Super Mario 3D World may not be enough to save Nintendo's Wii U.
Super Mario Bros. was one of the games that helped Nintendo resurrect the gaming industry after Atari's E.T. crashed it. Despite it not being Mario's first game (that would be Donkey Kong), it revolutionized the way we played video games from that point on. The plucky Italian plumber did the same for the Nintendo 64, again breaking ground in video game technology.
Now after Nintendo figured that they could do it again for the Wii U, they're discovering that dressing Mario in a cat suit isn't going to be enough to save their console. Gamers are still sticking to the 3DS and its new budget counterpart, the 2DS. It's apparent that most people just prefer Pikachu and friends to a character who really has no new places to go.
Super Mario 3D World, as good as it is, remains a mix of things we've seen before. A lot of the power-ups come from Super Mario Bros. 3, the linear 3D world is a sort of hybrid between its roots and Super Mario 64, and the multiplayer mode is really just a revamped and more focused Mario Party. Aside from the Cat suit and box power-ups, Mario really isn't treading any new ground.
Nintendo's big hope for the Wii U is proving that games which are more than fun can still fail on the wrong console. Power Stone wasn't enough to save the Dreamcast. The best Android games weren't enough to save the Ouya.
A quick look at the unit sales makes it quite evident that Super Mario 3D World is under-performing in a way that probably threatens the existence of its home console. Super Mario Galaxy for the Wii sold about 10 million copies, while New Super Mario Bros. (hardly original in its own right) managed to sell around 27 million copies. Mario's latest adventure on Nintendo's Wii U clocks in at around 2.3 million units sold.
What was meant to basically be the savior of the Wii U is still not enough to save the console. All is not yet lost, however, and Nintendo remains optimistic that perhaps Mario Kart 8 will help add to the must-own titles that will save the Wii U. It doesn't help that most of the recent Zelda games have been little more than remakes of older titles. A Link Between Worlds seems to be little more than the secret second quest from The Legend of Zelda, comparatively.
Is this the end for the Wii U?: VideoGamer: "Super Mario 3D World hasn't captured the interest of gamers as mu... http://t.co/a3guzGH0IW
— N4G (@N4G) December 3, 2013
Most of the best games on the Wii U are also on the other consoles, and for that reason alone, it doesn't look good.
Despite Nintendo trying to rally interest in the Wii U, it's apparent that Super Mario 3D World is not enough.