The Wii U: The best idea with a bad name that Nintendo has ever had?
Nintendo unveiled their sequel to the amazingly popular Wii this week to a relatively warm response from the gaming community. Amidst promises of touch screen functionality, hardware stronger than either PS3 or Xbox360 and games that look amazing there really wasn’t much to complain about.
Until you realise those are just promises. While Nintendo achieved an amazing response with the Wii, a lot of gamers realise that in hindsight it raised a lot more issues than it solved. This isn’t to say that the Wii is a bad system. For a long time it was a social gamers dream, the ultimate party “hey bro what about a quick game of tennis?” tool and its motion sensitivity was practically revolutionary.
But that was in the two years (year?) after the Wii’s launch. After a slightly longer period the majority of Wii owners noticed one of two (or both) faults with the system. Firstly, that the hardware inside the box was better used propping open a door or powering your smart phone to play snake than for any serious games. Secondly, that Nintendo delivered great titles immediately following the Wii and then were happy to cruise on the profit margins of those alone without developing many (any?) other quality games in the years after it’s launch.
So you will forgive me if my excitement is slightly muted following Nintendo’s recent press conference. On paper the Wii U definitely sounds like a smart step forward for Nintendo, a powerful system with a controller unlike anything already on the market which can actually compete with the big boys. But on paper is what Nintendo does best, often having high sales margins for systems or games which grow old in a period of days as opposed to months.
Some confirmation of my concerns came earlier when it was revealed that a very good quality video showing games supposedly being played on the Wii U was actually a mash up of PS3, Xbox 360 and PC game footage.
But I don’t want to come off as too negative for all of you (and me) Nintendo fans out there. I love some of what Nintendo has brought to the world, there was a period of time where I lived Super Smash Bros. and who didn’t grow up on Mario? I’ve just lost a little of the innocent gleam in my eye since those days and now I have to touch something before I’ll believe its real.
I can honestly say that I hope the Wii U outshines the Wii and becomes a very popular and competitive system in the years to come. I just wouldn’t put a substantial amount of money on it just yet.