Nintendo’s big Wii U reveal was filled with tons of new console info, with the most prominent being the date and price of the system. However, some of the smaller details, such as its venture into entertainment, the consoles specs and launch games are what will really decide the fate of the system. Nintendo hit the mark on some of these, but failed on others.
A video game system needs to do more than play games – entertainment is just as important now a days. There was some contention as to whether Nintendo would acknowledge this for the Wii U. But, surprisingly some, they announced a new feature: Nintendo TVii.
Nintendo TVii will do the same functions the other consoles currently do, and even expands on a few areas; Netflix, Amazon Video and Hulu will be included as streaming services, and Tivo will be integrated as well.
While this is a big step forward, Nintendo is still missing the boat. The integration between the Wii U, the streaming services and the Gamepad is great. But, it’s not good enough for next generation, since it doesn’t improve on what already exists. If they would have gone one step further and made the Wii U into a DVR itself, instead of relying on people to own a Tivo, it would make the system a must buy.
And, since the Wii U will be launching before the PlayStation 4 and Xbox 720, it will have all that time to persuade buyers with those features.
One big mistake the Wii U is making is not having a substantial amount of hard drive space. 8gb and 32gb barely cut it several years ago when the PS3 and 360 launched, and they won’t cut it now. Hard drives are not expensive, and for a company that is trying to push digital downloads, why provide such a limited space?
Just one or two digitally downloaded retail games will already fill up the Wii U’s lacking hard drive. This is a major issue for the system that will only become worse as the years go by, and more games are available digitally.
Nintendo is allowing the ability to connect an external hard drive to the Wii U, as a way of working around this issue. I have a 1tb external drive, so I would be pretty set for this, but not everyone owns an external drive, and expecting people to dish out the cash to buy one is unrealistic. A big reason consumers buy consoles is because everything they need is included in the box. Needing to buy a separate hard drive takes away from that simplicity.
Games is the one shinning area of Nintendo’s reveal for the Wii U. It seems as though Nintendo has learned its lesson about releasing a system with an insipid lineup.
The Wii U will have a lineup that consists of many third party games, which have launched or will launch on the other consoles – which is a bit of a letdown. However, it will also gain some support of other titles and exclusive, namely Bayonetta 2, which will only be available for Wii U.
Bayonetta received praise from many critics and its sequel is a great addition to the Wii U. The original sold almost 2 million copies worldwide (according to VG Chartz), which is decent for a new IP. Considering that and how the first game was well received, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that a Bayonetta 2 exclusive to Wii U could persuade some to invest in the system.
In addition to the third party games, Nintendo is offering their usual, strong first party support. New Super Mario Bros. U will release with or shortly after the system, and will undoubtedly be a top seller.
My biggest concern is that after this launch window of November to March, the Wii U will follow in the footsteps of the PlayStation Vita. The Vita also released with an impressive lineup, but has since failed to release interesting games, and the system has suffered because of this. With the PS4 and 720 coming not too long after the Wii U, it would be disastrous to have it sprint out of the gate, only to have it limp along later.
What do you think about the Wii U reveal? Do you think the Wii U will be successful despite some of these missteps?