With the Wii U date and price announced and launch titles details emerged, I seem to be asking my self where exactly does this console fit ? Who is Nintendo trying to sell this console to, and does it address some concerns that we’ve had since we first heard of the Wii U back at E3 2012?
There is no doubt that the original Wii was a huge success, alot of that was because it was appealing to a casual audience. These were games you can play with your whole family, grandma and grandpa included. They even had Wii’s in retirement homes for goodness sakes. One of the best games for the Wii (Wii Sports) was packed in, making it affordable and an extremely fun way to interact differently with a console together with family and/or friends. This was the reason that this was one of the best selling consoles in history and made Nintendo boat loads of money, but this was also the console’s biggest weakness and downfail. The success of bringing this consoles to many living rooms around the world, also made developers think that they could throw together one dimensional party games and that would be ok. Well its not ok and now our game bargin bins are full of these crap games. So the million dollar question is, has Nintendo learned that it’s not just about making tons and tons of money but also about supporting the the fans that have been playing their consoles since they can remember?
the original Wii was cheap making adaption of the console very easy for everyone. With the way that Wii U is priced it seems like the console is trying to appeal a little more to the core crowd as well. Which might prove possible when we talk about the launch titles. Now i understand that having essentially a tablet packed in with the console will raise the price and at the end of the day Nintendo is still trying to make money but can you price a console as high as $300 – $350 when you can get a PS3 for $299 and an Xbox 360 for $250. I would have been alot happier with the basic model starting at $250 and the deluxe at $300.
The Wii had HORRIBLE launch titles, (*cough* cough* Red Steel) it was kind of understandable when considering the majority of its audience was casual gamers and again it was packed with the best casual game ever, Wii Sports. I never understood why Nintendo stopped having Mario games as launch titles. The 3DS proved this again, I had to wait 6 months before there was even a game that I wanted to play on this damn handheld. It does seem that Nintendo realized this and is at least trying to address the issue. The Wii U will have 50 launch games in its GENEROUS 4 month launch window. 15 of those games will be available on launch day, and there is at least a few that I am willing to buy on launch day, unlike the launch of the Wii. The Wii U launch day titles that interest me are, New Super Mario Bros U, Rabbids Land, Epic Mickey 2, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, Assassins Creed 3 and a game i’m really looking forward to , ZombiU. At least you can see that with the addition of games like Assassins creed 3, Black Ops 2 and ZombiU there is the potential to please a hardcore gaming crowd.
This is where Nintendo has a chance to appeal to both a casual and core base of gamers and differentiate themselves from the competition with that unique GamePad of theirs. For the casual gamer this gamepad is great, we have all been trained by now to use touchscreens it’s becoming such a part of daily life, and if you don’t believe me you should take a look at a 3 year old using an iPad. Amazing. Thanks to Apple there is already an established group of people who are just interested in easy, fun, intuitive touch based games. These types of experiences will be readily available in games both in full size format or bite sized likely on the Nintendo eshop. As for core gamers the GamePad offers a chance to play the types of games we have played with standard controllers but with brand new elements involved. Take ZombiU for example, the GamePad can act as an inventory screen, when you find a chest or body and take items you will be able to tap the items on your GamePad to place them into your backpack (inventory). The unquie element here is that while looking down at the GamePad, there are still zombies that can come up and attack you. Adding an extra element of suspense while getting your items in order. Another example is when your looking threw a scope, the zoomed in area will appear on the GamePad and you can use motion to aim. Picking a lock is another example of how that element of suspense can come into play. Essentially taking the Wii U’s greatest weakness (being distracted by the GamePad and not paying attention to the TV) and turning it into a strength of the game. For other core games there will be the Wii U Pro controller that looks identical to an XBOX controller, again Nintendo is using the things we already know how to use to an advantage and giving us the options to play the games how we want to.
Whether or not the Wii U will be a success is yet to be seen, but if the pre-orders selling out at Best Buy, GameStop and Toys R Us is any indication it shows people are at least very interested. I know I am. I will be buying one of these consoles as soon as possible. Sound off in the comments let me know what you think of the Wii U.