Why, you ask? Thanks for asking.
The obvious, easy answer is that I’m a big fan of Nintendo.
But that doesn’t mean that I love everything that Nintendo produces. For example, I mostly abandoned my Wii in the later years of its life because I was baffled that Nintendo still did not have a game system capable of HD. (I still want to play the Super Mario Galaxy games in full HD!)
I didn’t purchase a Wii U when it launched. If I remember correctly, it was the trailers for Super Mario 3D World that pushed me over the fence.
But, when I got my Wii U, Super Mario 3D World had not yet been released, so I played New Super Mario Bros. U and Nintendoland.
I was surprised by the quality of both games. Nintendoland is a love letter to longtime Nintendo fans (such as myself), one of the few games to make good use of the Gamepad, and a fantastic couch multiplayer game.
New Super Mario Bros. U has much more polish and content that the previous NSMB games. It feels closer to Super Mario World than any of the other NSMB games (though it still doesn’t match the greatness of the classic Super Mario World).
When I finally got my hands on Super Mario 3D World, I found it to be one of the most fun games I had played in a long time. The key word is fun - Nintendo clearly designed this game to be colorful and full of variety. You simply cannot play this game without a smile on your face.
Then came Mario Kart 8. This game has perfected the 'Mario Kart' formula (with the exception of the lacking battle arenas), and it’s gorgeous. This game proves that you don’t need a powerhouse system like the PS4 or Xbox One to make a game with stunning visuals.
One of the criticisms of the Wii U is that it is not friendly to third party developers that may want to port games from PS4 of XBO. Another is that there is a lack of consistent blockbuster releases that make the Wii U a must-buy. This is a valid criticism, but, as somebody who loves playing Nintendo games (and as an adult who has limited gaming time) these really aren’t a factor for me. Furthermore, Nintendo’s style of fun is exactly the escape that I’m looking for when I play a video game. The real world has enough violence, so I don’t feel compelled to play the latest Call of Duty or Grand Theft Auto game.
As far as blockbuster releases are concerned, I’d argue that Super Mario 3D World, Mario Kart 8, and Super Smash Bros. justify a Wii U purchase on their own.
The Virtual Console has its problems, but I still love it. I bought a lot of VC games on the Wii, and I love that I can still play these classics on my Wii U. When these games are released for Wii U, I can upgrade them for $1 - $1.50. This allows me to access the game without going into Wii emulation mode, play the game on the Gamepad, and utilize save states.
If you’re a Nintendo fan, and you don’t own a Wii U, I highly recommend it. It’s less expensive that the other current-gen competitors, family friendly, and has a library of games that are a joy to play.