PS4 and Wii U Post-Launch: Both Consoles Experience Highs and Lows With One Key Difference
Here’s something that a lot of people don’t realize: The PS4 has had a very similar line-up of post launch software as the Wii U did back in early 2013. Don’t believe me? Well, let me explain a few of these similarities.
Both Wii U and PS4 had major first party titles pushed back
Sony’s PS4 console still has some time to avoid repeating Nintendo’s Pikmin 3/Wario/Wonderful 101/Wii Fit U fiasco. Killzone Shadow Fall and Knack were solid first party offerings back in November, much like New Super Mario Bros U and Nintendo Land. But December through March were really lacking for both the PS4 and Wii U post-launch.
The PS4 received Sucker Punch’s fantastic InFAMOUS Second Son on March 21st, 2014 while Nintendo’s Wii U console got Nintendo published third party games like Lego City Undercover and Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate.
Not only that but like how Pikmin 3, Wonderful 101, Wii Fit U and Game & Wario were delayed from their “launch window” release dates, Sony got hit with delays to Evolution Studios big upcoming racing title, DriveClub. Originally set to release last November, Sony has been promising news of DriveClub’s impending release since January. We’re days away from May and it looks like DriveClub won’t ship until later in the summer at the earliest, following an almost identical delay pattern as Pikmin 3.
Watch Dogs is not a first party PS4 title but it has been very heavily marketed for Sony platforms and its sudden delay last holiday reminds us of another big Ubisoft game that got delayed, Rayman Legends. Everyone remembers that PR nightmare right? With two weeks to go until the game was supposed to ship, Ubisoft announced in early February 2013 that Rayman Legends would not ship on Wii U until 7 months later and would no longer be exclusive. While these two situations aren’t entirely the same, both the Wii U and PS4 would have benefited greatly from receiving a big Ubisoft title at launch.
Very vague news on major first party titles for later in the year
Wii U owners had to believe that Nintendo would deliver the goods after a horrid start to 2013. Pikmin 3, Wario, Wii Fit U and Wonderful 101 were all set for August or after so fans hoped Nintendo would reveal new 3D Marios, Mario Karts and Smash Bros games to get them excited. Instead, for months leading up to E3 all Nintendo gave fans were quotes like “We’ll show off 3D Mario, Mario Kart and Smash Bros at E3”. That was well and good but basically Wii U owners had to get by on what they imagined the next 3D Mario, Mario Kart or Smash Bros would be like and hope they would ship in 2013.
This compares directly to Sony’s first party PS4 line up this year. There will be some surprises, for sure. Last year we had no idea Retro was working on “fucking” Donkey Kong Country and I’m sure Sony has a big unannounced first party game set to hit PS4 this year too. But we’ve also got several PS4 titles that we know very little about like Uncharted 4, The Order, and well any other first party game. Like Nintendo last year, Sony has spent most of the PS4’s first six months keeping big games a secret, probably waiting for E3 to reveal them in full. Heck, we just found out The Last of Us Remastered was coming this summer less than 30 days ago!
Put down the pitchforks. There are dramatic differences too!
You didn’t think I would actually say the PS4’s first six months on the market were 100% as bad as the Wii U’s now did you? Or did you already leave an angry comment below?
The obvious difference is third party support. The Wii U barely had any games released at retail stores between November 2012 and March 2013. The PS4 had several like Tomb Raider, Thief, InFamous, Metal Gear Solid, Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn and others. Heck, the PS4 at least got Rayman Legends in the month of February, something the Wii U can’t say.
Another big difference is indie support. While the Wii U does have decent indie gaming support, it has never been as strong as the PS4’s indie line up. You should buy a PS4 for its indie gaming scene alone. Towerfall Ascension, SteamWorld Dig, Octodad: Dadliest Catch, Awesomenauts Assemble, Don’t Starve, Contrast, Resogun, Outlast, Daylight, King Oddball, Cel Damange HD, and Fez are just a few of the stellar indie games on PS4 by the end of this month. The Wii U received some good indie titles like Trine 2 and Nano Assault Neo but overall the system’s entire indie line up doesn’t compare well to the first six months of indie support for the PS4.
Not to mention the fact that the PS4 has several good free to play titles like Warframe, Blacklight Retribution and DC Universe. The free to play section of the Wii U eShop didn’t grow nearly as fast as the PS4’s F2P section which had several titles to choose from on day one.
The lesson here is that having great third party and indie gaming support is key to dealing with software droughts. The PS4 may not have a lot of heavy hitting first party exclusives at the moment but their is a constant flow of great titles from third parties and indies alike. Sadly the Wii U couldn’t achieve these same results in early 2013 and the console’s first six months on the market will go down as one of the worst post-launch software droughts in gaming history, a feat Sony must be happy to not be competing for.