If you have been watching TV over the past few weeks -- particularly, if you spent all of Saturday watching a Harry Potter marathon on ABC Family because it was on and you like wizards whatever don't judge -- you've probably seen a commercial or two for the Wii U.
Designed to help raise public awareness of the struggling console, these new Wii U ads are pretty corny, yet charming in that inimitable Nintendo way. Here's the whole slate of commercials that started airing this November/December:
Cool. Problem is, not a single one of these ads shows off or even mentions the Wii U's best feature: off-TV play. The coolest thing about the Wii U -- particularly for people who share their televisions with family/roommates/stray cats -- is the fact that you can play games without using your television, whether you're in your living room, your bedroom, or an airport. You don't even need a TV -- you can play pretty much anything on the controller's screen.
What's the deal, Nintendo? You're underselling one of the console's most appealing features.
Here's what I want to see in a commercial: a little girl sits on the couch, playing Super Mario 3D World on the family's TV. Her dad comes in and tells her to stop playing so he can watch football. She quickly and immediately switches to the GamePad's screen and keeps playing where she left off.
Maybe some guy wants to cram in a few minutes of Earthbound before he goes to bed, so he switches from the TV to the GamePad and brings the game to his room.
Games like Wind Waker HD and Super Mario 3D World are must-plays, but they haven't sold people on the GamePad, which for many gamers still feels vestigial. You know what can sell people on the GamePad? Off-TV play. Nintendo just has to figure out the whole "selling" part.