Cast your minds back, nostalgia fans, to those halcyon early summer days of June 2011. It was E3, back when people met together in buildings and when people still cared about E3, that Nintendo revealed the follow-up to their astonishingly popular Wii console. Yes, as Reggie Fils-Aimé took the stage, that was the very first time you thought, “I don’t think I’ll be getting a Wii U.”
Ever since you stood in line from 10 p.m. on Nov. 19, 2006, for the midnight openings for the Nintendo Wii, you’d wondered what Nintendo might do next. The literally game-changing Wii had you and your Great Aunt Linda playing tennis in the living room, then point-and-scanning your way through Metroid Prime 3 when she finally fell into a drunken stupor behind the settee. And you thought, “Gosh, whatever could follow this?”
Then five years later you thought, “Oh.”
In the year and a half that followed before release, you kept checking back, to see if maybe you’d confused the Wii U reveal with a weird dream you had that time you drank too much NyQuil. But no, it really did have that second tiny screen on the…is it the controller? Or is it the machine? Maybe both? Maybe neither? Where do you put the games? Will there be games?
As its November 2012 release approached, you read a couple of anticipatory articles, tried to work out what the hell the difference was between the Deluxe and Basic bundles. And if you didn’t need the sensor bar that came with the former, then how was it a Wii? Was it a Wii? Did you plug it into the TV and watch two screens at once? You, again, concluded that it didn’t matter, because you weren’t going to buy one, and you bought a 3DS XL instead.
It’s hard to believe it’s now ten years since you wondered what it was going to be like, missing out on an entire generation of Nintendo first-party titles, and not being entirely sure it was going to be that big of a deal. And of course, the vindication and self-congratulation that accompanied the realization that every game released for it would come to the Switch, eventually.
Happy anniversary, Nintendo Wii U reveal. We hardly knew thee.