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Should I Buy a Wii U?

After an inauspicious 2013, E3 2014 saw Nintendo's embattled Wii U invigorated by a smorgasbord of exciting new releases, With that in mind, Team USG poses the question - should you buy one?

Despite what Xbox One and PlayStation 4 fans might lead you to believe, the new generation kicked off not last year, but in 2012, when Nintendo rolled out Wii U. While it might now be facing stiff, technologically superior competition from the two new kids on the block, Nintendo's focus has always been more on the quality of its games, and not necessarily cutting-edge hardware.

That was very much evident at this year's E3, when Nintendo unveiled a terrific array of titles. After a rather disappointing 2013, the likes of Yoshi's Woolly World, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker and Mario Maker really helped raise Wii U's profile, and brought the machine back into the gaming public's eye. But are these upcoming releases a compelling enough reason to pick up one of these quirky little consoles, or is the system destined to be a cult classic - appreciated by a select few? Team USG put their heads together and answered this one simple question: should I buy a Wii U?

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Bob Mackey Senior Writer

Should you buy a Wii U?

YES

My answer is "yes," but let me qualify that. Should you buy a Wii U? Yes, of course-provided it isn't your only console. Simply put, the Wii U isn't going to give you many of the same experiences you'll find on the PC, PS4, and the Xbox One. If, the Grand Theft Auto series, for example, has a future, it's definitely not going to be on a Nintendo console. But as a trade-off, you'll be able to play games unavailable anywhere else-and, as expected from Nintendo-developed productions, they're typically phenomenal.

The Wii U certainly has its weaknesses: Its tech can't compare to the competition's, and few games have made use of its unique GamePad, an input device with far more potential than what we've seen so far. At the same time, though, the console has seen a fantastic line-up of games, all in less than two years since its launch. If you lived through any of Nintendo's past three consoles, you should know the score by now: plenty of amazing first party titles, but not much else to speak of-though the eShop has seen some amazing indie games of late. As long as you're happy with that set of circumstances, you'll be happy with your Wii U.

The six best Wii U games to play right now:

  • Super Mario 3D World
  • Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze
  • Monster Hunter 3U
  • Pikmin 3
  • Mario Kart 8
  • Pushmo World

Three most-anticipated Wii U games:

  • Xenoblade Chronicles X
  • Bayonetta 2
  • Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker
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Jeremy Parish Editor-in-Chief

Should you buy a Wii U?

YES

I was already on board with the Wii U - in the near term it offers a whole lot more quality material than the "next-gen" consoles, which are still taking baby steps toward library-building, and in the long term I figured it might end up with quite a few Nintendo first-party titles I want to play. After E3, though, I feel much more confident in Nintendo's determination to stick with the platform regardless of its fortunes at retail, at least through the end of 2015. Between the excellent games on the horizon, the full support for Wii software (some of which is super great, OK?), and the steadily growing Virtual Console lineup, Wii U has become a no-brainer.

The six best Wii U games to play right now:

  • Super Mario 3D World
  • NES Remix
  • EarthBound
  • The Legend of Zelda Wind Waker HD
  • Pikmin 3
  • Pushmo World

Three most-anticipated Wii U games:

  • Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker
  • Mario Maker
  • Xenoblade Chronicles X
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Jaz Rignall Editor-at-Large

Should you buy a Wii U?

NO

I hate to say no, because it's so, so, soooo close to being a yes. But for me, the cost of the Wii U remains a little too high, and despite a steady trickle of releases, there still aren't quite enough top-quality Wii U games to justify its price tag. At least, not right now. But I think that will change soon enough.

Nintendo had a great E3, and showed a superb range of games that turned me from feeling mostly apathetic about the machine to genuinely wanting one so I could play the likes of Bayonetta 2, Yoshi's Woolly World and Super Smash Bros. However, since quite a few of the games I'm most keen to play won't be out for a while, I'm going to hold out on buying a system in the hope that its price will drop to a more wallet-friendly $229 - maybe this Xmas. If it does, and once we see all of those E3 games hitting store shelves, I'll be more than happy to open my wallet and finally join the Wii U faithful.

The six best Wii U games to play right now:

  • Pushmo World
  • Mario Kart 8
  • Super Mario 3D World
  • Wonderful 101
  • Sonic Lost World
  • Mutant Mudds Deluxe

Three most-anticipated Wii U games:

  • Splatoon
  • Bayonetta 2
  • Mario Maker
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Brendan Sinclair Contributing Editor

Should you buy a Wii U?

YES

I haven't really touched the Wii U since finishing up Pikmin 3, but I would still buy one now if I didn't already have one in the house because nothing bugs me more than not being able to play a game I'm already sold on. And after getting a chance to play a bit of it at E3, I'm completely sold on Yoshi's Wooly World.

But if I were a more rational person, I have to say a Wii U purchase would make little to no sense for me. I'm pretty burnt out on most Nintendo franchises, the third-party lineup is thinner than the plot of Super Smash Bros., and even though there are some great indies on the system, most of them are also launching on other systems I own that don't have the same space constraints for digital titles. I will say Nintendo's upcoming lineup for the Wii U is as impressive as any they've fielded for the system yet, and I expect Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros. to pull it from "debacle" status all the way up to "disappointment." But that's a long way from "worth spending $300 on" for all but the most diehard Nintendo fans.

The six best Wii U games to play right now:

  • Pikmin 3
  • Super Mario 3D World
  • Rayman Legends
  • Tekken Tag Tournament 2
  • Trine 2: Director's Cut
  • The Cave

Three most-anticipated Wii U games:

  • Yoshi's Woolly World
  • Bayonetta 2
  • Mario Maker
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Kat Bailey Senior Editor

Should you buy a Wii U?

YES

After a rough start, the Wii U is starting to round into its own. Mario Kart 8 was a real jolt for the platform; and with console exclusives like Shovel Knight and Super Mario 3D World, as well as a handful of third-party efforts like Wonderful 101, it boasts a library roughly as strong as the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One. But of course, the really good stuff is still to come.

Following an extremely strong appearance at E3, Wii U owners can look forward to a number of exciting games, including Super Smash Bros., The Legend of Zelda, and Xenoblade Chronicles X. And that's leaving out Splatoon, which surprised and delighted observers with its unique third-person shooter mechanics. The Wii U may not reach its potential in 2015, but the future certainly looks far brighter than it did this time last year.

Obviously, no one is going to argue that the Wii U is a replacement for either of the next-gen systems. But that's not to say its bad. Though it's had the unfortunate effect of driving up the Wii U's price, the Gamepad has proven to be a versatile and worthwhile second screen device. And unlike its more expensive competition, the Wii U offers backward compatibility with all Wii and eShop games. It's just that it hasn't had the opportunity to really shine in terms of content until now.

With Nintendo continuing to kill it with its first-party games, and more strong titles on the way, I finally feel comfortable recommending the Wii U to curious bystanders. Ultimately, it will always be more of a boutique console than its competition; a companion platform that offers up experiences you won't find anywhere else. But its that unique approach to game development that increasingly sets the Wii U apart. Nintendo fans have probably already picked up a console. Now its time for more casual fans to follow suit.

The six best Wii U games to play right now:

  • Mario Kart 8
  • Shovel Knight
  • Super Mario 3D World
  • Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze
  • NES Remix 2
  • The Legend Zelda: Wing Waker HD

Three most-anticipated Wii U games:

  • The Legend of Zelda
  • Super Smash Bros.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles X
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Mike Williams Staff Writer

Should you buy a Wii U?

NO

Like Bob's "YES," my lack of recommendation comes with many caveats. Unlike some, I'm pushed further towards games that go multiplatform; my favorites tend towards Assassin's Creed and other open-world titles, most of which skip Nintendo's platform entirely. While I love Nintendo - I bought the system on my birthday for a reason - I bought the Wii U more for its potential than what it may have on the store shelves now.

Kat is quick to qualify the system saying it's library is roughly as strong as the PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, but the last two are systems that haven't even been out a year and the first will run on into infinity with variety. Bob notes it's not a replacement for those platforms (or the PS3 and Xbox 360), leaving Nintendo in the situation where you buy a lead platform and a Wii U. That's not the best place to be and though Nintendo is bringing some solid stuff to bear, I don't think it'll do much but keep them afloat until the next home and handheld console.

Without my early adopter gene at work, I tend to stick to the rule of two. Two games I really love before I buy a system. Mario Kart 8 is one, and Zelda Wii U or Splatoon will probably be the other, but they aren't out yet. So, I'm in a limbo when it comes to recommending the system to others.

The six best Wii U games to play right now:

  • Mario Kart 8
  • Shovel Knight
  • Super Mario 3D World
  • Wonderful 101
  • Scribblenauts Unlimited
  • Zombi U

Three most-anticipated Wii U games:

  • The Legend of Zelda
  • Splatoon
  • Yoshi's Woolly World

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