7 Ways The Wii U Is Better Than The Xbox One And PS4

While the battle between the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One rages on, a third competitor watches from the sidelines: the Wii U.

This console, which launched a full year before the PS4 and Xbox One, is often overlooked when it comes to the current generation of gaming consoles, but it really deserves more. The Wii U, despite a rocky start, is a formidable contender now.

If you haven’t yet, check out our full review of the Wii U. If you’re still not convinced of the Wii U’s awesomeness after that, then take into account these seven compelling reasons for choosing it as your main gaming console.

The Best Exclusive Games

One problem with the launch of the Wii U was a lack of games. In fact, we even offered up some great ways to use your Wii U while waiting for new games to come — but that era is over. We are now beginning to see the rush of first-party titles that make Nintendo consoles so appealing. Here are a few of the best:

Super Smash Bros.

This is a gaming franchise with an amazing history and a dedicated following. The fourth iteration, set to be released this holiday season, has a lot of hype surrounding it. New characters have been introduced, including Mii Fighter, Palutena, Lucina, Robin, Mega Man, Pac-man, Greninja, Little Mac, Animal Crossing Villager, Rosalina & Luma, and Wii Fit Trainer. Some questioned the introduction of characters like Wii Fit Trainer, but in the end, gamers will have a large range of options to choose from.

Not only that, but Nintendo is making some pretty major changes to the game, adding in customizable special attacks and equippable weapons. This is the game to own when it comes out this holiday season.

New Super Mario Bros. U

The classic Super Mario Bros. reinvented for the Wii U. It was released way back in 2012, and this game, along with Luigi’s version, brings back the side-scrolling fun while allowing you to play with up to four other friends (five players total). You can’t find anything like it on the Xbox One or PS4.

Super Mario 3D World

Another Mario platformer, this time bringing in tons of different elements to make it the most fascinating and fun Mario game to date. After its release last November, it received critical acclaim and is an absolute must-play for Mario fans.

Mario Party 10

Mario Party invented the party game genre, and it remains the best option for simple pick-up-and-play fun between friends. Microsoft gave this style a shot with Fusion Frenzy, but you can’t top the original. Keep an eye out for Mario Party 10 in early 2015.

Mario Kart 8

Just recently joining the Wii U this past May is everyone’s favorite racing game: Mario Kart. While other racing games strive to be realistic and intense, Mario Kart 8 manages to straddle the line between epic racer and family party game.

Yoshi’s Woolly World

Yoshi’s back! And this time, his game takes place in a cloth and yarn setting, similar to the texture idea from Kirby’s Epic Yarn. This game should be landing in the beginning of 2015, hopefully alongside Mario Party 10.

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker

That’s right, Toad is getting his own game. It’s a single-player adventure through a variety of fascinating puzzles that looks somewhat akin to Super Mario Galaxy. You can expect Toad to arrive on the Wii U by this holiday season.

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze

Donkey Kong and the gang are back for another tricky side-scrolling platformer. Fans of the original Donkey Kong Country series really won’t want to miss this sixth installment, which came out in February of this year.

The Legend Of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD

Any fan of Zelda needs to have this game. The HD remake of Wind Waker is a must-play, bringing modern controls and gorgeous graphics to one of your favorite games — and it’s out now!

Hyrule Warriors

Want even more Zelda? This hack-and-slash take on the series comes out on September 26th of this year, so you don’t have long to wait. Dynasty Warriors fans will love this game.

Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric

Sega’s mascot is back, and this time exclusively for the Wii U. Aside from an oddly muscular makeover for Knuckles, this game looks like the reinvention of Sonic that we’ve all been waiting for, and it’s coming out this holiday season. In the meantime, feel free to play through Sonic Lost World, last year’s exclusive Sonic platformer for the Wii U that you can often find discounted now.

Pikmin 3, ZombiU, And Wonderful 101

Still not convinced? These three games, while not exactly Mario or Zelda, make great use of the GamePad and really show off what the Wii U is capable of. Give them a shot and you won’t be sorry.

Both the Xbox One and PS4 have their own amazing exclusive titles (see: exclusives for the Xbox One and exclusives for the PS4), but Mario, Zelda, and Sonic just hold a place in many peoples’ hearts that can’t be replaced with Master Chief or Knack.

Your Favorite Retro Games

Without an old console lying around or a complicated emulator set up, a Wii U is your only way to play some of your favorite retro games. The built-in Virtual Console can emulate some old NES, SNES, and GBA games. There are currently 201 titles available for purchase, and Nintendo has said that N64 games should be coming soon.

That Low Price

wii u black   7 Ways The Wii U Is Better Than The Xbox One And PS4

Of the many reasons to buy the Wii U, it’s price just might be its best selling point. At only $300 for the Deluxe 32GB model with New Super Marios Bros. U and New Super Luigi U, this thing is a steal compared to the base models of the PS4 and Xbox One, which sell for $400. (And don’t forget, the PlayStation Camera and Microsoft Kinect cost even more!)

Not to mention that many Wii games start at $50 while leading PS4 and Xbox One games are dropping at $60 a piece. Even the controllers are cheaper — Ps4 and Xbox One controllers go for $60 each, while a new Wii Remote Plus costs only $40, and for more hardcore gamers, the more Xbox-like Wii U Pro controller is only $50. Plus, if you already have Wiimotes lying around, they’re still compatible with the Wii U!

Backwards Compatibility

original nintendo wii   7 Ways The Wii U Is Better Than The Xbox One And PS4

While the Xbox One and PS4 certainly have their perks (see: reasons to buy the Xbox One and reasons to buy the PS4), both of them dropped backwards compatibility along the way. Not so for the Wii U. This means that you’re free to play any of your old Wii games on your Wii U, or buy cheap used Wii games.

There are a ton of great Wii games out there available for Wii U owners, and this is a sadly underrated feature.

The GamePad Really Is Unique

black wii u gamepad   7 Ways The Wii U Is Better Than The Xbox One And PS4

The differences between the PS4 and the Xbox One are minimal. Sure, they’ve got different interfaces and slightly different controllers, but for the most part you’re playing similar games on similar consoles.

Not so for the Wii U. Nintendo is constantly innovating, whether that means being the first to introduce an analog stick with the Nintendo 64, motion-sensing with the Wii, a 3D screen with the Nintendo 3DS, or bringing the GamePad to the Wii U.

Games made for the Wii U often take advantage of the GamePad in a way that Xbox One and PS4 games can’t emulate. It can be used for a second-screen experience, allowing one player to see something different from the rest of the players, or it can be used to display additional in-game information like a map or inventory. It may seem gimmicky, but try it for a bit and you’re sure to love it.

Best Option For Families And Parties

For people who like to play games with their kids or non-gamer friends, the Wii U is the obvious choice. It’s easy for anyone to join in thanks to its pick-up-and-play controls — making it a great party console or a console for families with little ones. And keep this in mind: Even if your parents have never been able to master the dual analog stick movement of Halo, they’ll surely be able to tilt the Wii Remote well enough to play Mario Kart 8.

wii u pro controller   7 Ways The Wii U Is Better Than The Xbox One And PS4

Plus, with games like Nintendo Land and Wii U Party that are intended for everybody, the system really appeals to this audience. For the hardcore gamers, there’s still the Wii U Pro controller and first person shooters like Call Of Duty, but for everyone else there are party games and Wii Remotes.

You Don’t Even Need A TV

Off-TV Play for the Wii U means you can play any game on your Wii U right on the GamePad. You don’t need a TV or anything — just plug in your console and get going. This is awesome for gaming while others are using the TV, or just for having a more portable console if you want to game in a room that doesn’t have a TV.

Even the games from the previously mentioned Virtual Console work like this, allowing you to take games old or new with you wherever you want.

What Do You Think Of The Wii U?

Nintendo’s newest console has many underrated features, but not everyone can agree on which of the big three game consoles is the best.

Which would you choose and why? Let us know in the comments!

15 Comments - Write a Comment

Reply

john monteiro

WiiU is a great console, most buy for kids and there’s not enough variety of games available in the Nintendo store. The best games are traditional games from Nintendo which my kids do love but there’s not enough from others or anything as appealing.

WiiU needs Minecraft NOW!

Number one complaint from my kids and others is the lack of Minecraft. After they get their fill from mario games it’s moved on to playing minecraft on the PS4 which has now been the only console they are using at the moment.

Not enough download retail media options from the store, you wouldn’t believe how many game discs I got scratched or cracked. I don’t want to use discs anymore and prefer to download games.

Reply

Geekster

One single reason why the PS3 is better than Wii and PS4 is better than WiiU: region-free console.
More than console exclusives, region exclusives are the major factor when it comes for to pick-up a console.
It annoys the hell out of me that Nintendo thinks I’m too dumb to understand different cultures and that I might be offended by how people are different around the world. Or, as everyone knows, how they don’t want us buying the cheaper version available.
Plus, dubbed-only games are immediately discarded from my lists. Either it has the original audio as an option or I’m buying the original version from the country it was developed. That applies for console games and PC as well.
It’s 2014, Dragon Quest is no longer called Dragon Warrior, the internet became mainstream and knowing 3 or 4 languages is not a luxury.

Reply

Eman Liame

The ability to experience the feeling of wielding an otherworldly weapon with haptic feedback so precise, it can distinguish an alien rifle from a weapon of Call of Duty’s arsenal, thanks to XO’s new controller, indies titles that take advantage of Kinect 2.0 in ambitious and innovative ways, trying new things mainstream publishers weren’t ever willing to gamble on (like how upcoming XO horror game Nevermind plans to bring next-gen biofeedback gaming to XO, utilizing Kinect 2.0 to adapt to your fear), more exclusives making use of dedicated servers, dynamic worlds powered by Azure etc, innovative tech like the kind behind Forza 5’s Drivatar system…

…I beg to differ. I’m not going to list everything that differentiates the next-gen Xbox from other platforms, but to say “the differences between the PS4 and the Xbox One are minimal” is inconsiderate and downright unintelligent. I too see the Wii U as a very capable and unique device, but that comment was just plain ignorant.

Reply

Matt S

I think it really boils down to the fact that 1) it launched first and 2) it’s the only console on the market with a lot of exclusives that matter.

The PS4 and Xbox One have kind of become two sides of the same coin. There are very few meaningful exclusives, and those that exist, exist for marketing rather than technical reasons.

I don’t know if Nintendo’s strengthening position will lead to better sales, but I hope so. I’m really enjoying my Wii U and want to see the company do well, so they can make even more great game for it.

Chris G

Except for me.. the Wii U exclusives don’t matter.. I don’t have a desire to play any Nintendo exclusives ..

I do have a PS4 and X1.. because the games on those consoles interest me. This would be the reason the PS4 is 3 million ahead of the Wii U with coming out a year later.. less people are interested in Nintendo games..

Reply

Ben S

Great coverage, Justin. I think people tend to discount the Wii U as just some stupid kiddie console, and it’s much more than that on a ton of counts, which you explained really well.

I really hope that these new first-party titles will be a fresh time for the Wii U – with Smash Bros. leading the charge.

I wish that I had a Wii U for myself!

Reply

Bayzid H

How about some objective points rather than your subjective opinion? The Wii U is a great console but this article is opinion fluff. Case in point, how can you say Sonic Boom, Super Smash Bros, Mario Party 10, are some of the best exclusives… when the damn games are not even out yet? With some many games being released in unfinished states, you have no idea whether the games are playable, let alone good. Not all Nintendo games are brilliant, remember how badly Zelda, Skyward Sword play? (Not to mention, almost every recent Sonic game, aside from Generations, has been awful).

Another point is that the Wii U has practically no 3rd party support, and what few multi-platform games are released on it, are almost definitely inferior to the XB1 and PS4 version. Not to mention, it’s hardware is a generation behind. Whereas XB1 and PS4 could potentially have a decade long lifespan, it probably will have 5 years. That negates the price argument. How does that make it the best console for families/parties?

Finally… the online infrastructure is god-damn awful for Nintendo product!?!? Content being device-bound in 2014… what the hell are they thinking. Hell, Xbox and PlayStation had account based digital content in 2006,that was 8 years ago.

I love my Wii U, it genuinely has some amazing games, and the future releases like Smash Bros, Bayonetta 2 and X by Monolith look promising… but this article is objectively bad.

Jon

“but this article is objectively bad.”

Bayzid, with this sentence you demonstrate your lack of understanding between “objective” and “subjective”. I think the article is pretty good, though not without fault. I agree that we shouldn’t consider games that are unreleased.

Anyway, one additional point for U.S. citizens considering a Wii U: you can get a refurbished unit directly from Nintendo for $200. Wiimotes are only $20. They’re practically brand new condition.

Bayzid H

objective
adjective
(of a person or their judgement) not influenced by personal feelings or opinions in considering and representing facts.

Clearly every point aside from cost is an opinion, so yeah, it is objectively bad.

Reply

Ronald S

The sole reason that the Wii U is hurting so much, is because of the arrogant, greedy jackasses who run Nintendo. Sony and Microsoft have been rude, even greedy, same goes for many other game companies, but Nintendo takes the cake in the battle of who is the most arrogant and treats their customers like crap. They’re the only ones I’ve ever seen or heard of, who’ve made their customers feel as though they’re thought of as only cash cows to be used and abused (literally, have you seen/heard the crap that Miyamoto says?!). Even the honchos at Microsoft and Sony have never been THAT arrogant.

Nintendo also has a tendency to keep leading us on as well, and it’s making people angrier and angrier over time. The latest example is Mario Kart 8. Fiasco after fiasco, from the moment it launched, and now the 2 DLC packs are being released roughly 6 and 12 months after the game was?! How stupid is that?! “Let’s just get peoples’ hopes up and attempt to give them DLC for a game that’s obviously needed this content from day 1 and also will be irrelevant by the time this DLC is even released. Sounds like a great idea!”

The level of fail is so high with them nowadays, they’re actually setting a precedent for others to achieve, except that even EA and Ubisoft are looking at them now with that Jackie Chan meme face, simply saying “WHAT?!”.

daveminator

What the hell are you talking about. Nintendo has more free dlcs than any other system. Mario cart 8 runs smoothly. EA was voted the worst company in america and ubisoft is not far behind. Both companies lie to their customers like with dragon age 2 or watchdogs for pc. They make games then cut out a chunk of the finish product then re sale it as a crappy dlc. You need to get facts straight.

Ronald S

Dave, you say I need to get *my* facts straight, and yet barely a single word of your reply even had anything to do with my post. It’s so funny though, because it’s quite obvious you’ve no clue what *you* are talking about. If you did, you’d have not stated as you did, unless intentionally vying for attention like a 2-yr-old. That *is* how you come across anyway, but unfortunately for you, I don’t understand ridiculous ranting baby blah-blah wah-wah-wah, whatever language that’s supposed to be.

Uber Link

NIntendo does the best dlc around. Sure it may be pricey, but in the case of something like super luigi u, it is a whole other game. Other companies are the ones who give you stuff that should have been day one stuff *cough*cough* Activision, Ea, Ubisoft and countless more. You just went full retard, never go full retard.

Ronald S

You call Super Luigi U “DLC”, and then say *I* went full retard… yeah, totally. I’m over here rolling in laughter at your ignorance and completely obvious obliviousness.

Reply

Philip Bates

Great article, Justin; I completely agree.

I really love the WiiU and can’t understand how anyone can prefer the PS4 or XBox1. The U is a very clever, innovative (yes, I went there) system that is genuinely fun to play on at all times. The range of games may not be extensive yet, but I don’t really think that a problem when the games that are on it are immersive and addictive. Many who play on the PS4 or whatever often play the same games over and over (like COD) – or at least in my experience – so I don’t get that as an issue.

Your comment