The Wii U is firmly ensconced in the underdog postion this console generation. It's never going to best the PS4 or Xbox One. It's specs, features, and library will always fall short. However, that doesn't mean it's going to prove to be the Virtual Boy of consoles. There's one thing the system has going for it--couch co-op.
There are gamers out there who long for local multiplayer sessions. Playing online with other people from all around the world is amazing and convenient, but sometimes you just want to sit down with friends and make a night of it. You want to see the joy and anguish on their faces when people win or lose. Even putting the voodoo on someone or "cheating" can liven up a night. Couch co-op is a unique bonding experience and the Wii U is the only current generation console that's really capable of taking it to the next level.
Especially since the library not only supports it, but encourages it. Some may have seen Nintendo Land as a basic pack-in or even glorified tech demo, but it was the best local multiplayer game in years for me. I have enjoyed countless hours playing it with friends as we tried to complete quests as various Links, hoard candies as animals, guide Pikmin through different areas, chase each other down when of us is Mario, and band together against the ghost in our midst. It was refreshing and even though it's nearing its second birthday, Nintendo Land still hasn't gotten old.
Even consider the Wii U's most recent, popular titles. Most of them celebrate playing with friends. Want to play together? Super Mario 3D World, Rayman Legends, and soon Hyrule Warriors have you covered. For bitter battles that may leave eternal grudges, Mario Kart 8 and soon Super Smash Bros. will test friendships. Even Game & Wario and Wii Party U, Wii U multiplayer games that don't exactly shine, can provide a few nights of delight. The only real problem is, a bit of a wait is involved for Splatoon and Mario Party 10, two more promising competitive games. But that's okay, because Nintendo can use that to their advantage too.
Nintendo should grab hold of this all important asset and use it to sell systems. For the next three months, all we should be seeing online and on our TVs are examples of how much fun people can be having with their friends and a Wii U. Show us people playing Hyrule Warriors, Rayman Legends, and Super Mario 3D World together. Let us feel their excitement and see reflections of ourselves and our friends in these promotions. Nintendo can sell gamers on couch co-op again.
Then, Nintendo should make the competitive trailers as epic as possible. Let us see a Mario Kart 8 player's face as someone he's been smiting the entire game uses a Super Horn or Blue Shell at the perfect moment. Give the Luigi Death Stare its own commercial. Show us the most tense Super Smash Bros. face-off. Make us want to enjoy these moments with our family and friends, because the holidays would be the perfect opportunity to recreate the moments potential Wii U owners would see advertised on TV. Get people hyped for Splatoon.
Because when it comes to playing in a living room with your best and closest friends as you triumph together and beat each other into submission, Nintendo will always win. The company needs to embrace that, sell the promise of many nights of unforgetable memories, and use that to move Wii Us this holiday season.