Wii U

Well, I'm getting one, who's in?
Been following this for awhile. It's been getting panned left, right and centre by critics, in fact by pretty much everyone except the people who are working on it. That works two ways though, right? Either they're saying it's great because they want to push their software or they're genuinely surprised it's performing well.
I like to think the latter, but that might be because I don't want to feel like i've burned what precious money I have. Actually, I'm not paying directly, I've traded in my Ps3 games and blu-rays. Yikes!!!!
Nonetheless I'm really excited. I've heard some great things from within the industry, by people I know who are working on software for it, and it does sound quite promising. I'm also really impressed with the approach and ethic Nintendo are taking with the platform, it's very humble. Having Shiggsy personally travel around the world to meet with game developers in person is an excellent move. To lay everything on the line and remove this image that Nintendo hold back developing secrets so only they can make full use of the machines potential - which is a load of baloney propaganda BS. As was the indie kafuffle.
I for one love the direction they're taking home console gaming, branching out a bit to the more hardcore crowd, but maintaing the heart of what it's all about. What I find interesting is the marketing strategy, I love that stuff. Back in the 70s and 80's it was children/teenagers playing games, not the parents, but now that generation has passed and parents are gamers - and to me this fits with what Nintendo is cleverly doing. They're trying to bring those two generations together - not just in the cartoony way known by previous Wii titles, but by creating (get ready for the buzz word of the next generation) asymmetrical gaming, and really pushing it with bags of innovation.
Nintendo hasn't always been at the forefront of gaming, despite their success, and the last generation has seen them being ridiculed somewhat from every corner. But by golly one thing is for sure, the gaming world would be a little less sparkly without them, I honestly think it would.
It'll only be a matter of time when the powerhouses PS4 and 720 come along, they'll somehow redefine new controls utilising something similar to Nintendo - no not Smartglass.
I really feel this is different though, something beyond the tech, beyond the plastic and flashy advertising, there is heart here, and camaraderie among the big developers right through to the indie crowd, rooting for this machine to be a success. I genuinely think these kind of people (and us consumers) would be sad to see it crash, much in the same way Sega's Dreamcast did - possibly the most unfair death of a console. The Dreamcast was certainly a console way ahead of its time.
So, I hold fast and excitedly wait for my preorder to come good, so I get my ZombiU on the go. Something I haven't felt for a long time - ohhhhh, not since my Super Nintendo with Mario World, and there lays something promising. To rekindle that buzz.
Not only that, but Nintendo may have been working on Zelda since 2010 with the biggest development team they've ever had. Orchestral tracks have been scored for early tests, yep, you remember that CD that came with Skyward Sword, well they were working on a few other bits for Wii U Zelda too. Sounds like they're going all out with their strong IP's - Starfox and F-Zero are also rumoured. Part of me finds it hard to imagine what they're going to be like, because it's been so long since I've played a game by Nintendo that wasn't held back by hardware limitations. The graphics from their previous console was basically pushing PS2 quality out, great from a business perspective when their hardware sold well. They don't have that excuse anymore, well, lets hope not.
The strategy is sound, although i question some of the adverts that make it look like a controller for the Wii, have they been hitting up the mushrooms? :s.
They're going out strong, and I hope they pull through because there's some fantastic goodies to be had creatively, more so than some of the competitors titles - but it's a waiting game. Still some major announcements to be released regarding online play, they've been trying to keep that under wraps for as long as possible and now the pressure is damaging.
On the note of pressure, I'll leave this garbled post with one of the most touching documentaries I've seen, mostly because as a creative person I can relate - and I know most of you here will as well.


  • MichaelJames
    MichaelJames Posts: 2,031 Enthusiast
    First, people are always ready to count out the original gaming company, but they forget a couple key things. Throughout the leaps of technology Nintendo has remained a contender. Super Nintendo... Game Boy.. Those were the most powerful systems on the market. I owned both. My brothers had a Sega Genesis and Game Gear. Brighter... faster and more power. Then what did Sega do? Keep pumping out costly systems and lost emphasis on game play. Sonic games use to be fun, not its rare to find a good sonic game. Coming to present day gaming.... When did Sony start actually shipping sizeable quantities of PS3s? When did the Xbox actually take off? How well was Nintendo doing since the release of the wii? Sony was selling a beast of a console at 600 dollars a pop with very few extras. The xbox 360 did have any real games or anything really driving it till 2 and a half years into the system. I own all 3, I also have the move(which I used very little), the Kinect(good for a hand full of games) and the wii motion plus. Everyone wants to count Nintendo down. They've done it every console generation. SNES vs Genesis? N64 vs PS1 and Dreamcast, Gamecube vs PS2 and Xbox, Wii vs PS3 and Xbox 360. Nintendo didn't have the killer specs of the competition. Thought the N64 was better then the PS1, and the Gamecube kept pace with the PS2 easily. The Wii sold gang busters since day one and eventually hit market saturation and at a certain point you can't sell nearly as many wiis because most of the people who would buy them had one. Market saturation took a lot longer to hit with the wii because it spread to a whole new audience.
    Want to know where the competition is? Look at Sony's stock performance for the last 10 years. PS3 was released in 11/06 and their stocks. In 08 look at the sudden drop. Why? Sony banked so much money into getting BluRay as the new high def format that they blew through large amounts of cash. Its was a gamble that beat HD DVD but where is Sony right now? They want to pump out a PS4? Why? I feel as if the PS3 is barely coming alive now. It was an overly powerful system at its release that was difficult to program for. Component costs have dropped and they can finally make a profit on the hardware... why release a new system? Also, a new system would be 2-3 years away. How much is their system going to cost? Nintendo found the Wii's price point to be 300-350. So better tech will be in the PS4... is the PS4 going to cost 600 dollars and not provide too much more then the PS3? Right now they are not in a strong position and they can't afford to have 5 more bad years or they run the risk of no longer staying solvent.
    The next Xbox... hopefully does not keep up with the same naming process. Actually hopefully Sony stops recycling names. Microsoft has just figured out how to make money on their Xbox services like 3 years ago. Their content and services has out performed everyone else. The next xbox is rumored to have an even faster connection for the Kinect 2, but what was this xbox really missing? Is the games going to be noticeably better and drive people to the system?
    Hopefully the games won't be in 2k or 4k resolution because that would push development costs even higher. If the games are still mostly in 720p or 1080i (because most games aren't made in 1080p) then besides higher specs will anything really change? Nintendo knows what they are doing. They are a gaming company and that's their SOLE business. Sony is a large corporation that can make a fantastic software like vegas pro 12 but can also make terrible tablets, mobile gaming systems, phones and even TVs now. Where does most of Microsofts money comes from? gaming? they wish. Actually they are getting a lot of money from Android but that's a different story.
    Ashley I do agree that Nintendo needs a different name for the system. Even some of the commercials sound like its just a game pad for their wii.
  • SimonKJones
    SimonKJones Posts: 4,370 Enthusiast
    I have to admit that I've not followed the WiiU at all. I do have a Wii, which I purchased specifically for Wii Fit, but beyond that none of its content has interested me - probably a personal preference thing, as no Nintendo game or console has ever caught my attention.
    Wii Fit aside, I've owned two consoles over the years - a PS2 and a PS3. In both cases they've ended up becoming either a DVD player or a blu-ray player, rather than a games console. And they're very good at being media players. But on the games front, the games simply aren't very interesting on the console platform. I can count the number of PS3-specific games that have held any interest on one hand.
    As I'm out of the loop, what is it about the WiiU that has people excited?
  • TheRealJayWalker
    TheRealJayWalker Posts: 219 Enthusiast
    Interesting comments made here. I agree with Simon in that I'm the same regarding my 360 which has pretty much become an entertainment unit than a games machine. Partly due to the amount of apps you can now get for the device (Lovefilm, YouTube and now IE). I did have a Wii for a while and that was for Wii-Fit and Mario Kart. Got rid of it though when the Kinnect came out as the fitness 'games' were more intense (actually too intense for my liking.!)
    I've also not paid any attention to the WiiU to be honest.
  • Aculag
    Aculag Posts: 708 Just Starting Out
    edited November 2012
    I was never interested in anything on the Wii, and so far I haven't seen anything about the WiiU that has excited me in the slightest. They haven't announced any really standout games, and the controller looks bulky and gimmicky. In general, the idea of buying new consoles next year or in '14 sounds like a huge waste of money unless there are some truly amazing console-specific games. Otherwise, I'm going to keep playing games on my wicked sweet gaming PC which can be upgraded for considerably cheaper than the cost of a new console, and hope that my PS3 doesn't die before I get to play The Last of Us. ;)
  • SimonKJones
    SimonKJones Posts: 4,370 Enthusiast
    Yeah, consoles in general seem like a rather pointless exercise these days. The breadth of gaming on PC is better now than it has ever been - funny to think that 4-5 years ago people were talking about the death of PC gaming. The sheer range, from quirky arty stuff to mega blockbusters and everything in-between is staggering and constantly exciting - there's a new game I'd like to play (but don't have the time...) pretty much every week, which is in stark contrast to the 5-or-so games on PS3 for the whole time I've owned it (and that's even discounting multi-platform games, which I'll always buy on PC).
    The biggest threat to PC gaming currently, of course, is Microsoft, but that's a whole other thing.
    It feels like everything is in flux currently, with the rise of tablets. The idea of a specific dedicated console seems a little quaint. I think I'd be cautious about investing in a console now - would rather wait a few years to see how the hardware/entertainment market settles down in general.
  • MichaelJames
    MichaelJames Posts: 2,031 Enthusiast
    The hype behind the Wii U is Nintendo entering the HD ear. So some of the first party games which were great games but just held back graphically will be unleashed. They did a tech demo of Zelda for the Wii U and the game looked stunning. The house that Mario built is also featuring a new controller. The Wii U Pad provides the controls and functionality of a traditional controller with something else. The tablet in the middle provides new functionality and provides some great gameplay.
    I tried Wii Fit and was not a big fan because of the lack of accuracy. I like the EA sports Active 2 for the Xbox 360 because it worked with Kinect. If give me free range exercises and I really improved my fitness.
  • Some good points in there. Consoles pointless? Not on your nelly. Not for people like myself and i'll explain why.
    I don't have the convenience or luxury to own a gaming pc. They're about £800 - £1500, right? Also, I only have the living room as 'my' space to do such activities. Can you imagine me convincing my wife to have a gaming tower sat next to the tv? It's not going to happen. We live in a small 2 bedroom house and the spare room, which was my computer room, is now a nursery.
    This is one reason why I like consoles and think they do have their purpose in the market. They sit neatly away, they're relatively cheap to buy outright and it's just plug and play. I don't need to know what graphics card I'm running or what ram I have. I can just play the games knowing they've been optimised for the hardware. I'm not talking just about Wii U here. PC's are great and they show games in the best possible way graphically and perhaps even gameplay, but to fork out the fee, and then perhaps another £300 - £500 in upgrades over 7 years isn't something I can afford or justify. This doesn't mean I wouldn't like these things, it's just my circumstances prevent it.
    Tablet/Smartphone gaming is quick and on the fly. Only the Monkey Island series and Galaxy on Fire 2 have held my attention for long periods of time, but other than that many games feel empty and flat. I can't help but feel these bigger games are leaning toward pay to play far too often now. Most of EA's games are guilty of this and it really grates me. But hey, consumers can't complain as it's their actions driving this change forward - and it will happen throughout gaming as a whole, I just don't want it to happen as quick as it is. It's like how everyone complained about Tesco - but then nipped in for some bread on the way home. 5 years later the same people are complaining about local shops closing down. Go figure.
    I don't see the pad as gimmicky like some have mentioned. It's an evolution for playing games in such an environment like mine - and I'm guessing most the japanese population too, where people don't have their own space. The option to play games on the fly within the home is good for me and appealing, not all games will support this but I like the idea of carrying on my game while my other half can watch whatever rubbish on TV (not Dexter!).
    Although I haven't held the controller myself, many have praised it's ergonomics. I can't comment if it's too bulky or feels weird because at the end of the day thats down to personal preference, but yes, it looks a little large to the eye.
    There are some great launch titles I want to play. ZombiU, Nintendoland, Mario, Rayman Legends and Trine 2. I'm aware the last is out for other platforms. :)
    Of course the Wii U allows transfer of previous games too from the Wii - so my back catalogue of NES, SNES games will be carried over and being a somewhat sentimental, I like playing these retro games. It does a bunch of other stuff like integrates your TV devices into one place, which is a god send. And the online setup looks to be very good after the predecessors dismal friend code system - it was like I was trapped in an episode of Rainbow.
    It's still early days to say if the machine is going to be to everyones tastes, and the replies here dictate there is already a divide - clearly it would be odd in the gaming community to agree on something. I'm willing to take the punt though, and I've sacrificed 'The Last of Us' for this change. Could be my loss, but I want to give this machine a chance because it offers something different in terms of gameplay. Port wise, not really, but games like Madden, Fifa and beyond will evolve for the better through the new control system, and that can only benefit gamers.
    Randy Pitchford has also been giving some interesting interviews with regards to the immersive gameplay opportunities the pad now offers - but I'll try before I buy those comments. I remain optimistic.
    The Zelda tech demo has nothing to do with the new game in development, in fact it looks nothing like it. It's much more impressive than that, muuuuuch more. :)
  • SimonKJones
    SimonKJones Posts: 4,370 Enthusiast
    Trine 2 is ace. :)
    Absolutely get your specific device requirements, that all makes sense. I wouldn't buy a PC solely for gaming - I'm in the fortunate position of also needing a decent PC for productivity, so the cost is spread into it being a massively versatile device, not just a games device. I haven't looked into a gaming PC for years now, but I would expect costs to be about £600-900. I definitely wouldn't even think of spending over £800, let alone £1500.
    Really, though, PC gaming isn't about being the most high-tech and having the prettiest graphics (well, it is about that a bit!). It's more that the total lack of certification requirements or purchase barriers opens up the platform to a much more varied range of games. Indie devs don't have to jump through hoops on PC like they do on the other platforms.
    I think, though, that it's probably all going to coalesce at any rate - which is why I wouldn't be looking into buying the next set of consoles. It seems far more likely that tablets will evolve into easy HDMI plug-and-play for gaming. And as for the big PC tower - it's all getting much smaller. While not relevant to this particular discussion, you only have to look at the Raspberry Pi to see how much more powerful and affordable computing has become.
  • MichaelJames
    MichaelJames Posts: 2,031 Enthusiast
    Tablets, smartphones and portable gaming will take over for consoles. A lot of games the experience is best for a large tv with separate controller. That's why sony has failed so horribly to capture the handheld market. They make these amazingly powerful handhelds and then make games that are cool but would be best on a console. Every PSP game is something you could say man this is cool... is this on my ps3 though? Nintendo has always made great handheld games which were simple yet deep and engaging. I just bought the new halo game. As a competitive fps gamer... I wouldn't want to play on a tiny 4 inch screen. Also, I just built a new computer and I do enjoy some starcraft 2 on here. The problem with PC gaming is that its singular in nature when not playing online. If I was to play the New Super Mario Brothers on my wii, I could play with 3 friends locally. If I was playing starcraft 2 I have to be online and my friends have to be at their computers. Also, less lan parties happen these days(at least in my circles).
  • MichaelJames
    MichaelJames Posts: 2,031 Enthusiast
    edited June 2013
    IGN did an interview with Nintendo execs which was an interesting read.  The article can be found here.  They also posted a video from like 91 where the news was calling SNES DOA because the genesis was already out and Nintendo would be late to the punch.