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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Wii U

   
Author Topic: Wii U
Jeff C.
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So if you haven't been following the news on the new Nintendo system, here's some of the information:

-It will utilize a new controller, but also support the Wii motion controllers, so you won't have to buy new ones.

-The new controller is basically a light and easy to hold LCD screen with buttons and joysticks.

-This will be the first Nintendo console to utilize HD graphics, which have been stated to surpass those of the existing systems.

-Nintendo stated that it has partnered with several third party developers in order to bring games like Batman: Arkham City, Assassin's Creed, and many others to its players.

-Several games have already been announced, such as Pikmin 3, Super Smash Bros., Paper Mario, and various party games (nothing specific, though). These games haven't been shown, just mentioned.


You can read a first-impression of the new system here:

http://wii.ign.com/articles/121/1216452p1.html

Watch the tech demo for Zelda (this is only a representation, not an actual game) here:

http://www.ign.com/videos/2012/01/12/ces-wii-u-zelda-tech-demo

And an overall demo of the various capabilities of the system, including party-style games and a tech demo of a real life city exploration (like Google Street):

http://www.ign.com/videos/2012/01/12/ces-watch-the-wii-u-in-action


Nothing else has been announced (like pricing or a specific release date), but Nintendo is saying that it will definitely be released this year. E3 is in June, so that's probably when we'll see some major software announcements. As for now, if you want to see the first images of what the system looks like, follow the links above.

Personally, I'm fairly excited about the system, but still reserved given the fact that I hated the launch lineup of the Wii (and also I can't stand motion controls). If the Wii U finds a way to cater to both the motion control crowd as well as the people like me who enjoy classic gaming experiences, I can see myself enjoying it. What about you guys?

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Samprimary
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wii u wii u wii u wii u chosen onnnnneeeeee
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Samprimary
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Era of "nintendo made it, it will sell eleven billion and be a huge success" is over, and Nintendo is going though this extremely bizarre process of hard-shifting back to niche by doing what they conceptualize as salable innovation. Wii U is a giant pile of questionmarks in a gamer culture that has largely moved on to the robust consoles.

So I guess what I think about Wii U is "Don't be an early adopter."

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BlackBlade
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It may outpace existing systems in specs, but how will it stack up to the new Xbox and PS4 when they come out in 1-2 years? That's one concern for me. The other is that while I admire Nintendo's vision for creating new ways to game, third party developers basically abandoned the Wii because they didn't know what to do with it.

I mean when I see them demo Wii hide and seek, I think "How cool would it be to have a game where a sort of overlord player is directing four commando players through co-op missions. But I had similar thoughts with sword games when the Wii came out. The Wii certainly got people who normally wouldn't play video games to try them out. But it also sat collecting dust for about 2-3 years until the new Zelda game came out.

If it's going to introduce new ways to game, it's got to have the specs to compete with Xbox and PS3 so people actually buy some of the more standard fare Call of Duty, Assassin's Creed, etc on the Wii, while somehow also being affordable. I guess it can't do all those things, so it just has to decide what market it really wants to reach. Either way, it's ridiculous that all of Wii's seminal titles were developed by Nintendo. Nintendo can't be a console and its own best game developer can it?

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SteveRogers
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Most reports I've read have stated that an entirely new system from Sony or Microsoft are unlikely to come out for three or four years. By that time, Nintendo will likely have additional external accessories to supplement the system (as they did with the Wii and the addition of WiiMotion Plus).
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AchillesHeel
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I don't see the point in trying to bridge the gap between handheld gaming and console gaming, which is exactly what they are trying to do. Gamers complain that Mass Effect is only on Xbox and the PS3 could do a little bit better on the graphics, and then they still push a cartridge into their latest evolution of Gameboy and play the latest Pokemon game that still uses top-down 2D and the original battle system. Gamers don't need it, it just doesn't make sense to me.

Nothing on the Wii U will outdo God of War, Final Fantasy XVIW, Mass Effect, Fallout, Elder Scrolls and last but certainly not least... Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. I've played the Wii, and as a long time gamer and tech-head I can say that Mariokart is addictive and fun, its stupid to suggest that a global company should accept their place as the game console for children too young for Halo and people over forty who aren't gamers. And yet that is what Nintendo did to themselves on purpose. For a while they sold like hot cakes but now that just about everyone who can operate it has one they are feeling the disparity between the Wii and the those bigger more strong and mature consoles down the street.

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Aros
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quote:
Originally posted by AchillesHeel:


Nothing on the Wii U will outdo God of War, Final Fantasy XVIW, Mass Effect, Fallout, Elder Scrolls and last but certainly not least... Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.

This is exactly why the Wii U will be so successful. Imagine how successful the original Wii would have been if it had met the technological baseline of the generation. It had the killer apps, yes, the best controller (IMO). But it DIDN'T have the multi-platform games.

This time around, the Wii should be advanced enough that multi-platforms will release to Wii as well (see your list above). Plus it will have the Nintendo titles. Plus it will have multiple awesome controller options.

Need I say more? Yes, actually. Did you know that it is using the IBM processor that is in Watson, the Jeopardy winning AI computer?

Oh, and most critics think that the new Zelda (released end of last year) IS superior to Ocarina. Nintendo totally still has their edge. I smell gaming dominance in the next gen.

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Aros
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quote:
Originally posted by Aros:
quote:
Originally posted by AchillesHeel:


Nothing on the Wii U will outdo God of War, Final Fantasy XVIW, Mass Effect, Fallout, Elder Scrolls and last but certainly not least... Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.

This is exactly why the Wii U will be so successful. Imagine how successful the original Wii would have been if it had met the technological baseline of the generation. It had the killer apps, yes, the best controller (IMO). But it DIDN'T have the multi-platform games.

This time around, the Wii should be advanced enough that multi-platforms will release to Wii as well (see your list above). Plus it will have the Nintendo titles. Plus it will have multiple awesome controller options. Plus it will be first to market.

Need I say more? Yes, actually. Did you know that it is using the IBM processor that is in Watson, the Jeopardy winning AI computer?

Oh, and most critics think that the new Zelda (released end of last year) IS superior to Ocarina. Nintendo totally still has their edge. I smell gaming dominance in the next gen.


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MattP
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quote:
Did you know that it is using the IBM processor that is in Watson, the Jeopardy winning AI computer?
That doesn't really mean much. Watson has 3000 of those processors and 16 Terabytes of ram. It's like saying I get paid with the same kind of money as Warren Buffet, one of the richest men in the world.
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BlackBlade
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Aros: Remember though, many gamers looking for mature games migrated to Microsoft and Sony, and their loyalties to some degrees have come with them. WiiU is getting a head start, but it's going to have to be a *huge* headstart. Any major franchises that come out this year have to have a Nintendo port that offers something the Xbox/PS3 equivalent does not. Or at least there has to be something about the console that excites those gamers and gets them to buy a Wii-U even though they already have an Xbox or PS3 or both.
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just_me
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I think people may be underestimating the value of a "family game console".

As gamers get older and start having kids, I think consoles like the Wii that have games that can be played with (or even just in front of) younger kids may see some benefits from this. I have a PS3 and a Wii... and while I may turn on the PS3 to play a DVD or some music while the kids are there, I have no games for it that I can play with them or in front of them. On the other hand, there are a few games (Wii sports for example) that I can actually play WITH my boys (3.5 and 5.5) and even more games that I can play in front of them while they cheer me on, tell me what to do (humor in and of itself... and oddly they sometimes see something I completely missed) and commiserate with me when I lose (the Mario galaxy games, for example).

I'd love to be able to go to 1 console in the future that does both things - maybe Wii U is that console, maybe it isn't. But it's starting to look like they just may pull it off...

On a slightly different note... I used to say I'd always own whatever consoles I needed to be sure I could play Final Fantasy and Zelda, my 2 favorite franchises from childhood on. After the last couple Final Fantasy games (especially the last one..) I'm not so sure anymore about needing it on the list. I got the new Zelda game from my Wife for Christmas, though, and it has definitely reaffirmed that I need to be able to play Zelda... because it's a very very good game.

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Aros:
This is exactly why the Wii U will be so successful. ...

Oh, and most critics think that the new Zelda (released end of last year) IS superior to Ocarina. Nintendo totally still has their edge. I smell gaming dominance in the next gen.

You are way not skeptical enough for the ~next gen~ ... "gaming dominance?"
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SteveRogers
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Why do we have to be skeptical about the next gen?
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C3PO the Dragon Slayer
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I have mixed feelings about the Wii U. I see mouth-watering potential in the system: with a controller that is essentially a tablet, but with all the mainstays of a conventional game controller, including dual analog, shoulder, and face buttons, the sky's the limit for developers. The dual-screen nature also brings a lot of potential for compelling gameplay. Sure, you can have a map or an item equip screen on the tablet (let's call it the U-Pad) while the main game screen is on the TV, and that will certainly work. Sure, you can have asymmetric multiplayer with dungeon-masters using the U-Pad while other players use Wii Remotes, and that could very well be really fun. My roommate and I have randomly juggled potential ideas that would work great on the console for the past couple months. Imagine a game like Burnout, which revels in gratuitous slow-motion replays of car carnage, showing nonstop slow-motion replays on one screen while the other screen has uninterrupted gameplay. Or have an FPS-Tower Defense mashup like Orcs Must Die where the player can set traps and strategize on the tablet screen while running around shooting enemies on the TV screen. And then there's the quiet, but deep promise on the idea that you can just pick up the U-Pad and play without even turning the TV on, which means you could use it to quickly check if friends are online or access something in the system (photos? Videos? One-screen games?) without any hassle.

Ultimately, however, I'm at a loss for how Nintendo is really going to market this. Yeah, it has HD graphics, a first for Nintendo, but the "core" gamer market that appeals to already has a PS3 or X-Box. You could say it's like a tablet, but that's really misleading, because the controller is dependent on the console for processing power. Unlike the iPad or the Galaxy tab, you need to keep a certain box activated and close enough to the controller for it to work. (I would be interested in learning how far the range actually is; can you have the console in the basement while you play on the controller two floors above?) And finally, it's not easy to market as a casual console because the obvious appeal of motion controls is not as apparent when the main focus is a tablet controller.

With developers, however, it's a very different story. You can see why Nintendo was able to parade a bunch of third parties who pledged their full support for the console last E3. Where the Wii U really wins is in its range. It works as well for a casual Brain Age session as it does a hardcore shooter or a deep adventure. You can have one-screen games played in high-definition on the tablet, conventional games every bit as detailed rendered on the TV screen, iPad-esque snack-sized games downloaded from an online store, or you can explore the unique possibilities that the two-screen model offers. This kind of versatility is very appealing to developers.

However, I'm skeptical now about whether third parties will jump on board as wholeheartedly as proclaimed last E3. I think a large amount of their enthusiasm spawned from the idea that Nintendo, which had a much larger audience than either Microsoft and Sony, was finally coming out with a console whose specs matched the baseline that they were working at for their cross-platform titles. The Wii didn't lose third parties because of motion controls or a "casual" demographic; it lost third parties because they wanted to make games with high production values that made the most of the 360 and PS3 hardware, and there was no way to port that kind of software to the underpowered Wii. Ideally, third-party developers want to maximize their audience, and Nintendo, having had more console sales than PS3 or X-Box 360, was a corner of the market that eluded them because of the need to justify their titles on the higher-powered consoles with higher production values. When Nintendo proclaimed that it was getting with the program and coming out with an HD console, no wonder third parties rejoiced. They'd be able to reach the wide Nintendo audience without having to build up a cheaper, watered-down version of their product in parallel with the more glorious HD version. But this assumes that Nintendo's wide audience will line up to get the Wii U in droves.

Nintendo had a very solid string of success until last year (2011), where the lack of first party support for Wii and, head-scratchingly, 3DS, resulted in unprecedented losses for the company. Thus, the widely-believed myth that Nintendo could do no wrong was shaken. The winning streak of Wii and DS was not the rule with no exception, and learning this probably caused some developers to be wary of pledging their support to Wii U until more questions are answered. And to be honest, there are a LOT of questions that remain unanswered. Can you use more than one U-Pad on the same console for symmetric multiplayer? How comprehensive is the online solution? Will Nintendo be as draconian in its digital distribution model as it was with Shop Channel, and, to a lesser extent, the 3DS eShop? Will you be able to migrate all your downloaded games (Virtual Console/WiiWare) on your Wii to the Wii U and throw out the Wii? Will the inevitable Netflix app use the second screen to its advantage, with more user-friendly navigation? Will Nintendo commit to non-gaming apps, or will they only pretend to do so and give us halfheartedly-implemented software as seen with most of the Wii's non-gaming Channels? The demo reel at E3 promised drawing apps, YouTube surfing, news browsing, and a bunch of other things that could make the Wii U into what I call a "lifestyle machine" (a gadget that you learn to take for granted and use regularly to the point that you become dependent on it), but Nintendo's track record shows that they like to focus on the games, which may or may not be a good thing, sales-wise, this time around.

As for the competition, I'll prognosticate that Microsoft is going to try to integrate their gaming division with Windows 8, since this OS overhaul seems like it's trying to be the be-all end-all solution to reconcile the PC and tablet markets under one OS, and bringing X-Box and Kinect functionality in just sweetens the deal. Sony, meanwhile, has recently stated that they are not going to show off a new console for a long time, citing a "10-year strategy" for PS3. I'm no analyst, but I think these developers are sensing a change in the wind now that casual snack gaming, social gaming, and PC distribution platforms like Steam have shaken up the market, and they aren't ready to commit to a console race like generations past. They'll stay in the gaming business for sure, but God only knows what hardware they have the guts to come out with. At any rate, the Wii U will be competing with the 360 and PS3, rather than their successors, for quite some time, so I'm not putting stock in the "it'll be outclassed by the inevitable X-Box 720 anyway" argument.

So yeah, in summary, the Wii U has a ton of potential, and I'm really looking forward to seeing what it can do, but it has a two-pronged marketing problem. Developers like the features and specs, but they won't get onboard until they know there will be a marketable audience for the console, and at the same time, the potential audience is so disparate (including Wii Fit/Brain Age casuals, Nintendo fanboys, "hardcore" console gamers, young children, and potentially even snack gamers who only play on their smartphones and tablets) that Nintendo will have a hard time making a coherent message that will convince all these groups that the Wii U is for them. If Nintendo's new console starts out weak, the way they did for the 3DS, it might perpetuate a cycle that defeats it, where people don't buy the console, so developers don't make games for it, so people don't buy the console. Ultimately, this will have to be solved with a critical mass of compelling software, appealing to the wide audience Nintendo is targeting. Hopefully the lull in Wii production last year is the buildup to a whelming flood of must-have launch titles for Wii U, which will give it the foothold it needs.

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Jeff C.
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C3PO, you have a lot of interesting points. I agree that Nintendo doesn't have a set audience like the other consoles, but at the same time, a lot of people bought the Wii. I'm sure those people will probably also get behind this one. You also have the people like me who will get it because they just enjoy traditional Nintendo exclusives like Zelda, Mario, Metroid, Paper Mario, Pikmin, Star Fox, Super Smash Bros, Kirby, and whatever else they make. Those titles are more or less promised to fans when they buy the system, even if they have to wait a few years for some of them.

Anyway, what games are you guys looking forward to the most (if at all, of course)? Personally, I really enjoyed the Wii's Paper Mario, so I think that's my top choice, along with the list I gave in the last paragraph, of course.

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C3PO the Dragon Slayer
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Was a Paper Mario for Wii U actually announced? I thought that was a 3DS game (which is more awesome because the 3D effect can make it look like a popup book)...

Anyway, franchise-wise, I'm always hankering for a good Zelda. HD graphics with the smooth motion controls from Skyward Sword? Count me in. I'm also hoping for Star Fox to make a comeback with an original installment that doesn't bog itself down with on-foot missions. There's a lot you can do with the U-Pad in a 3D space combat simulator, and I'm not talking about that stupid gyro-control gimmick in Star Fox 64 3D. I find myself most looking forward to Pikmin 3, however.

High concept-wise, I would love to see these ideas implemented:

1. Use the Wii U pad as a Metroid Prime-esque visor that displays tactical information, but using gyro controls to let you look around while the gameplay on the TV screen is unaltered.
2. A game that revels in destruction, like Burnout, could use the second screen to show slow-mo instant replays of your latest combo while the gameplay is uninterrupted. Ideally, the main game would be on the U-Pad and the slow-mo replays would be on the screen for everyone else in the room to see. This makes a dual-experience that tailors to both a gamer and a spectator.
3. A tower-defense/FPS mashup game like Orcs Must Die! where the player has a birds-eye view of the arena on the U-Pad for setting traps and getting tactical information while the TV screen constantly follows the player character's point of view.
4. Imagine a Rogue Squadron-esque flight combat game where you can get a target lock on an enemy fighter, and then the tablet's feed will have the camera positioned so it will always keep the target in view along with your craft (the way locking in the 3D Zelda games works, but in space). It's harder to steer around obstacles using this view, but it's much better for dogfighting, and so the player can use the top screen, showing the conventional camera-behind-the-craft view, for navigating general obstacles, while darting his eyes to the tablet when he's more worried about his target than any obstacles.
5. A game where the player character is assisted by AI characters (or, for that matter, players using Wii remotes interacting with the TV screen) who respond to commands given via touch controls on the U-Pad.

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umberhulk
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It's a 3DS game.

Retro is rumored to be making a Zelda game, which is awesome. The new melee is announced, and there have also been small teases about Baten Kaitos 3 and those are really solid games.

GAMING MASTER RACE CONFIRMED.

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by SteveRogers:
Why do we have to be skeptical about the next gen?

The strength and clarity of vision that pervades and empowers the core of nintendo's success has waned, digital subscription and marketplace has changed the nature of the pc gen permanently, and gamers are by and large growing sour on gimmicky-motion-sensory and have gravitated in larger numbers to the 'dedicated gamer' options now that the window of sony and microsoft's console sorrows are over.

This does not mean that nintendo is not capable of pulling the rabbit out of the hat again. They could very well do so. But to make bold proclamations right now that nintendo WILL be successful and we can already know the specific reasons why is certainty borne of a lack of appropriate skepticism over the ambiguity of gaming's next generation wars. There is no more war for nintendo's Gaming Dominance. It simply needs to keep its share.

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Jeff C.
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Paper Mario has been on all the consoles that have come out since the series began, so it's only natural to assume it will be on this one as well. I'm fairly surprised that they are making one for the 3DS, but not sad! It's just another reason to buy a 3DS. [Smile]
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