Forums - Nintendo Discussion - What if Nintendo made a "Super Wii" instead of the Wii U?

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It's popular to bash Nintendo's console-related decisions nowadays. And really, it's with good reason. The Wii went out with a whimper and the Wii U, after a decent start, has been crawling along for about 8 or 9 months now.

What I'd like to talk about today is a possible different direction Nintendo could have taken: the Super Wii.

Or the Wii 2.

Or the Wiiwii.

Or the Uss.

Whatever.

 

Imagine this: Nintendo releases an HD system in late 2012 with specs similar to the Wii U's. However, instead of coming bundled with the new GamePad, it comes bundled with a Wiimote Plus and Nunchuck.

What advantages would this give Nintendo? Well, for one, it would make the system cheaper. The GamePad is estimated to cost about about $100, compared to the roughly $50 of the Wiimote/Nunchuck combo. Therefore, the Super Wii could have launched at a price of $250/$300 with similar specs, with maybe even a $350 model with a decent amount of internal memory.

The Wii U is backwards compatible with Wii controllers, and so would the Super Wii. People who owned a Wii and tucked it away in a closet back in 2010 would be able to play all the latest games with their old controllers. People interested in local multiplayer would likely consider a $250 Super Wii a reasonable purchase in comparison to a similarly priced PS3 or 360 if they already own a Wii library and controllers.

What effects would not having the GamePad have on Nintendo games? Not much really. New Super Mario Bros U can already be played with just the Wiimote. NintendoLand requires the GamePad for only some of its minigames, and it was made specifically for the controller! Pikmin 3 is already played without the GamePad by a lot of people, Super Mario 3D World and Donkey Kong Country Returns are also Wiimote-only playable games, and games like Wii Party U and Wii Fit U could easily have been made differently. Unlike the Wiimote in 2006 and 2007, the GamePad is not necessarily required for the Nintendo games of 2013.

What effects would not having the GamePad have on 3rd party games? Not much, except the Super Wii would have to make due without some Ubisoft and Warner Bros ports that aren't selling well anyway. It's not as if 3rd parties are supporting the Wii U even with its traditional controls.

Keeping the WiiMote and Nunchuck as a standard control scheme offers its own possibilities. Neno uld easily take advantage of the Super Wii's larger discs and make HD versions of Wii games. Imagine Super Mario Galaxy Complete Edition in even 720p, just so the 3D Mario team gets some practice with the system before making 3D World. Or imagine an HD version of Twilight Princess or Skyward Sword instead of Wind Waker, maybe with both games bundled on one disc? Or maybe you could sell the console with Wii Sports and Wii Sports Resort or whatever built into the system, taking advantage of MotionPlus controls, HD, and Miiverse?

 

What do you think? Would Nintendo have been better off sticking with the WiiMote instead of the GamePad?

 

I personally don't think so. I love my Wii U. But I was wondering.



Love and tolerate.

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Even Nintendo U would have been better.



I like the Gamepad, but it's hard to argue the general public's response to it has been colder than ice water. No one cares about it, and worse it's apparently adding like $100 to the cost of the console (according to Iwata himself).

It's not a bad idea per se, but making it part of the console as a standard IMO probably was. They could've just bundled it separately with Nintendo Land, like the Balance Board and Wii Fit and still let some people get some enjoyment out of it that way.

If they were going to make a console around this concept, then IMO it shouldn't have been part of the "Wii" brand at all. Make a new brand for it, keep the Wii as a budget motion gaming brand.



Soundwave said:

I like the Gamepad, but it's hard to argue the general public's response to it has been colder than ice water. No one cares about it, and worse it's apparently adding like $100 to the cost of the console (according to Iwata himself).

It's not a bad idea per se, but making it part of the console as a standard IMO probably was. They could've just bundled it separately with Nintendo Land, like the Balance Board and Wii Fit and still let some people get some enjoyment out of it that way.

If they were going to make a console around this concept, then IMO it shouldn't have been part of the "Wii" brand at all. Make a new brand for it, keep the Wii as a budget motion gaming brand.


Hmm... maybe the GamePad could have been the MotionPlus/Rumble of this generation: required for a few games, supported by many others.

What would you have named the Wii U?



Love and tolerate.

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Definitely ditch the tablet, it's killing the console. It's driving the price up and driving consumers away because it's a huge beast to hold and (even though it isn't) it looks heavy as fuck. I think the thing is too big and I have giant man-hands. Most of my female friends do a double take when they see the size of one in the wild and try and imagine holding it (yes I know how that sounds lol ).

Wiimote + nunchuck was great, loved that controller. The feeling of swooshing my hand across in Mario galaxy every time I was going to be blasted out of one of those star cannons was amazing. The tablet-pad things implementation in Mario3dWorld looks more like a scratch and sniff card without the sniff.



If they were going to keep the Wii name, they should have also keep the motion controls front and center - but I disagree with keeping the WM+/Nunchuk exactly as they are. A WiiHD (would probably sell better than WiiU) would not enjoy a lot of success either at this point.

The gamepad IS a big turn-off to a lot of people. It does add too much too the cost (especially since it's a hindrance on sales). But Nintendo failed to really support their blue-ocean strategy and come out with any meaningful Wii-type games since WSR. Actually, if Nintendo launched WiiHD in holidays 2010/11 with WSR & LoZ:SS with WM+ (launching with it) it would have continued the Wii domination nicely and have gotten all the 3rd party HD ports with added motion controls. That would have been smart. But Wii had little meaningful support since 2011 and by holidays 2012 an HD Wii wouldn't have had a lot of appeal anymore.

By delaying the launch a year (Nintendo has always had 5 year cycles, I don't know why they waited six for WiiU - it's not like there's HD games to show for the wait....) Nintendo really created a need for something 'new' instead of a mere WiiHD. It could have been a new brand with gamepad (and better support) or a WiiHD with modified and enhanced wiimote/nunchuk (and some killer Wii___ game - something new not Sports 3). But by keeping 'Wii' but returning to dual analog controls (which 'casuals' have never embraced) Nintendo basically made a system for no one at all.



 

Nintendo could always redesign the GamePad. Make it slimmer, thinner, lighter, sleeker, etc.

But I really don't see how that would suddenly make the Wii U desirable in the eyes of the general consumer as nothing short of a breakthrough title like Wii Fit will do that.

I guess my main beef with it is that it uses relatively cheap components (low res display, small LCD panel relative to the size of the controller, low res camera, etc.) in the interest of cost control. For all the early comparisons to a tablet by Nintendo pundits, it still looks more like a toy.

As for the name, I still have no idea what "U" stands for. Granted, the Wii remains about the worst name for a console ever, sales be damned, but I was perplexed when Nintendo came up with Wii U as the follow up name. The Wii was about we? And the Wii U is about we and you?

If they wanted to glom onto the Wii branding, I probably would have gone with the less creative Super Wii as an homage to the Super NES.



I thought a Super Wii would be as powerful as PS4 and Xbox One.



Until games come along that truly exploit the Gamepad in ways that excite consumers, it's hard to argue with your opinion. I'm not yet certain that interesting offers aren't on there way, however.