The Wii U's small library

Reserved for modern gaming discussions.
User avatar
scotland
Posts: 1938
Joined: April 7th, 2015, 7:33 pm

The Wii U's small library

Postby scotland » July 28th, 2016, 6:16 am

Nintendo released a chart showing how many 1st and 3rd party games their consoles and portables have. https://www.nintendo.co.jp/ir/library/historical_data/pdf/number_of_titles_e1606.pdf

Looking at the US, you can see the decline in both 3DS (420 titles compared to 1700 for the DS, and 1000 each for GBA and GB/GBC lines) and the Wii U library sizes. The NES and SNES had about 700 games each, but the N64 dropped to about 300. The Gamecube recovered to about 550, the Wii ballooned to 1200, but the Wii U plunged to 155 games. (Digital only 3rd party games not included). Thats only half the N64 library.

The number of 1st party games is remarkably stable over the years. The NES had about 70 1st party games, the SNES and N64, Gamecube and Wii all about 55, The Wii U still has 40 1st party games. Its 3rd party support that makes the library more diverse.

Gamers often say you buy a Ninty console for their unique 1st party games, and its never been more true. You can see the argument for merging console and portable libraries in the NX to build one consolidated library which might increase install base and encourage more 3rd party development in a feedback cycle.

User avatar
scotland
Posts: 1938
Joined: April 7th, 2015, 7:33 pm

Re: The Wii U's small library

Postby scotland » July 28th, 2016, 11:55 am

In thinking on this, I am bumping my own post to play devils advocate.

How big of an issue is a *relatively* small library? Bigger is better, right? Or is quality better than quantity?

When I play the Atari 2600 I love the huge library, whether the games are classic or crap. Same on the NES or C64. Big libraries are fun to explore, and something for everyone.

Yet for many systems, I spend most of my time on a few games, such as the TG16 and GBA - I keep going back to the same games.

Also, while 155 games seems like a small library compared to other Nintendo consoles and handhelds, what about other systems? I think there are fewer than 100 US hu card games for the TG16. How many games did the Intellivision or Master System have, and those are worth owning. How about the Dreamcast?

So, is the issue 155 games on the Wii U (40 1st party)? Or other factors like many were on other systems and Nintendo has become only about 1st party exclusives? If so, even a hybrid is going to have the same issue unless they increase the number of 1st party games alot, and early in its life.

User avatar
ptdebate
Posts: 626
Joined: April 7th, 2015, 8:39 pm

Re: The Wii U's small library

Postby ptdebate » July 28th, 2016, 12:43 pm

An interesting topic.

I think the comparison between N64 and Wii U is an apt one. Waiting for major releases on the Wii U is an experience that takes me back to 1997 when Nintendo games came in a slow trickle.

I think there will be a lot to enjoy for Wii U collectors once the console's life officially ends. I enjoyed my N64 far less than the PlayStation back in the day, but nowadays the complete library of the N64 has been varied and interesting enough for me to invest in an Everdrive. Sure, I don't play *every* game but I do play enough to make it worth keeping the n64 under my main TV.

The Wii U is a platform with few and high quality titles. It lacks the Battlefields, Calls of Duty, FIFAs &c that would have inflated its library considerably--but what it does have to offer are games people are going to actually care about from years to come.

User avatar
VideoGameCritic
Site Admin
Posts: 11119
Joined: April 1st, 2015, 7:23 pm

Re: The Wii U's small library

Postby VideoGameCritic » July 28th, 2016, 5:16 pm

If you don't count the download offerings, ALL of the modern consoles have small libraries. Take the PS4 which is currently king of the hill. How many games are released for it per month? A handful? I'd afraid only the biggest "slam dunk" games are seeing physical release anymore. The niche titles are being relegated to download status and generally lost in the noise. But it's not the small libraries that bother me, it's the lack of variety. Everything is a sequel that falls into a basic category.

Sonicx9
Posts: 494
Joined: April 27th, 2015, 6:37 pm

Re: The Wii U's small library

Postby Sonicx9 » July 28th, 2016, 6:56 pm

VideoGameCritic wrote:If you don't count the download offerings, ALL of the modern consoles have small libraries. Take the PS4 which is currently king of the hill. How many games are released for it per month? A handful? I'd afraid only the biggest "slam dunk" games are seeing physical release anymore. The niche titles are being relegated to download status and generally lost in the noise. But it's not the small libraries that bother me, it's the lack of variety. Everything is a sequel that falls into a basic category.


You are 100% right as these days 95% of retail games that come out on the current gen consoles are mostly Sequels, First Person Shooters, and Mature rated Triple A games.

You do get niche smaller games from niche smaller publishers, but it is usually few and far between from companies such as Atlus, Xseed/Marvelous USA, PQube, NIS America, Idea Factory International, etc. And most of them are limited released at certain retail stores, Online stores that are not digital downloads, because they do not mass market/advertise much online, magazines, tv, etc.

wargowashere
Posts: 1
Joined: July 29th, 2016, 12:28 pm

Re: The Wii U's small library

Postby wargowashere » July 29th, 2016, 12:40 pm

I think that as the new consoles go forward, backwards compatibility should be a stable to the continuity of the library. There's practically no reason, outside of hardware issues, that the new consoles, such as the PS4 Neo and X-Box S, shouldn't be able to play the new games. I know that both systems will be backwards compatible, since they both share the x86 architecture. Once this generation is over, I hope that whatever Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo come out with, that they start developing a similar ecosystem such as Steam in that the older games can be played on the newer systems. I like the allure of the NES mini because the games will be properly scaled to the TV with the HDMI as opposed to the input lag and lower resolution of hooking an original NES to a flat TV.

In regards to the the small library, the backwards compatibility has been quite nice if you think of it as those 1200 Wii games translated to 1200 Wii U games. The only thing I wish Nintendo would do correctly is the voice chat for online play. I love that the company still focus on couch play with friends as they have always done this correctly. I love playing the games with my son as well as my friends. However, when I'm playing solo, I miss not communicating with people online when I play.


Return to “Modern Gaming”