Nintendo Wii U. Really it’s called “Wii U” *UPDATED

Today Nintendo officially announced their new system called the Wii U. What’s the value? Great question. Essentially the graphics appear at this point to be comparable to the 360/PS3 but the controller is funky. I mean really funky. And that, my friends, appears to be your value from Nintendo. You can play the same games on your PS3/360 with comfortable controllers. Or you can buy a whole new system that supports Mario and Zelda but you have to use this thing.

It’s basically a small tablet with some nubs and buttons on the sides. It looks very strange but reports are that it’s comfortable.

To say I’m surprised is an understatement. Granted, the big N had to do something different to standout amongst its current and unknown future competition. But, this is more than a gamble. Once again Nintendo is asking 3rd party developers to learn something new (previously motion controls) and make it work for only Nintendo. That means more development costs with likely little reward. See Dead Space on the Wii for reference. What could they have done differently? I would have liked to see a HD console with HD Nintendo games and the same 3rd party support that Sony and Microsoft have. Even just a decent network akin to Xbox Live would help. Price it the same, and they make a great argument for all of us buy one – as they do have the best 1st party titles out there.

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It may be too early to judge but at first glance I am unimpressed.

*UPDATE: As it turns out, the tablet-controller is for all users to share. There will be a 1:1 ratio of tablet to console. It appears for local multiplayer you will either share the tablet or use Wii-Remotes.

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8 Comments

  1. I disagree, I like that they’re doing something different. If the don’t know one else would. Without the Wii, we wouldn’t have the Move or Kinect. Without DS, the Vita wouldn’t have a touch screen. The controller sounds weird but so did the Wiimote. Hopefully Nintendo will do something really cool with their 1st party titles and I can play 3rd party games on whatever other system I have.

  2. Im actually more excited for the Wii U (despite the name) than I am for the PSVita. The Vita is just another handheld with some more gimmicks, the U seems like it might be something really neat, but i will reserve further judgment until i can put my hands on each of them.

  3. @Cameron
    Nintendo’s stock went down 5% yesterday and another 5% today. These investors know more than we do about earning money. Nintendo has scared them with the Wii U. I don’t at all disagree that from an innovation standpoint this is very cool but my remarks are focused on profitability.

    @Josh
    Dude, the Vita is capable to do the same thing as the Wii U controller. See Ruin for reference.

  4. I agree that Nintendo has always been a few steps left, with Sony and Microsoft on the other side, but innovation doesn’t excuse the fact that at least from 3rd party support and hardware, they have been behind for the time. Nintendo has stolen a few with their creative design and overwhelmingly loyal fanbase, however this time I think it is too little too late. The HD should have been released for the Wii and they need to focus more on their Western audience if they look to capitalize on their HD heavy, first person shooter reliant ideals, here in the states.

  5. Yeah I guess if I was an investor I would be concerned about the WiiU, I just appreciate them taking risks when no one else will.

  6. You can only use one controller per console? That’s too bad. I was thinking about Smash Bros and how everyone looking on their own screen in addition to having the entire match on the big screen would eliminate the camera problems.

  7. @Cam
    I think it sounds better actually. It’ll be cheaper to own and less programming/implementation concerns for devs.

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