Which console will win 2012?


1. The Wii U is the only new home console arriving this year

Argued by: Henry Gilbert, Associate Editor

Gossip comes and goes, but we feel pretty safe in saying that Microsoft and/or Sony probably won’t announce new systems this year, let alone release them in 2012. If you’re looking for the excitement of something new and novel in the incredibly stale world of home consoles, the Wii U is basically your only option. Good thing that situation isn’t as dire as it sounds, because despite a slight decline in excitement since its initial reveal, the Wii U has tons going for it.

First off, on top of the innovative mix of motion controls and a tablet controller, we keep hearing that what was shown last June is just the tip of the iceberg. Nintendo has gone on record multiple times saying the final, real version of the system will be revealed at E3 this year. Before then, rumors continue to swirl that it’ll have more features that together could make it far more unique than what its competitors currently have. And its actual graphics prowess seems to be a moving target too, with estimates ranging between “equal to a PS3” and “twice as powerful as a 360.”

No matter how good it looks, you can always count on Nintendo’s first-party franchises to support the system, and we really want to believe Nintendo when it says it’s learned its lesson from the huge disappointment that was the 3DS’s yawn of a launch lineup. No matter what Nintendo games you’ll have when it first comes out, it looks like many of the major third parties are preparing some of their biggest franchises for the launch too, like Arkham City and Assassin’s Creed. Will they be more substantial than gimmicky updates? If not, we can at least be happy knowing that Nintendo will finally have current-looking games (at least until its competitors launch new systems next year).

2. The 3DS has come into its own in a big way

There was so much negativity surrounding the once-troubled 3DS for much of last year, with several third parties delaying or cancelling releases and sales slowing to a crawl. But many barely remember that now, as the handheld eventually dominated sales charts worldwide and now looks to continue that success into 2012. Just how will the 3DS do that, especially with new competition in the form of the technologically superior PS Vita?

3DS has one of the strongest upcoming software release schedules around, with big third-party games from franchises as diverse as Metal Gear Solid, Kingdom Hearts and Tekken alongside the just-released Resident Evil Revelations. And that list of big third-party entries will only grow, as the 3DS was such a sales success last holiday season that more developers and publishers will jump on the bandwagon soon enough. Compare that to how little we all know about what’s planned for the Vita after this March.

Meanwhile, Nintendo has already announced an amazing line-up of first party games for the system, a number that can only grow as the year continues. How good is that line-up? That leads us to our third reason…

3. Nintendo's first-party games

We’re not sure exactly how Nintendo does it, but its first party games were benchmarks of quality game design 30 years ago and are still reason enough to keep players coming to its hardware. That’s still true in 2012, and even though the company is famous for premiering its biggest games at E3, there are a huge number of known titles in the pipeline. More importantly, compared to its competitors, Nintendo has far more anticipated exclusives that we know about.

On the 3DS there’s the unexpected Luigi’s Mansion 2, a new entry in the classic RPG franchise Paper Mario, and Kid Icarus: Uprising, the game Nintendo fanatics have waited decades for. Then there’s the always addicting Animal Crossing, Mario Tennis, and Fire Emblem, with Professor Layton and even a new 2D Mario planned for this year. And that’s just what Nintendo has revealed so far.

While Nintendo’s Wii U line-up is basically unknown, we’re optimistic that the hardware maker will have some really killer stuff to showcase for E3, because Nintendo needs to show huge games for launch and beyond to wash away the doubts from last year. And even the Wii, a dead system to basically every other company, is still getting quality first party releases like Rhythm Heaven and Xenoblade Chronicles early this year. From all angles, Nintendo has the best known 2012 line-up by far.

Next page: Why Sony will win


  • HankVenture - February 25, 2012 10:20 a.m.

    I think the Xbox will be making the money this year. The Wiiu is another new invention by Nintendo but as we saw with the 3DS, that doesn't have the impact like it had with the Wii and I just had a friend tell me they found out about the other day. the Ps3 had too much crap happen to it last year for people to actually go and get a Ps3. I think the PC will gain a larger audience this year though and would beat everything if it wasn't soo expensive to get one. Personally I would rather play everything on PC but ill stay with my Xbox
  • Y2Ken - February 17, 2012 6:26 a.m.

    Hmm... I'm hoping for all the consoles to have a strong year, but for me I think this year's going to be a PC one. I'm finally planning to build my first proper gaming PC in the next couple of months and that'll let me try out all the features PC is offering which I can't get on home consoles. Not that I'll stop playing the others for one minute though. =)
  • yomansan - February 16, 2012 2:15 a.m.

    You didn't include OnLive console... Sad...
  • Darkwun - February 15, 2012 7:58 a.m.

    not even gonna look through these comments to hear the inevitable Nntendo slagging! I love all the Companies (Hell, I even wanted an Atari Jaguar back n the day!) but it's Nintendo who gtthe most abuse, and I can almost guarantee that most of the derogitory comments about them here won't be addressing the valid points the article makes about them, butrather addressing their own issues with them and why they don't deserve to win!
  • fortheroflz - February 13, 2012 12:45 p.m.

    i hear some rummmors about the xbox 720 and ps4, and anyone help me conferm or deny that they are being made? btw. wii u, fucking rly?
  • Rowdie - February 13, 2012 10:49 a.m.

    Don't you have to define how you win before you declare a winner? Evidently not. Honestly how does a company win? Most hardware sold in number in $ in profit? Software? What core gamers will want the most? What the breath and width of gamers will want the most. Some kind of user satisfaction rating? Which fanbois will have the most ammunition to use in the comments section?
  • markshell - February 13, 2012 5 a.m.

    People still keep putting the 3DS and Vita on the same market but they are completely different systems. Vita will never sell as many units because it's targeted at a different audience, and a smaller one at that, so people shouldn't bother being so disappointed when that happens. It's a great system but too few actually care for it or what it can do.
  • LOZ4EVAH - February 12, 2012 9:36 p.m.

    Nintendo wins because it has exclusives (yes Mario, Zelda and Donkey Kong games are separate). It has momentum with 3DS, and third party support. Well written. I liked how they defended each console with reasonable facts.
  • ZhugeLiang - February 13, 2012 12:42 p.m.

    When would a fact ever be unreasonable?
  • Limbo - February 12, 2012 9 p.m.

    This article captured each system's personality perfectly: Nintendo: Innovation and Nintendo games! It's unlike anything else! Microsoft: HALO!!!!1! Sony: Look at all the features! And it's free! PC: Everything is better on the PC. The PC has been doing what consoles wish they could do for years. Kidding aside, I'm hoping that Nintendo pulls through, only because I love Nintendo to death.
  • haxxoromg - February 12, 2012 8:26 p.m.

    i doubt nintendo is going to win, even with the wiiu. I dont think many 3rd party devs are going to take full advantage of the new system because of the profit they could be simultaneously making off xbox, pc, and ps3 owners, and nintendo exclusives are at this point only appealing to a certain number of fans: your average fps, rts, or rpg fan would much rather go with a pc or microsoft/sony console which already have stacked repertoires in those genres. Even if nintendo wins this year and enjoys one or two more as the technological top dog, they are going to eventually fall into the same situation they are in now: as sony and microsoft come out with new tech, the wiiu will become another outdated system with a slapped on, clunky gimmick. That is, of course, unless the wiiu is so amazing that microsoft and sony adopt the tablet controller
  • Krazee - February 12, 2012 6:41 p.m.

    I really don't think the Wii U will be much to call home about. Trying to play games with that gigantic controller in your hand will probably suck and if Nintendo wants to make your controller a tablet with the screen on it then why don't they just eliminate the console altogether? The first party games Nintendo releases are fun but I'm getting sick of seeing the same franchises over and over again. They never come up with anything new and with Nintendo consoles' consistently inferior hardware nobody wants to play the big third party games on Nintendo consoles. Chances are you will never play a Bethesda or Valve game on a Nintendo console. Oh, and for the record,I'm generally a Xbox 360 and PC gamer.
  • T0ky0j0nnybr4v0 - February 12, 2012 4:23 p.m.

    Nintendo had a tough year because the earthquake and the strong yen did't help, and the 3ds launch was lousy. Wii U will rule for these reasons. HD Nintendo console with enough guts to produce the likes of the Zelda demo. an App store- potentially anything you can do on a DS (or maybe even a tablet) and this list of games. some are reality, some are dreams. Aliens- Colonial Marines AC 3 (or HD collection) Arkham City Darksiders 2 Dirt Bully 2 Child of Eden brain training f zero fifa/ nba/ nhl lego LOTR pikmin UMVC 3 metroid starfox zelda DK mario okami 2 pushmo silent hill/ MGS/ ZOE RE6 orange box/ half life 3 smash bros
  • roboteye - February 12, 2012 1:42 p.m.

    It's either Sony or PC. Why did Nintendo win??? The 3DS is doing well, but the Wii got nothing this year till the WiiU comes out. And we still have no clue when that thing is coming out.
  • kiing8kong6 - February 12, 2012 1:29 p.m.

    Nintendo to win? What a cop out!
  • metalgatesolid - February 12, 2012 10:50 a.m.

    I would say the PC has always been strong. But I'm not a PC gamer. Im a Playstation fanboy...So Sony
  • AstroSteve - February 12, 2012 1:25 a.m.

    Winner Nintendo? I LOL'd. Yeah they have the Wii, which is a poor attempt at what it's supposed to do - The Xbox 360 Kinect does a better job because it senses your entire body. But now they have this new wannabe PC controller and they win? No thanks, anything Nintendo can do a PC can do better. And I play on Xbox 360 but I'm having my doubts.
  • ncurry2 - February 12, 2012 10:49 a.m.

    A PC can play brand new Zelda, Mario, Metroid, and Donkey Kong games? I'm sorry but when it comes down to it, Nintendo is the undisputed best developer in the world. And you're only going to get those games on a Nintendo system.
  • Nikku7 - February 11, 2012 10:50 p.m.

    Dear Nintendo, release the entire earthbound/mother collection on 3ds, then announce Mother 4/Earthbound 3 as a launch title for Wii U (or whatever it will be called) and you will win. (I wish)
  • FlameChucks76 - February 11, 2012 9:28 p.m.

    GamesRadar has opened a can of worms at this point. The best we can do is just sit back and watch as the comments fly around comparing companies and their respective gaming machines. Personally, since I own everything, and will soon own a Wii U, I win this year :)

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