The Value of the Wii U



There hasn’t been many positive things to say about the Wii U. It’s selling horrible and most people have already written it off as a failure.  I understand the reasoning for this, but unfortunately a lot of people are missing out on the hidden value of this console.   I’m not saying the Wii U is a better console than the Playstation 4 or XBox One, but it offers a unique experience with a long list of exclusive titles.  A two-console gamer would be wise to pick up a Wii U as their second console, and a family or apartment of gamers would get possibly the best local/couch multiplayer console ever.

Cost is an issue, especially if you already own another system.  To be fair, we’ll compare the typical costs a gamer experiences when they buy the Playstation 4 and XBox One.  The usual costs includes the console themselves, one game, and an online subscription.

The costs are detailed as follows:

$400 – Console & One Controller
$60 – Game
$50 – PSN+ Year Subscription
$510 Total

XBox One
$500 – Console, One Controller & Kinect
$60 – Game
$60 – XBox Live 1 Year Subscription
$620 Total

Let’s meet somewhere around the middle of these total costs and say $530 is the average cost when you buy one of those systems.  It’s fair to point out there is a Titanfall Bundle and a Forza 5 Bundle, but they are currently priced at $500 and when you add in the XBox Live subscription you’re up to $560. Its worth noting that the XBox Live subscription works on your XBox 360 too if you still use it.

The Playstation 4 deserves credit for being a pretty good value itself. The PSN+ subscription comes with at least 12 free PS4 games through the year, however the downside is that you have no choice which titles you receive free.  PSN+ also carries over to the PS3 or Vita if you own them, and both receive multiple free titles (different from PS4).  Plus if you buy some digital games on PS4, they are also available for the PS3 and Vita if it supports cross-play.  I personally see more value in the Playstation 4 than the XBox One and it is why I made it my first “next-gen” console. Others might value the TV Functions or Kinect more than I do and that’s understandable.

So I was wondering what would happen if you put this same $530 into purchasing the Wii U?  How far could you stretch it, and what could you get out of it? Picking through the Wii U, eShop/Virtual Console, Wii-Backwards compatibility and Wii-Shop, I’m going to see how much value can be squeezed out of the Wii U.  I searched online for the best prices of quality games unavailable on the Playstation 4 and XBox One.

Here’s the best value I found online…

Wii U Games
$200Wii U (Refurbished) Deluxe Console w/Nintendo Land
$20Wii Mote & Nunchuk (Refurbished)
$50Super Mario 3D World
$45.78Wii Party U + Nintendo Plus Wiimote
$23.49Wonderful 101
$16Game & Wario
$15Zombi U
$370.27 Subtotal

Wii Games (All Pre-Owned)
$25Super Mario Galaxy 2
$18The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
$13Muramasa: Demon Blade
$10.48Mad World
$10No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle

$8Metroid Prime 3: Corruption
$5Zack & Wiki
$5Boom Blox
$5A Boy & His Blob
$99.48 Subtotal

$5 – Super Mario Bros 3
$5 – Mega Man II
$5 – Super Contra
$10 – Earthbound
$8 – Super Metroid
$33 Subtotal

Wii Shop
$8 – Super Mario RPG
$8 – Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
$10 – Mario Kart 64
$26 Subtotal

$370.27 – Wii U Console, 6 Games, 2 Wiimote, 1 Nunchuk, & 1 GamePad
$112.48 – 9 Wii Games
$41 – 5 eShop Games
$26 – 3 Wii Shop Games
$528.75 Total

That’s a pretty impressive bundle, and it is an incredible value when you break it down.  The eShop/WiiShop games actually have a decent variety of classic titles at consistent prices ($5 NES, $8 SNES and $10 N64); so you could mix and match your $59 there any way you want, I just put in some top selections.  For anyone that missed out on the Wii exclusives, or is looking to experience the Nintendo “glory days” this bundle would give you hundreds of hours of gameplay.  That is more hours of quality gaming than you’d experience from five XB1 or PS4 games; which roughly costs another $240.

You should get the general idea by now. There is a good value hidden in the Wii U when you crunch the numbers in comparison to the other systems.  You could buy significantly less games and pocket the rest of the money as well.  You could pass up on some of the Wii titles and pick up other excellent Wii U exclusive titles such as Pikmin 3 and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze.  The bottom line is, you can get a lot of gaming bang for your buck that I believe is being overlooked.

Here are two bundles gamers could put together themselves, which are cheaper than the first and still good values.

Mario Kart Bundle
$200Wii U (Refurbished) Deluxe Console w/Nintendo Land
$20Wii Mote & Nunchuk (Refurbished)
$60 – Mario Kart 8
$40Mario Kart Wii
$10 – Mario Kart 64 (Wii Shop)
$8 – Super Mario Kart (Wii Shop)

The Legend of Zelda Bundle
$200Wii U (Refurbished) Deluxe Console w/Nintendo Land
$20Wii Mote & Nunchuk (Refurbished)
$44The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD
$30The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
$18The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
$10 – The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (Wii Shop)
$10 – The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask (Wii Shop)
$8 – The Legend of Zelda: A Link to The Past (Wii Shop)
$5 – The Legend of Zelda (eShop)
$5 – Zelda II: The Adventure of Link (eShop)
$350 – Total

Each is almost $200 cheaper than the $530 prices mentioned earlier.  The Zelda Bundle includes every Zelda game released on a Nintendo console and the Mario Kart bundle has Mario Kart 8 plus every other console Mario Kart except for Double Dash.  Bundles like this could be put together for the Wii U with several classic franchises (Super Mario, Metroid, Smash Bros, F-Zero, Kirby, Castlevania, Punch-Out!! etc). You can get these at a good price, and they’re not available on Xbox One or PS4.

The current exclusive titles are pretty much all that is supporting the Wii U right now. They are usually high quality games, scored well by gamers and critics.  This strengthens the claim that the Wii U is a better second console than the PS4 or XBox One.  The Wii U currently has 7 exclusive titles that score 80 or above on Metacritic, the PS4 has 4 exclusive titles, and The XBox One has only 2 exclusive titles at 80 or above.

This overall value seems to go unnoticed by most. Maybe its because most people don’t value older titles as much, even if they are all-time greats.  Some people also don’t want to re-play older games or some people are too young to know about the older titles. Then there are some people that only want the latest technology or specs.  Those are all valid reasons, but to a lot of gamers, the Wii U has a quality value that even Nintendo themselves doesn’t seem to realize.

Posted on April 26, 2014, in Featured Opinion and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Wii U’s are all refurbished so they’re cheaper. Add 100 dollars to every Wii U bundle and then it’s comparable.

  2. Finally someone who also agrees that the Wii U is awesome ! Nice article, hope many people will read it!

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