With November 18 (the launch date for the Wii U) fast approaching, more and more information about Nintendo’s new console is becoming available. And the more I find about the Wii U, the more I ask myself if Nintendo is either running out of ideas? Or do they just simply not care enough about the hardcore?
The Wii U is Nintendo’s way of jump-starting the next generation of consoles, but so far, it seems that Nintendo is simply playing catch up with the current offerings of HD consoles. There’s nothing being offered on the Wii U that is substantially better than your PS3 and Xbox360 to really warrant it to be classified as “Next Gen”, and yes I’ll explain.
The Wii U, a supposedly Next Generation console which is supposed to usher in a new era in gaming, is region locked! Meaning that you can forget about ordering up a game from Japan to play here in America or elsewhere in the world. If you’re visiting abroad and brought your console with you, don’t buy any games you might like while you’re there, unless of course, you’re planning to buy a second console to go with it as well. The ironic part about this whole region-locking ordeal is that it only affects the people who truly support the company the most, they’re normally the people who buys and play most of the games available on the system, the most hardcore and loyal fans of such companies, who without them the company would probably not be in business.
We’ve seen the list of games that will be launched with the Wii U on November 18, and to say that it is lackluster is being really polite about the whole thing. I’m not knocking the Wii U down for quantity here, as a big library is something that takes time to build. But what I’m not left truly impressed with is the quality of games that are on offer for Nintendo’s upcoming console, as we have current gen games that outshines them handily. The Wii U has yet to display a game that really differentiates it from the current gen of consoles. I mean, sure you have the GamePad’s second screen and it does add a bit of convenience as far as gameplay goes, but a bigger Nindento DS can’t surely be what Nintendo is counting on to bring the hardcore gamers back to its doorstep, is it? The hardcore gamer does enjoy convenience, but certainly doesn’t rate it above physics, graphics, and overall performance and gameplay. So far the Wii U doesn’t have a single game that excel in any of the categories listed above.
Very little is known about what the Wii U has in stock for gamers when it comes to the console’s online infrastructure, but I have a feeling that the hardcore gamer will find it a bit shaky and costly. Let’s take a look at a few things first. Nintendo finds it necessary that the Wii U make use of an optical disc that can hold up to 25GB of data, but found it convenient to sell both models of the Wii U with only 8GB and 32GB respectively. If games are expected to be this big in size, then how long will such small hard drives last the average gamer, let alone the hardcore ones? The math is not adding up.
Another major blow to the hardcore gamer is the new discovery by Kotaku that you will not be able to chat in-game with your friends while playing using just the GamePad. That’s right, although the GamePad does feature a built-in mic, it cannot be used for in-game chat, meaning that the hardcore gamer is going to have to spend more money from the get-go for both a bigger hard-drive and now a headset, convenient eh? But wait… things get even more “convenient”. As it turns out, even if you do decide not to use the Wii U’s GamePad when gaming online and use the Pro-Controller, you will still need to have the GamePad relatively close to you as the pro-controller doesn’t support a connection for headset/mic, and all but one of the third-party headsets is wireless, costing upwards of $80.00.
So for a Next Generation console, it seems that the Nintendo Wii U is plagued with shortcomings. The console’s biggest strength is the convenience that it brings to traditional gaming with it’s second screen sitting in the palm of your hand. Beyond that, the Nintendo Wii U has some major inconveniences that is sure to turn off the hardcore gamer who’s not going to want to jump through so many smoke screens just to be able to chat with their fellow gamers in an online game session.
Do you think that the Nintendo Wii U is really geared toward the Hardcore as Nintendo claims? Or do you feel that it is a missed opportunity?