I’ve been playing some catch-up with some gaming websites and just found out about the Wii U following in the footsteps of the latest hardware revision of the Wii which removes Gamecube support, and I’m really not sure what to think of that. :-\
On one hand, yeah, old systems are old systems are old systems, and I’ve actually had a Gamecube in really nice condition (like new actually) just sitting in a closet for the last few years because the Wii superseded it. I suppose since the Wii U is going to allow for migration of content and licenses like VC games from your old Wii to the new box what I might end up doing is bringing back my Gamecube for Gamecube games then using the Wii U for Wii and Wii U games.
I’m disappointed though. Nintendo had the perfect opportunity here to really shine with backward compatibility since Sony and Microsoft have dropped the ball on it with their last consoles. The XBox 360 dropped backward compatibility with the original X-Box and PS3 initially began with full support for PS2 and PS1 games but the backwards compatibility dropped off for that too. Nintendo could’ve beaten both of its rivals here by being the first company to have a box which covers their entire back catalog of disc games. Still though, Gamecube is Gamecube, an old early 2000s system that’s largely still worth keeping around for its exclusives and 1st party games. Most multiplatform games in that generation for me would probably be games I’d want to play on my PS2 since PS2 was the most successful of the three consoles and it’s the only one left that you can still get new. I’d mostly keep Gamecube around for Super Mario Sunshine, Zelda Wind Waker, Wave Race Blue Storm, F-Zero GX, etc. (There never was an F-Zero on the Wii interestingly enough, though the increased power of the Wii U might make for a good relaunch platform to get that series going again.)
What this ultimately means is that recent-gen budget gaming and retrogaming will be encouraged all the more. No doubt one reason why the PS2 is still around is because it functions quite well as a retro box for PS2 and Ps1 games if someone wants to peruse the $5 shelf in a Gamestop’s Used section or something. Some might say software emulation and downloads is the way to go, but with bandwidth caps and metered broadband being the pain in the neck that it is at least in the North American market, I’m sure folks might not necessarily want to download 4.7-9 GB DVD games every single time, especially when the used game market is so well developed these days through Gamestop and other used game vendors that finding old games to play through is really easy not to mention cheap.
What will be the retro-box for Gamecube games I wonder? Then again, I bought my Gamecube new several years ago, so I don’t need an answer to that question right off the bat. Plus, as of this blog entry Amazon still has new platinum Gamecubes available for $130. I’ll bet retrogamers will start buying those again when they switch to the Wii U.
Hooking up a Gamecube for Gamecube games might be a good thing though in terms of duty cycle so if someone wants to play an old Gamecube game they can do it without putting wear and tear on their Wii U and save their newer Nintendo box for the newer stuff. We’ll just have to see how this all pans out as we get closer to launch. 🙂
Zelda Informer On Wii U And No Gamecube Compatibility