Thursday, 23 June 2011

Wii U be getting one?

We’ve had just over a fortnight now to slowly let the idea of Nintendo’s new console completely digest. Lots of developers are interested in it and the tablet-esque design of the controller has potential, but will it be enough to bring back the buzz that the Wii seems to have lost?

I really can’t make my mind up about the Wii U. Isn’t it just a massive DSi where you have to supply the top screen? I know it has raised graphical power over the Wii, but isn’t this mostly technology that we’ve seen from Nintendo before? It’s meant to be able to stream the game image from the TV directly to the controller, just in case your inconsiderate other half decides to clean your house while you sit there and play games, but there are some issues that I can’t get my head around at the moment.

With the main game’s image streamed to the controller, what does this mean for the touch screen control elements? One of the impressive things about the Zelda tech demo was the inventory screen being plastered over the controller. What happens when you want to change items if you’ve decided to put the main battle on the controller’s screen? I find it frustrating enough juggling windows on my PC; I don’t want to bring that sensation into console games.

Graphical power is another concern. There’s a lot of talk about it equalling and maybe even surpassing current gen consoles, but what happens two years after Nintendo have finally caught up to the rest of the world when Sony and Microsoft play their gargantuan hands? You can guarantee that they will produce something big and stupid, but capable of forcing sensations into our eyes that feels like a vigorous mint and tea tree oil scrub. Nintendo will get left behind again.

Where will this leave all of the promised third party support? We’ll fall into the same cycle of having a game that looks very similar on the Sony and Microsoft consoles with an inferior or possibly even non-existent Wii U edition. I still can’t get over what I saw the other day in Game. Even the box art for the Wii version of the Green Lantern movie game is of naff quality compared to the 360 and PS3 boxes. That’s honesty cranked up to 11.

The Wii U is still miles away and we’re yet to see any proper game footage so it’s meaningless to start passing judgements now. I’ll definitely keep an eye on it but I think the tipping point that everyone wants to know is the final price. If Nintendo can play this off as a cheap next gen console then they could be sitting on another gold mine.

Well, I say that, but Nintendo already know they are sitting on a gold mine. The Wii has built up a following similar to the mindless hordes that Apple likes to herd into its iBoat. The Wii U will sell by the trough load no matter how good or bad it is. I can’t quite imagine Nintendo pulling another Virtual Boy fiasco.

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