The day after getting home, I discover that my mother has a NDS she never plays. Score one for building back up the Nintendo collection. I buy a couple of Final Fantasy Tactics games for it. And then the 3DS comes out. Now, take into account that I am severely near sighted. And if I stare at screens or computers for too long, I get headaches. So I play the Nintendo 3DS on a demo model at my local Game store. I automatically hate it. Too big. Why does this Circle Pad need to be here? What’s wrong with the D-Pad? And the 3D effect made my eyes hurt. I was turned off immensely by the console. I wasn’t impressed. And I felt a little hurt. In the past, I had always been able to pick up a Nintendo console and automatically fall in love with it. This was different.
It’s taken me a long time to warm up to it, but I finally did buy myself a Nintendo 3DS. It took them releasing Super Mario Land 3D though to buy it. I feel like the console is finally starting to mature, and for me this is a good thing because as I just said- it took me a LONG time to like it, never mind enjoy it. Now, I love my 3DS. I wanted originally one of the ocean blue models, but I’m stuck with one called ‘Cosmic Black.’ Pfft. There’s nothing ‘Cosmic’ about it at all. But with the new 3DS titles coming out for it, I’m finally jazzed about my purchase and I can’t wait for the new games to come out.
As I said earlier, I’ve never actually owned a Nintendo tv console though. I was given a Wii the other day (it was my brothers and I bought the Wii Fit board for it.) It’s the first Nintendo console outside of my Game Boy collection I’ve ever owned. And now I’m thinking back to all the other missed opportunities I had to buy a console and my parents vetoing my choice. Obviously the NES is the first one they never got. And another that comes to mind is the Nintendo GameCube. I wanted one SO BAD. But, I never got one. I had to be happy with playing on my friend’s console instead. (I’ve decided that I want a GameCube now. Especially since I learned I can use the controllers on my Wii. It’s better late than never, right?)
So when the Wii U came onto the scene last year at E3 2011, it was like the Nintendo 3DS for me all over again. I was not a happy bunny. Two screens? Who needs two screens? (I don’t think I’m gonna be able to look at two screens at the same time). But Mario! Oh dear god. That Mario game could make me buy one even if the console came in a putrid green colour. I WANT THAT GAME…..(rocks back and forth). Seriously. It looks amazing. And the fact that I saw the ghosts in there from the first Luigi’s Mansion made me giggle like a teenager.
But here’s some very real facts about the Wii U:
- It seems to run on hardware that is compareable with an Xbox 360 or PS3.
- It’s not being released with much of a choice of games.
- There’s no flashy colours for the machine itself, just white or black.
- Nintendo claim that it runs HD, but all the demos at E3 were all shown in 720p.
- Most games only run around 30hz.
- The non-Nintendo games seem to be a little lackluster, but better than the Wii.
- There’s not much in the way of casual games.
- Nintendo Land sounds more like a theme park than a replacement for Wii Sports.
- It will be comparably priced, but is it going to appeal to everyone?
- The controller is rather large.
- The two screens could become problematic.
So it all boils down to this. If you’re after a console that’s a little better graphics than the Wii and runs as good as your Xbox 360, it’s a pretty good purchase. But if you’re expecting something amazingly ground-breaking or game-changing…I think you may be sorely disappointed. The lack of launch games for the Wii U will be it’s biggest hamstring and this for me is a very big negative. Do Nintendo really believe that they can launch a console purely off Pikmin and Mario? I mean, they look like amazing games but isn’t that really a bit of ‘counting your chickens before they’re hatched’? The Wii was a complete game-changer. Nintendo very much struck gold with that console, and you cannot go into a house and not see one of their consoles. I mean, almost every single one of my friends has one. My brother has one. I have one. Even my flippin GRANDMA has one (she likes to play Wii Tennis). You cannot deny that Nintendo got seriously lucky.
But the Wii U? Hmm. I really do believe that Nintendo is either going to need a major marketing scheme up their sleeves or hope that the magic Nintendo fairy can sprinkle some of the success sprinkles on this console again. What they needed to do was wait and see what Sony/Nintendo came up with. But as we all know, the Nintendo Wii sales are drying up and they can’t keep stringing the old console along for much longer before it needs to be put out to pasture like a lame horse. They can’t be left behind and they can’t seen being the company with the odd ball console. Even consoles that were not well-received like the GameCube managed to turn a profit for Nintendo with amazing games like Luigi’s Mansion and Super Mario Sunshine.
It’s gotta be about the games. And with the lack of games so far, they’re really pinning their hopes on the console. Which in my eyes is not a very good idea at all.