With wii u coming out I decided I would share 5 reasons why I believe wii u will surprise a lot of you. A statement was made by Reggie last year saying "power was the reason we couldn't get these games". So that has led a lot of people to conclude that once the next xbox and ps4 come out third party support will crumble and it will be in exactly the same situation as wii. But even if nintendo lose some third party support will they lose everybody? To me, not a chance. Not only do I believe third party support will remain strong throughout the lifespan, I bet it turns out to be the ps2 of next generation. This is why.
1. First to market
Iwata says the head start doesn't matter. We all know he is lying. The head start has often thrown whoever is behind it straight to the finish line. It has happened countless times before. In fact not only has the system with the head start received the most third party support, the weakest system has often proven to be the best selling one. If you don't count the dreamcast. Being first to market will at least garuntee they control japan with an iron fist. And that will force all the big japanese publishers to bow before nintendo as they see a field of green before them. Monster hunter, dragon quest and the eventual pokemon will send nintendo to the throne long before the others get here. And lets face it, sony are the only ones who have any kind of chance of catching them there. So at the very least, at least we nintendo fans have good old capcom, namco, square enix and konami to give us our core third party cravings.
2. "I'm skeptical" you said that 7 years ago
Yes Mr. Zelnick. I am talking to you. And anybody else who praised ps3 7 years ago. The media, companies and gamers alike were on the ps3 hype train. Everybody was absolutely convinced sony had this in the bag. Sony themselves were so confident in their new beast they made the most infamous pr quotes in the industry. Many coming off as arrogant. Kaz stood on stage at e3 2006 and said "the next generation starts when WE say so!" What about people getting two jobs? In fact they could have launched it with no games at the high price point they originally asked and people would still buy it because it is playstation. Shoot for the moon sony. It won't matter if nobody buys it. So lets go back in time and ask Strauss how he thought oblivion would sell on 360. Know what he would have said? "I'm skeptical." Xbox was nowhere near the big brand it is today and microsoft had to write a lot of cheques to get that support. Former bigwigs at mgs have admitted 360 would not be here today if sony didn't make the mistakes they did. The difference between nintendo and microsoft is nintendo have proven to be able to release a console successfully. Persuading developers won't be as much of a challenge for them as it was for microsoft.
3. Launch lineup
Wii u is launching with a wide variety of games. Both core and casual. Even better it has a strong lineup until the end of march. Something a lot of other systems can't claim. By launching with games like mass effect, ninja gaiden (except for here) :( batman, assassin's creed and darksiders they are sending a clear message. They are sorry for neglecting their core fanbase and it won't happen this time. The variety of genres is strong. These games are some of the most critically acclaimed IPs of the generation. Some great games for us nintendo fans to enjoy that we missed out on. And it will get better when the new year comes. Sure they are getting castlevania, bioshock and tomb raider but ps3 and 360 are established consoles and nobody ever said they can't come to us later. Not only can we expect day and date releases next year we can also expect late ports from games released this year and games coming early next year.
Part of the problem with wii was it wasn't accepted by core gamers. It had a tonne of shovelware. Many poorly made games with absolutely horrible controls. Far cry vengeance anyone? The image wii gave off was more like it was a toy. It wasn't something that the majority would play their games on. Touch screen however has been proven to have great acceptance among core gamers. Ds, 3ds and vita prove this. Touch screen can make many shooters possible without taking away from the 'core' feel of the game. It can be the same as ps3 or 360. If developers really can't think of ways to make their games stand out with the gamepad they always put a map on there. Another problem was nintendo's online service. Connection speed will obviously not be as good as xbl or psn. Those are very advanced. But nintendo's push to sort out their online with the removal of friend codes is a sign they are trying to make it as close to those services as possible. They can always add to their service with time.
5. What do we really know about the others?
A lot of word of mouth is going around. Word on the street is many developers ign spoke to are more excited about the xbox and playstation. Where does this sound familiar? Expanding on the point I made at 2, they can be as excited as they want to. It won't matter if nobody buys it. Put all these big plans in place. Throw all the support under the sun. But did any of the developers behind this consider microsoft or sony could make mistakes? Developers and publishers are known for backing the 'cool kid' on the street. Then what happens if they are proven wrong? Look at vita as an example. Psp wasn't seeing as many localizations as we would have liked towards the end. And trust me, there were a lot. Now following that and the poor start ps3 had, it would appear the confidence in sony in this industry is fading. Vita has the worst third party support of any playstation system at this time. Is it any wonder 3ds is kicking the stuffing out of it? It would seem sony isn't as immune to losing third party support as some would believe. Last year it was all but confirmed that metal gear rising would be joining vita for the party. This year it seems they've suddenly run in to some 'power' issues with the hardware. Sounds exactly like resident evil 5 on wii. So who is on board with these? How much support do they intend to give? There are people saying because power is the problem wii u will instantly lose all forms of third party support once the others get here but that assumption is highly flawed. What it sounds like the doubters are saying is, in a nutshell, every single game will stop development on ps3 and 360 by 2014 and move to the others instead. There are still plenty of games still in development for ps3 and 360 and any one of those could get on wii u as well. Not only that but, like with any system, the next xbox and ps4 will not see the true 'must haves' on launch day. It never happens. The first party launch titles are usually rushed with features cut to make it day 1. Perfect dark zero was nothing compared to gears of war. These systems will see the same types of ports that wii u is seeing now. Nothing really standing out. Wii u however will have had time to build an install base and a much better looking game library.
And that is why I think it won't play out like last time. When it all comes to pass I think nintendo's position in the japanese market will be enough to see we get more to play then we got on wii anyway. The only problem is we will be waiting for the eventual localizations. That could take some time. We can't be sure who is on board or how long they will stick around. But more will stick around then those who did with wii. Its possible that microsoft and sony following nintendo's motion sensing lead has helped contribute to companies like bioware and gearbox backing the system. Bioware said the same thing I did about 3ds.
One more thing to complete my year = senran kagura localization =D