shipped as of December 2014, and although Nintendo has pledged its support for the long term, many industry analysts have postulated that a successor may arrive sooner rather than later. In the meantime, however, we genuinely can’t recommend the Wii U enough. It’s got far and away the best catalogue of games of any of the current generation thanks in equal measures to its head start and Nintendo’s unrivaled calibre at churning out the goods time and time again. With an MSRP of $ 299, it remains perhaps a little pricey when compared to the PS4 and Xbox One, but we fully expect to see that price come down post- E3 this year, and a more competitive price point of $ 199- 229 could kick start the general public’s interest in the console. Given the sheer quality of gameplay experiences available on the system, it’d be a real shame to see a premature end for the Wii U, especially when there are still some great titles to look forward to, like Splatoon, the next installment in The Legend of Zelda and an all- new Starfox game - and that’s not to mention the unused franchises that remain, like F- Zero and Metroid.