By DarkbeatDK 1 Comments
So, the Wii U was just released in America.
It's not out in my end of the world until the 30th, but I am looking forward to it.
It seems that there has been a lot of confusion surrounding the system. Jeff mentioned that he stood in line with people who weren't quite sure why they were getting it and probably just were following the consumer pattern of feeling the need to get the next gadget.
The big question on everyones mind is "Which direction will Nintendo take the Wii U?". I think the knee-jerk reaction for most people might be "Well, it's the next Wii so it's obviously the family console for casual gamers", but if you really think about it, the casual gamers have moved on to Facebook and Smartphone games. Also, I still think that the name "Wii U" doesn't have quite the same consumer-penetration as something like "Super Wii" which totally is the name they should have used.
The way for Nintendo to really get success with the Wii U is, in my opinion, to bank on niche games and "gamers games". Forget about broadening the appeal, it's all about standing out. I think Nintendo is aware of this as well. Just take a look at the most prolific, exclusive, 3rd party launch game ZombiU (which incidentally could have had the excellent name "Super Zombie" if Nintendo had gone for the Super Wii name). Looking past the fact that Zombies and difficult games are super popular right now, it really is a title that tries to do something new, rather than being a shooter where you aim with the tablet, like the early stage demos would lead you to believe. This is also game which have sparked polarizing reviews and really have made it apparent who wants diverse gameplay experiences and who is satisfied with bombastic roller coaster rides. Forbes have written an excellent article that explains this at length and you really should give that a read.
Upcoming games like Pikmin 3, The Wonderful 101 and Bayonetta 2 also looks to be promising games that might not have the mass appeal of Call of Duty, but this is good, because who really needs a 3rd console to play the same multi-plat game on?
Of course, people buy Nintendo consoles to play Nintendo games like the Marios and the Zeldas, but in my opinion the Wii U really needs more than that to be relevant. I don't think people buy a platform because of the way you control it. After the Wii, Playstation Move and Kinect, it's become apparent that it's actually about the games. I hope Nintendo realizes this as well and I hope the Wii U will be home for some of the most interesting 3rd party titles yet and revive the middle tier of niche games that aren't quite AAA titles and aren't quite Indie.