I know, crazy right? And I suspect this trend may continue.
I realised this fact just two days ago. I began making a list of the games I'd spent the most time playing over the last two or three months. There was GTA V — obviously — but I got tired of that relatively quickly. I'd played a couple of indie games on PC, like Gone Home and Papers Please. But asides from that? All Wii U games.
I say Wii U games, but I'd actually been playing...
Super Metroid: after playing 30 cents for it.
Metroid Prime: after feeling a strange urge to return to one of my favourite games ever made.
Wind Waker HD: because it's a glorious, nigh-on definitive example of a HD remake executed perfectly.
The strange thing about this list is, of course, the fact that precisely none of these games began life as Wii U games. But, perhaps stranger, I don't think this matters in the slightest. Could it be that Nintendo is actually getting to grips with what their outrageous deep back catalogue of era-defining video games could do for the Wii U? Who knows. One can hope.
But then there are the new games. They are coming. In some respects they are already here. Pikmin 3, which I have not yet played (to my shame) is a game I've been looking forward to starting, The Wonderful 101, I've heard great things about. Not to mention some of the great new titles available on the e-shop.
And then there's Super Mario 3D World which is beginning to look just as inventive and beguiling as the Mario Galaxy series was on the Wii.
It seems completely implausible but I think the tail end of 2013, over the Christmas period, my gaming time will most likely be completely dominated by the Wii U.
Think about it: the year is quickly drawing to a close, Grand Theft Auto V has come and gone. The remaining big hitters are franchise sequels to video games many of us are a little exhausted by. Assassin's Creed 4, Call of Duty: Ghosts, Battlefield 4. The last great hope for a new, proper next gen IP — Watch Dogs — has been delayed until 2014. The PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One, despite the glittering allure of new tech, are hardly stacked with must play launch titles.
There's a very real gap in the gaming schedule and, for me, the Wii U will plug it.
I don't expect the Wii U to suddenly start shifting large amounts of units, and I don't expect third-parties to suddenly pull an about face and start supporting the Wii U either. What I do expect, however, is a tipping point — the kind of tipping point the 3DS hit last year. That moment when the Wii U has accumulated enough must play exclusive titles to be attractive to a great number of folks, be they lapsed Nintendo fans or curious gamers looking for something a little outside the box.
Almost from launch the Wii U has lurched from one disaster to the next, but towards the tail end the console has found its sea legs. Unlike the original Wii, the Wii U will never be a generation defining console but, when all is said and done, it has a very real chance at being the Dreamcast of the new generation: a cult favourite, a console outside the mainstream with enough memorable exclusives to be memorable to those who appreciate a certain type of video game.
Perhaps a more helpful comparison is the Nintendo GameCube. After my stints with Metroid Prime and Wind Waker, I've found myself reminiscing on that console: an underappreciated machine released at a low point in Nintendo's history, but a console that brought the best out of many of its developers. Maybe in 10 years I'll find myself in a similar spot, remember the Wii U and the brilliant video games that went under appreciated in its time.