This morning was rather interesting for me. The Nintendo Press Conference was happening and that meant that WiiU details would come about. As Nintendo likes to do, they enjoy keeping their fan base in the dark until they see fit, which is a good strategy as it build anticipation and watchful eyes. All eyes were on Nintendo this morning because at 10:00 a.m. EST, our questions were finally going to be answered.
I got up extra early this morning (well, early is like 9:30), made a pot a coffee, and sat in front of my computer with child-like glee. Nintendo has yet to “wow” me in recent years. I have said, and will say it again, the GameCube was their last great system. The Wii did some innovative things, but Sony and Microsoft have run that system over in more ways than just games. The WiiU looks to be innovative, but for how long?
Reggie Fils-Aime of Nintendo America got on stage and the presentation started. I watched for an hour in complete boredom as uninteresting game after uninteresting game was announced. I felt the same thing at the E3 conference, but I thought maybe things would change here. But, nothing changed. They started things off with some specs, which was the best move because it answered bigger questions on everyone’s minds.
Here is some basic facts that we know of right now:
- The WiiU Basic will cost $299.99-Gamepad, AC adapter, HDMI Cable (high speed!), sensor bar, and 8GB
- The Deluxe will cost $349.99-Same as basic plus 32 GB, Gamepad charging cable, Gamepad cradle, NintendoLand, and enrollment to Nintendo Direct
- The system will launch on November 18th
- 50 games are stated for their Launch Window (November 18th to March-something)
From a console launch perspective, games aside, this deal is rather enticing. But, there is that whole games thing that they don’t seem to have worked out yet.
The only thing that got me excited and made me think there was hope for the console was the announcement of NintendoTVii. Stupid name aside, the application is going to rework how we browse for entertainment in our homes. For those of you who don’t know, NintendoTVii is an app that combines all your streaming services and lets you know how you can view each one. So, if you want to watch Parks and Recreations, you “touch” the show, and then available ways to watch pop up. It’s a consolidation of all your subscriptions, which makes things A LOT easier. I am sure companies are now trying to think of how to implement it into their tech as we speak.
Where are the games, though? 50 titles have been announced for the launch window, but none of them are VERY interesting. ZombiiU and Pikmin 3 look pretty good, but there are games that we have already played (i.e. Arkham City, Mass Effect 3, Darksiders 2) that they are trying to make a selling point. It’s as if they think their entire demographic only buys Nintendo consoles. Consoles are about GAMING and then you have all the great features tacked on. The NintendoLand demo was boring and did nothing to speak to the power of the system. The Black Ops 2 demo felt more like “Hey! We finally did Call of Duty right” and not like “Hey! We’re gonna blow the competition out of the water.” Also, their big highlight was a Lego game? Geez.
I mean, watch this video, and tell me your excitement is not super-low:
I feel as if Nintendo has lost the ability to impress. I remember being pumped for the next system, to see where Link or Samus were going to next. Now? Now I am just curious to see how Nintendo expects to compete. I like Nintendo, but they seem to be dropping the ball more these days and I feel as if they are going the same route as Sega. I said it at E3 and I’ll say it here, that I am more excited for games on current systems than I am about the WiiU. The Last of Us, Beyond: Two Souls, Watchdogs, and Halo 4 look to give me more entertainment as a gamer than say any game for the WiiU. It’s a shame really and maybe it has to do with what devs want to do or maybe it is because of how weird Nintendo is with devs.
All the key information has been released, and now there is nothing to look forward to. The WiiU looks to be disappointing and I can assume that once Sony and Microsoft release their consoles, the WiiU will never be heard of again. Fanboys are quick to point out Mario, Zelda, and Metroid for reasons to buy the system, but that is an awesome game about once a year. Steam, Sony, and MS release exciting games every week, why should we invest in Nintendo now?
The WiiIU still has potential, but I have more doubt than hope. Will it top sales again? The handheld market is not as strong, and the Wii(s) did well because of its placement in every building of America. But you talk to most gamers, what are they playing? I want Nintendo to succeed, but too many signs point to failure at this point.
I know many of you are busy writing angry comments, and I encourage you to articulate why the WiiU will succeed, and discuss it in an objective viewpoint. Once again, I have nothing against Nintendo, and I enjoy making fun of all companies, so don’t take anything to heart. Discuss!