It’s safe to say that most Nintendo fans have pretty high hopes for the Wii U, but after seeing the Wii U Preview a few days a go I’m not quite as optimistic as I used to be. I will admit that I’m very excited for most of the Nintendo franchise games like Mario and Zelda, but that’s come to be expected with Nintendo. It just feels like Nintendo is missing something.
The release of the Wii U seems very familiar doesn’t it? In 2006, the original Wii came out and it was no secret that it was fairly average compared to its competitors, the Xbox 360 and the PS3. Yet it still sold an overwhelmingly high number of consoles. Despite the numbers, its fairly obvious that what we’re seeing now with the Wii U should have been released nearly six years a go when the original Wii was released. Think about it. The Wii U is basically making up for lost ground from a hardware and software standpoint. HD capability, a more intuitive control system (the game pad and the pro controller) and a more mainstream selection of games are all improvements that should have already existed. This is a huge step up from the Wii, but it might be a bit late and here’s why.
Nintendo announced that the many popular titles on the Xbox 360 and the PS3 will be ported over to the Wii U, but is it really worth it to most gamers? Most people like myself already have an Xbox 360 or a PS3. So if games like Assassin’s Creed 3 are coming out both on the Wii U and the other consoles, there’s no reason to go out and spend $300-350 on a whole new console to play the exact same game with graphics that aren’t quite at the same level as the current consoles (in my opinion) when you can spend $60 to play it on the console you already own. Of course, there will always be Nintendo exclusives like Mario and Zelda, but if you aren’t a fan of the Nintendo franchises there isn’t really any point to buy a Wii U. Notably, there are a few games like Zombie U and Alien: Colonial Marines that look like a breath of fresh air for Nintendo fans, but I can’t say I’m 100% convinced yet.
I mentioned graphics earlier and for a very good reason. The Wii U supports HD capability, but after seeing Black Ops 2 during the Wii U Preview I was a little confused. It looked pretty good, but the graphics seemed to resemble a fairly less crisp version of the original Modern Warfare graphics on the Xbox 360, which came out in 2007. I don’t know if Nintendo can’t improve the frame rate or it was just the Wii U Preview video that made it look fairly average or what, but HD doesn’t necessarily mean that the Wii U’s games will resemble the Xbox 360 and the PS3’s graphics entirely. But let’s be honest, the Wii definitely wasn’t catered toward games based on realism and I would argue that the Wii U isn’t entirely either. Sure, there are more possibilities now with HD ability built in and I will admit that after watching some Assassin’s Creed 3 Wii U gameplay I am pretty impressed, but Nintendo is a company that focuses more on cartoon-like graphics with incredible gameplay and a great story line (i.e. Banjo Kazooie). Ultimately, if you don’t mind a slightly different look in games like Black Ops 2 and Assassin’s Creed 3, then by all means purchase a Wii U. Not only will you get the mainstream games that will look pretty good, you’ll also get the classic Nintendo franchise games as well.
I’m sure the Wii U will be a solid console for Nintendo and I have no doubt that it will bring in big sales, but as soon as the next-gen consoles come out in a few years the Wii U will feel old like the Wii did six years a go. If Nintendo plays its cards right and releases big name franchise titles (I’ve been praying for a Majora’s Mask remake) then there’s no doubt that Nintendo fans will remain faithful.
-Ocarina of Time Nerd
- Bayonetta 2 is a Wii U exclusive (joystiq.com)
- Everything You Need to Know About The Wii U (That Nintendo Was Willing To Tell Us) (kotaku.com)
- Will you buy a Wii U? (o.canada.com)
- Mario Leads The Way As Nintendo Launches New Wii (news.sky.com)
- Nintendo Wii U: Your reactions (cnn.com)
- Nintendo Wii U – New Console with Touchscreen Controller (epicagames.com)
- Editorial: Hitting the Nail on the Head with Wii U (ugrgaming.com)
- Nintendo President Says Wii U Will Grab Gamers With Mario – Bloomberg (bloomberg.com)
- Console Wars – PS3 vs. Xbox 360 vs. Wii: Which is best for your family (theinsider.retailmenot.com)
- Wii U: Nintendo releases price and launch details – live (guardian.co.uk)