The Wii U is the best choice for the holiday season. At least, that's according to Nintendo's recent marketing campaign. Apparently buoyed by the critical praise heaped on recent Wii U titles, the Japanese gaming giant finally decided to actually advertise its own newest console, and now claims that their own next-gen console is the one to fill stockings this year.
With Day One sales of PlayStation 4 in North America nearly 50% of the Wii U's lifetime sales, and the Xbox One also performing extremely well in terms of sales, it's controversial in the least to say that Nintendo's console could, in fact, be the console best suited for Christmas 2013, but with a raft of promising first-party titles on the horizon, now might really be a good time to Go Nintendo ...
I'm not, by any means, suggesting that no one should ever go and buy and Xbox One or a PlayStation 4. When they've inevitably plummeted in price and have a variety of decent titles on them, then Sony and Microsoft's next-gen will be fine purchases for any console fan. But even discounting the fact that the first batch of consoles tend to be far less reliable than the successors, and Nintendo have had a year extra to fine-tune their console, the reality is that for now, the Wii U boasts the far better selection of games.
We covered earlier this week the fact that launch titles for both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 were - for the most part - mediocre, and this isn't something that looks like improving any time soon. With notoriously game-barren December rolling in, and the post-Christmas lull in January to follow, the next gen line-up for Sony and Microsoft looks sparse.
Sure, inFamous: Second Son will drift into the PS4 mix some time early next year, and one or two promising titles (notably Titanfall) will be here by spring, but the majority of exciting third-person games (Assassin's Creed 4, Need For Speed: Rivals et cetera) can be got hold of on both PC and current gen.
The Wii U, on the other hand, has a number of excellent exclusive games that you can get your paws on already, as well as a 2014 line-up that looks extremely promising. Pimkin 3, Super Mario 3D World and The Legend Of Zelda: Wind Waker HD are all out now and will cost you less than a first party Sony or Microsoft game.
Looking towards next year's line-up, not only has Nintendo confirmed Wii U editions to iconic Nintendo franchises like Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze and a new Super Smash Bros game, but X - which looks really promising - is also slated for release in 2014. Bayonetta 2 is also due to arrive next year which, if it's even a fraction as good as its parent game, should be something pretty special. It's a huge feather in the Wii U's cap, since the first Bayonetta game was an Xbox 360 and PS3 title. It's looking likely that there will be some announcements about a new Zelda title in the new year too, following the success of the HD remake of Wind Waker.
There's also the matter of price. Right now, whilst you can pick up a PlayStation 4 with no games or extras bundled with it for around £350 ($399), you can get hold of a basic Wii U system for around £200 ($290), and bundled packs with acclaimed games like New Super Mario Bros U or The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD for not much more. That's before you take into account that the average Wii U title retails at 20-30% cheaper than those for Sony and Microsoft next-gen, particularly in PAL regions.
I understand the hype surrounding the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. There's nothing quite like the feeling of unwrapping a brand new piece of technology before your friends have it. However, this Christmas, I find myself more excited about pretty much every single slated Nintendo launch than I am about the next few months of next-gen releases. So for now, I am going to keep hold of my PC and my PlayStation 3, and look to Nintendo for a new Christmas console.
Which gaming gifts are on your Christmas lists?
Will you be convinced by Nintendo's option, or are you still holding out for the Xbox One or PlayStation 4?