Some are excited for the Wii U; It offers a completely new controller interface that promises to change the way we play games, revamped HD graphics, and looks to appeal to a more mature crowd this time around. But Nintendo’s “innovation” may be stabbing the Japanese gaming giant in the back come the holiday season. Here’s why.
1. Wii owners have learned from their mistake
The original Wii has outsold both Sony’s PlayStation 3 and Microsoft’s Xbox 360 by a huge margin due its casual consumer appeal, motion controls, and competitive price compared to the other consoles. But today, most Wii’s are sitting on the bottom of the shelf collecting dust, while the other consoles are being used on a daily basis. The Wii’s motion controls were only exciting for a few months before owners started to realize game selection was weak, graphics are horrid for current gen consoles, and working online play was nearly non existant for most games (Note: There were a few great exceptions such as Super Smash Bros). Because of this, many Wii owners are likely to avoid the next Nintendo console.
2. The Controller looks far too expensive
The touch screen and wireless streaming capabilities of the Wii U controller are interesting to say the least; but how are consumers supposed to trust their children, Nintendo’s largest consumer base, to use it on a daily basis? Controllers for current game consoles cost between $30-$40; It’s hard to imagine the Wii U controller will cost anything less than $80 or more to be replaced. Not to mention, paying this premium just to be able to play offline multiplayer in games is just not a realistic expectation for the average household that lives paycheck to paycheck.
3. Nintendo has a serious identity crisis
The Wii was not the gaming console to own if you wanted to play the latest and greatest games available. Beyond Mario, Super Smash Bros, and the typical Nintendo hits there were not many other choices. Nintendo has stated that they want to appeal to a larger crowd, including adult gamers, but given how different the new console seems to be from what many expect from the next Sony and Microsoft consoles, its hard to expect developers to create a completely different game just for the Wii U. It would not be surprising to see Nintendo once again rely on their first party developers to provide its AAA titles.
4. This is 2012, it’s time to stop living in the past
The Wii U is expected by some to surpass the graphics of the PS3 and 360, but not by a very wide margin. It’s truly embarrassing that most new smartphones and portable tablets are able to output higher quality graphics than the Wii. If the other new consoles are released with graphics far better than the Wii U, we can expect a very similar outcome from the next generation of games.
Please note that I’m not saying the Wii U won’t sell well. Nintendo has its ways of appealing to a large crowd and pushing consoles. I just don’t believe the Wii U will be the console to buy once all of the next gen consoles are released. Developer support, hardware capabilities, and the affordability of the consoles accessories are just too uncertain to believe that the Wii U will be anything more than a shelf decoration once the next Xbox or PlayStation is released.