Since its announcement four years ago, the Wii U has been a controversial console. From my own experience, you either love it or you hate it, and there’s no in between. Being the first of the “next gen” consoles (current generation, now), it had a lot of expectations to meet and a standard to set, and while many consumers were hesitant to accept it, over the past three years it has managed to wiggle its way into the hearts of many.

Unfortunately, despite some of its revolutionary ideas, the Wii U was met with mixed critical response that tended towards the negative. And while this mostly had to do with the fact that its launch title lineup was admittedly terrible, it still suffered. However! We’re not here to bash the system, because we love it dearly. We’re here to celebrate its innovation. Nintendo is known for introducing new mechanics and features that often make their way onto other consoles later, motion controls being a great example. The Wii U is no different, and I think it’s safe to say that Nintendo isn’t afraid to be different.

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While other companies have dabbled with the idea of a dual-screen experience, none have done it better, or to the extent, that Nintendo has. While going back as early as the original DS, dual screens flourish with the Wii U’s GamePad, which is arguably one of its best features (despite how much hate it’s received). Nintendo has done a great job at finding interesting ways to incorporate the second screen, and there’s no doubt that being able to switch the main game to the GamePad for use of the TV in some other way is brilliant.

It was also super exciting to see how much Nintendo has improved its online capabilities, an idea first conceptualized on the DS. Additionally, it’s nice to see that Nintendo still doesn’t make you pay for online in a world dominated by overpriced online and DLC subscriptions.

One of my favorite things about the Wii U, though, and I’m sure many will agree, is the graphics. While not made to showcase hyperrealistic close-ups of war heroes, Nintendo did a wonderful job in making their own games spring to life on the console. Pikmin 3, to date, is still one of the most stunning games on the system in my opinion, and was really when I started taking notice of how pretty a game could look on the Wii U.

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And speaking of Pikmin 3, once Nintendo started delivering its own first-party titles, they’ve been hitting hard. From Mario Kart 8, Mario Party 10, Wind Waker: HD, and Super Smash Bros., and the more recently released Splatoon and Yoshi’s Woolly World, Nintendo has been pumping out games like there’s no tomorrow. It’s easily put the console back on the map as something worthwhile.

We’re extremely happy to see the Wii U planting its roots in the gaming community within the past three years, rather than fading into obscurity. Nintendo is famous for releasing its next gen consoles before any of its competitors, so to watch the Wii U come alive over its lifespan has been really exciting. And even more exciting, we love watching it grow in popularity and introduce itself into more and more households every day, especially with the amount of game bundles that Nintendo has been offering.

So happy third birthday, Wii U! You deserve all the credit that you’ve been getting lately, and all of the fame. Thank you for all the fun thus far, and please, continue filling our hearts with joy and putting smiles on our faces. Here’s to another great couple of years– we’re sure you’re going to have them!

And as a quick side note, the GameCube is coincidentally celebrating its 14th birthday today as well, and you can go give it some love right here.

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Written by George Comatas

As a wannabe social media personality and professional in the world of sarcasm, George does his best to always adapt to the changing world around him. He considers himself a maverick: a true-to-heart gamer with the mind of a pop star. Whether this makes him revolutionary or a setback, he's yet to find out. But one thing’s for sure; he's one-of-a-kind.

George Comatas