GamePads at the ready?
Gamers seem divided on Nintendo's Wii U, which is due to hit store shelves in the US on November 18. Some seem skeptical of the gimmicky controller, and unconvinced that the hardware will have what it takes to compete with the true next-generation with the Xbox 720 and PS4 right around the corner. Others, though, have already plunked down their $350 for the Deluxe edition, and are ready to get the next-gen started as soon as they possibly can.
We've already discussed our thoughts on the price , but now we've decided to lay out all of the arguments for those still on the fence about Nintendo's unique console.
It is, because... Nintendo TVii might be the best media hub
We've sung the praises of Nintendo TVii before, but it's worth repeating exactly how promising Wii U's built-in entertainment features are. Besides being able to do what the PSN and Xbox Live are capable of with Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video, and Netflix, Nintendo TVii also adds in your DVR and cable, as well as some other features to turn it from a hub into a super awesome universal remote thingy.
Being able to use the Wii U's GamePad to favorite shows, vote in polls, and search all of your services is a stroke of genius, and though there are still some things that need to be worked out (DVR is TiVo-only, as of now), the prospect alone makes it worth checking out. Plus, it has to have a better layout than Xbox 360's Netflix app, right?
It isn't, because... A price drop can't be too far away, right?
Predictions placed the Wii U's price at $250, but in reality the system's two versions sit at $300 and $350, with neither having all that impressive of hard drive space (8GB and 32GB, respectively). Not only that, but the increased price of games to $60 and the prospective $150 cost for a replacement Wii U pad makes the system a little more costly than hoped, even after we subtract not needing to buy additional Wii remotes.
So, why not hold out for a price drop? Nintendo already showed that it's willing to drop prices if a system doesn't do well (as it did with the 3DS, knocking it down over 30% within 6 months of launch), so you might want to just sit around and wait until $50 is sliced off the top before you buy it.
It is, because... The launch titles are actually pretty strong
The Wii U is the first Nintendo system to launch with a new Mario game since the Nintendo 64, and from what we've seen it's going to be one hell of a game. Besides that, though, there's Nintendo Land,which could very well be the Wii Sports of the Wii U; ZombiU, which we absolutely loved when we played it last; and Rayman Universe, which... is another Rayman platformer, so you'll want to play it.
There's also a goodly amount of interesting ports, from Assassin's Creed III to Black Ops 2--which will actually make launch. Oh, and let's not forget the massive amount of games coming within months of the release, including Pikmin 3 and Wii Fit U. Seriously, that's a strong lineup of launch games.
It isn't, because... The launch line-up isn't THAT good
Like, sure, the launch lineup is good, but you don't know if it includes any games you absolutely need to get on day one. ZombiU very well could be this system's Red Steel, and the ports aren't all that interesting if you have an Xbox 360 or PS3. Who is seriously waiting for Mass Effect 3 on Wii U? Anyone? Raise your hands. What about Call of Duty? How many people are really going to play these multiplayer games on the Wii U instead of the Xbox or PS3, where by sheer practicality the bulk of the player base will be?
It's also worth noting that Nintendo Land and New Super Mario Bros. U might be busts. NSMB have never been the strongest of the Mario games, and Nintendo Land could outstay its welcome after only a few hours. We just don't know. Wii Sports was so strong because sports, in general, are inherently replayable. We can't really say the same about Wii U Metroid Land.
It isn't, because... You're already too busy with AAA releases
Even if you get the Wii U, and buy all the best launch games, you likely won't have time to play them all. This holiday season is bananas (B-A-N-A-N-A-S), with over a dozen high-profile games releasing over the course of the next few months. If you're into military shooters you have Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, Medal of Honor: Warfighter, and a little game called Halo 4 staring at you, and if you're more of a fan of adventure games then you've got Assassin's Creed III and Hitman: Absolution right there, waiting to be played. Begging to be played.
Oh, and XCOM, and Dishonored, and Resident Evil, and... well, lots of games. And then it's 2013, and you're playing Tomb Raider, Dead Space 3, and another ten AAA titles in the first few months. You just might not have the time for ZombiU.
It is, because... It might be hard to get for years after launch
There's a chance that the Wii's absurd popularity was a one-off kind of thing, but let's imagine that it isn't, and that the Wii U enjoys the same measure of success that the Wii did--you might not be able to get one for months or years after release. Even if the launch lineup isn't amazing, it's still going to be a shame if you can't play any of the games for a year or two because of limited quantities. Just imagine seeing Pikmin 3 on the shelf and knowing that you can't play it. The horror, the horror.
So, if you can, you might as well pre-order one before everyone is sold out, or get in line on day one before the popularity hits critical mass. It'll be easier to get one before everyone loses their mind over the system and starts lining up around the block, trying to get the system that their kid has been crying about for months. Plus, worst-case scenario, you can always sell it if you decide you don't want it. Some people made thousands of dollars flipping Wiis, and if you can get your hands on a Wii U it might be worth doing so just for that reason. Just sayin'.
It is, because... You can finally put your Wii away (but can keep the accessories)
The Wii has lived a good life. Nearly 100 million Wiis have shipped since the system came out in 2006, skyrocketing past the Xbox 360 and PS3 despite sporting last-gen graphics and a relatively paltry catalog of games (when compared to its contemporaries). Despite that, there's a good chance the system is currently sitting on your shelf with an inch-thick layer of dust on it.
And when you get a Wii U, you'll finally be able to put it away for good. Blow off the dust, transfer over your data, and slide it into a box, never to be played again. But good news! You can still use your Wii remotes for the new system, so all that money spent buying nunchucks won't have been for naught.
It isn't, because... There might be a new iteration of the GamePad
New hardware iterations aren't that big of a deal for consoles. No one wants there to be different versions of the systems that can play different games, so upgrades to hardware are just that: Upgrades.
But with the Wii U, so much of the system is in the controller that it wouldn't be too crazy if Nintendo decided to upgrade that, and that would be a big deal. Maybe they'd improve the resolution of the screen, or change the orientation of the analog sticks (which was a gripe when we played Call of Duty with the GamePad). Considering Nintendo is charging $150 for replacement GamePads in Japan, that'd be a fat stack of bills going to a new controller. It might just be worth waiting a bit, if only to see if Nintendo releases a new GamePad based on the world's reaction after launch.
It is, because... New console launches are fun
Seriously, they are! For all of the disappointment that's sure to be found in launch titles, there's something special about being the first person to own a new system. Sure, you'll likely be frustrated when the price drops, but come on--it's fun! You know it is!
It's not just fun for you, though. Your friends, your family--even your enemies will practically be begging for a chance to play with the new Wii. It's a cool feeling, and one that only really occurs when new gaming hardware launches.
It isn't, because... It might not be able to compete with Xbox 720 or PS4
Dates on when Microsoft and Sony will release their next-gen consoles continue to be passed around, with some speculating a 2013 launch and others estimating we won't see them until 2014. Either way, there's one thing we think we know for sure: They're going to be a hell of a lot more powerful than the Wii U when they launch.
Again, we have no idea when that'll be, but unless the Wii U has a startling lead, there's a good chance that hardware two to three times more powerful could hurt its long-term successes. It might end up still doing well--like the Wii did--but there's also a chance it will be this generation's Dreamcast. We can't know for sure.
Are you getting one on day one?
We really won't be able to tell you for sure if you should get a Wii U until we have our hands on one, too. In the meantime you'll just need to go with your gut, and decide whether or not it's worth putting money down (or waiting in line) in order to get the new system the day it is released.
Will you be picking one up? Answer the poll, and let us know in the comments below why you are, or aren't ready to grab the new hardware ASAP.