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E3 2011: Why the Wii U is definitely the perfect games console, and why it's also definitely an utter disaster

If you don't want any of the expanded features (and trust me, when this stuff gets properly explored across the full spectrum of games, film, TV, music, communication and apps, it's going to be off the chart), you'll still have the core gaming experience you want.

Technically, this thing looks like a beast. And let's face it, with Microsoft giving all of its first-party efforts over to Kinect games for toddlers as of its own E3 press conference this year, there's suddenly a massive vacuum waiting to be filled by a company with a hardcore console and strong first and third-party exclusive line-up. And I'm more than happy for Nintendo to be that company.

Its first-party stuff is better than anyone else's, it's got the third-parties back on-side now, and despite Nintendo's reputation for being crap in that field, it has always had the clout to score good exclusives. Eternal Darkness, anyone? And there was that other game for the Gamecube. President... Weevil... 4, was it?

All of which is true, but utterly pointless if this thing suddenly finds itself not being a hardcore machine any more.

What?

I'm saying that it could be the new Dreamcast.

Wha?

As in, it might well be a pimp-daddy polygon-processing motherf*cker from the future right now, but if it gets superceded by new Microsoft and Sony consoles in two years it'll suddenly stop being exciting as a pure gaming machine. And if that happens, then the "console for everyone" suddenly isn't. It will have half of its purpose ripped out overnight, and will only exist for that weird shit I don't want. The Wii U is launching in 2012. Could be January, could be December. You don't know yet. It could already be too late for it to have a long run as a current-gen machine.

This generation is going to last a looooong time. Devs can still barely afford to make games for it, and there's a near-unanimous outcry from third-parties proclaiming that they do not want another console generation any time soon. Nintendo saw that coming, saw that the casual market was done (as a single-minded pursuit, anyway), saw that current-gen hardware was getting cheaper to build, saw its competitors racing to catch up with what it was already walking away from, and has now jumped back to the hardcore space with plenty of time to clean up.

Did you see the Microsoft conference? Halo 4, starting a new goddamn Halo trilogy, at the end of 2012. These consoles aren't going anywhere for years.

We don't know that Halo 4 isn't going to be the first part of a trilogy that will continue on the next generation.

Come on, even if that does happen, is Microsoft really going to launch its next machine without Halo 5 ready at launch? It'll be roughly near the launch window, at least. It doesn't want a miserably game-barren launch like last time. And with a current-gen Halo 4 still 18 months off being finished, a Halo 5 on untested next-gen hardware is at least 4 - 5 years away. And if the Wii U has enough power to carry it past the next-gen launch window (and that Zelda demo implies it might have some serious grunt under the hood), then Nintendo has plenty of time.

Yeah, but you don't know for a fact that any of those eventualities are actually how it's all going to pan out.

Yeah, but you don't know for a fact that they're not.

Yeah, but you just don't know.

Yeah, but you don't either.

Yeah, but you don't either.

Yeah, but you don't either.

Yeah, but... Look, just stop trolling me!

You stop trolling me!

And so is the scene inside my head today. And there we must leave it, for I feel that this is about to get messy and at least one of me is going to get his account banned by my brain's admin. Have we learned anything? Maybe. But I'm now interested to know where you stand on the Wii U. Which of me do you agree with? As ever, leave your comments below. And if you see things getting flamey on any other site or board, just link to the above article. It'll save everyone a lot of time and blood pressure.

June 08, 2011

Topics

E3 Nintendo

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86 comments

  • Elementium - August 27, 2011 9:35 a.m.

    Graphics and tech specs are peaking. What new consoles need to compete for? 1.Infinite Memory :D 2.Multiplayer network quality. 3.Pricing. 4.Exclusives Titles. 5.Cheaper games :D 60$ is f...ing insane. Any higher and I'm out. HOWEVER not having to manufacture them provides a PERFECT way to cut game prices. In my opinion 100% Downloadable console games are the future. Which also ties in to infinite memory :D and way more comfort and security with our games. (Note: the articles on GR swear, we can't?)
  • VagueRaconteur - August 25, 2011 4 p.m.

    I've got to be honest and say I'm just not excited about it. The Zelda demo looked pretty, but (i'm so sorry) owning a pretty poor quality PC with a pentium 4 processor and a Radeon HD 5450 graphics card (only £40), I managed to have Mass Effect 2 looking more beautiful, with no lag. I'm just trying to say one thing: PC will always be two steps ahead, dying to sprint the next hundred, with far lower quality consoles holding them back. And if PC gaming was allowed to advance up, the hardware would - in theory, at least - become cheaper, as far more focus would be on the next big thing (1 generation earlier tech at lower prices). I'll shut up now. But you know it's (relatively) true.
  • Metagross - June 13, 2011 11:03 a.m.

    Wii U will be amazing I bet my nuggets it will have some form of AR card action like the 3ds and who cares if games like Darksiders 2 and Arkham city are already there ? for patient people they will be there for the launch window and will more than likely come with all DLC that was already on PS3/360 and then double it up with the new gimmicks it has . And before people mention that Gamecube advert , Ganon was changed for the best in case you have not noticed and there were games with better graphics than in that trailer.
  • evancusick - June 10, 2011 12:50 p.m.

    I think we have all missed something here. They did say it will run using optical discs? They said nothing about download integration. We all know that sooner rather than later all games will have to move to being downloaded just like it is on PC. There is a big opportunity here but if they are running on some sort of dvd's and presumabley will have no blu-ray player. It's already going to be old news [then again they still using cartridges and N64 style graphics on the 3DS and DS and it hasn't done them any harm.
  • DonCheadleVStheworld - June 9, 2011 10:30 p.m.

    The problem is that no one is questioning how effectively Nintendo will actually implement these, admittedly great-sounding ideas. We've just seen them release a new portable in the 3DS that, while it has a lot of potential, is completely half-baked. They JUST now have the e-store up and running! They still haven't proven that they understand how to fully integrate both on and offline functionality that is essential to modern games not designed for 5-year-olds. My impression is that Nintendo thinks it is making and selling "toys" instead of videogames that millions of people are passionate about. I'm extremely hopeful about this console, but Nintendo has to prove they remember how to work with third parties and implement a fully integrated online system before I will be spending money.
  • InFeRnOg - June 9, 2011 6:30 p.m.

    @jondaven: "i will probably stick with microsoft unless they too use some gimmickry like this. if they do then i will know that the gaming industry is going down the hole." Have you not heard of Kinect? I think the people that are excited for Wii U are the same people who thought Kinect was a revolution in gaming. Stop and think about it; this is pointless.
  • rxb - June 9, 2011 5:34 p.m.

    Great read, interesting points I agree with both sides. Cost and whether people want to risk getting burned twice will play a big part. BTW I always though Cundy was the mental one, I was wrong.
  • Darkwun - June 9, 2011 4:53 p.m.

    i was initially disappointed by the conference, just as i was expecting SO much... but i let the disappointment fade and actually think about what i'd do with the controller... that FBI evidence tool in condemned>>> hold it over the screen to highlighjt and interact with evidence. a Bombspy like device that can be controlled via an in game remote while keepin an eye on ur character. for people saying it'd be no good for games like COD arent thinking outside the box. who said you have to keep looking at the screen OR the tv... im sure game designers (and i hope) will be clever enough not to just have a radar. ghost recon wouldnt have a simple radar, it had a realtime isometric view of the action... you can see who is where, what theyre doing and be able to react in time to an attack you might have missed; no switchin back to the tv at a crucial point, just shoot them in third person... skilled players will have no problem making quick reactions on the second screen, as reported, the Wii u (awful... awful name) streams just as fast as its onscreen counterpart, meaning there is no lag in responses. and thats just one use, u could call up your predator drone without having to worry about being shot at while in cover.... the Wii U can stream a map of your area in the predators view and u can select with a quick button push where to send your shot while still seeing whos around to attack you. would be pretty awesome way to control hammer of dawn too (i know thats a 360 exclusive, its just an example) with infra red 360 degree top down view of your area, and simply drag your finger along the screen to emit the laser. also i hate it when people say things like "x box/ps3 owners wont buy this." dont assume to speak for all of us, i have an n64, a Ds, a wii, an x box360 and a ps2 sat around my tv, dont tell me what i would and wouldnt buy. im just happy to have another great console for me to (eventually) get. i was gonna get a ps3 at the end of the year for its exclusives (been amazing as of late) but whether i wait another few years for a ps3 (and catch up with the ps4 late next generation... which looks like a WAY off)greatly depends on the launch titles for this... for now i sit and wait, but just IMAGINING the possibilities of what they COULD (hey if even levine is letting his mind go free so can i!) do with the machine means that if i do own this, im more likely to buy the wii u version if the controller is implemented well or its just technically better (remains to be seen!) with so much rumour and conjecture it's funny how the anti nintendo's get SO worked up. i have my favourite consoles; 360 is my common most played, but i still have favourites on my wii i still like to play, and even back as far as my gamecube games i still play. its pointless to hate a company based on its weaknesses when you can enjoy them all because of their strengths...
  • TartanSpartan01 - June 9, 2011 3:40 p.m.

    I think the new console and controller are like popeyes chicken in adam sandlers little nicky "the shiznay".utter,utter genius,and if you cant see why,then look at every other console and joypad up until this day.you may not have noticed so called hardcore ps3 fanboys but the joypad you hold is based completely on nintendos ideas,the d-pad,analogs,shoulder buttons, accelerometer,rumble (ma bad),wireless, any ideas you think sony came up with theirselves they havn't,they're like dumbass sheep and they feed off idiots dumb enough to give them the money.and lets just see what their next controller is like,call it a hunch bunch but i would bet my ass it has a screen or two (sometimes sony like to try and go one better even though they have no idea how to implement the thing,take the touch panel on the back of vita).please try and prove me wrong i could do with a laugh.an im not a fanboy, but i am a hater of sony il admit that.
  • DIStroyinmasses - June 9, 2011 2:57 p.m.

    Better not drop that controller on your toes! Thoughts are hit and miss, lets see the games actually utilizing the technology first and lets hope nintendo get some good support from 3rd dev's and pub's, pretty sick of nintendo recycling the same brands and games. NEW IP's NINTENDO PLEASE!
  • dsvip - June 9, 2011 2:37 p.m.

    @PS3pwns, the controller is nothing like a PSP2, it is not worth £100 or more, because it ISNT a portable device. It cant run without streaming off the wiiU, so it must be in range. And the screen just has cheap single-touch, it has no memory, no power, no media, no wifi/3g (just bluetooth i think to connect to the wiiU console only), and in the end shouldnt cost anything near a PSP2/ipad2.
  • Siion - June 9, 2011 11:47 a.m.

    *Looks around* Psst, that guys speaking to himself 0_o. I'm interested to see where this goes but will be no loss to me if it fails. Only thing that bugs me is that the right thumb stick is above the buttons, i dunno how that would feel.
  • Ninja-Monkey-91 - June 9, 2011 11:01 a.m.

    Good article Smeagul :P Some good points raised but the one I thought most about was the dreamcast point. While true a lot of devs & consumers (myself included) would much rather this generation continued on for another 5 years or so, I think we will see the next xbox within 3 years. Sony will be the last out of the paddock again but that's not necessarily a bad thing and then the WiiU will be left trailing dust. Also on the xbox point: The previous Halo trilogy bridged consoles and it would make sense for the next trilogy too, remember it won't be on completely untested hardwar. Microsoft will already be a fair way into R&D & testing for the new console and its entirely possible that dev kits could be sent to developers within the next year. But I suppose this is all based on oppinion and rumour so we'll just have to wait and see.
  • quincytheodore - June 9, 2011 9:40 a.m.

    You're overthinking it. I'm more practical. Despite everything it said it could do, and I believe it's awesome, just simplify it. It should have continuous support from 3rd party, not just from opening titles. It can be tough, since I don't think all dev will create games that is compatible for Wii U. Don't resort to Cooking Mama after 3 months. Simple as that. Here's a friendly advice, resist your consumerism, don't but at day one. Wait a few weeks, see how it fares. There's a plus side to this; if your friends have buyer's remorse, laugh at them. Don't get hyped easily. Consider this as long time investment, as it should be.
  • wulibo - June 9, 2011 6:04 a.m.

    this reminds me that my mum wanted to wait for PS4 to come out... two years ago. SO glad I convinced her it wasn't going to come out in a month.
  • PS3pwns - June 9, 2011 5:46 a.m.

    Lookin' forward to this but I think that its going to have to be pretty steep in price. ESPECIALLY the complex controllers. I mean, that controller alone seems like it does similar things to the PSP and could be used as a portable device. If that controller was anything LESS than a hundred or hundred and a quarter it'd be a steal.
  • shawksta - June 9, 2011 5:05 a.m.

    @jondaven If you actually watched the conference the makers of the Battlefield series and even EA are saying that its possible to keep the hardcore in tact while just giving a new view. Fanboys these days just wanna say anything
  • shawksta - June 9, 2011 5:02 a.m.

    They keep emphasising the graphics, but we cant see anything just yet, that Zelda Tec Demo was AWESOME, but remember the GC's tec demo? The full thing ended up having graphics BETTER, imagine the Wii U's 0_0 With the Mass 3rd Parties Nintendo IS back, we just need to wait and see whats gonna happen, they said it themselves and a New smash bros is coming :D
  • Asmodean - June 9, 2011 4:20 a.m.

    @FoxdenRacing I didn't mean to say or intone that I abandoned Nintendo because I grew up or am 'hardcore', I'm far from either, I'd have to say I'm as much as a nostalgia whore as the games radar crew(same age range too) but play much less any most here. Nor I'm I bemoaning that Nintendo core titles are still colorful, old-school games, my leaving the Nintendo fold in my teens was because as a developer/publisher they no longer spoke to me, that doesn't mean I don't like to play 8/16 bit games. Nor did I say that that COD or Bioshock are pinnacles of 'hardcore', there is no such thing as hardcore, there are not hardcore games any more there there are hardcore gamers, there is only gamers and nongamers. And that is the problem (perhaps I should have been clearer) Nintendo is trying to cater to nongamers who don't give a toss about 'power', game play or graphics; not that those things only make a game, but those are the things they are trying to use to attract people like me back to them. I would have loved to play Zelda, Mario and Metroid on GC and Wii and even now I'm tempted by Skyward Sword, but the reality is the wii (and possibly the U) had and has nothing to offer beyond 1st party games I would love to play and nostalgia titles on VC. It not enough because Big N for all of its fun loving, warm hearted intent doesn't really have gamers in mind with this new console. I know that's a pretty bold statement, but here me out; when the press conference started and Miyamoto came to the stage he started to talk about the evolution of Zelda. How music was a core part of the experience, how players reacted to the ques and intent that sound and score convey to them. At that moment my heart melted and a bright beaming smile must have crossed my face; I felt for the first time in a long time, that as a gamer he and by extension his team understood me. Regardless of the content I knew at that moment that he knew what it was to be a gamer; and that really is the #1 thing I want in a developer/publisher, I began to think that Nintendo had finally turned the page, waking up to the fact that they are a game company. Now weather or not my feeling about Miyamoto was correct is irrelevant, what is relevant is that from the moment they unveiled that brick they call innovation my hopes and feelings died. Why you ask? because that thing is not made for gamers, oh sure it has pretty graphics and shoulder buttons, heck even 2 analog... things, but it also has a bunch a gimmicks, to bring in nongamers, that do nothing to forward the 'art' or evolution of gaming, in short they don't care about gamers anymore. Now I know what you might be saying; there just adding that stuff to get more people to play games, expanding the player base, convert the casual ect, ect... To that nonsense I say this; buying a system because it's a fad does not make you a gamer, anymore then watching a Hockey game (or insert sport of choice) because my city is in the finals does not make me a fan of the team or the sport. Gamers are more then just people who use controllers and love graphics, there is a culture that is common among us, weather loose or strong it does exist and as far as I am concerned dilettantes, sightseers and passersby, need not apply; however like it or not these are the people Nintendo really are after.
  • jondaven - June 9, 2011 3:25 a.m.

    this is a piece of uneeded gimmickry. no one needs an ipad that links with your console. sure, it looks powerful, but how long could you comfortably hold the controller? and if you have friends like most people do, you'll have to buy a controller for them. how much will a controller cost? i would never pay more than 60 dollars for a stock controller. the screen will never be properly integrated into a true hardcore game like battlefield or call of duty. as i see it, it is a good console with an expensive and unnecessary controller. for the next generation, i will probably stick with microsoft unless they too use some gimmickry like this. if they do then i will know that the gaming industry is going down the hole.

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