It’s finally done. After months of speculation, Nintendo has unveiled their brand new home console. A good amount of the rumors were surprisingly spot on. The controller does indeed have a 6.2 inch screen, which is a touch sensitive, and it includes a camera as well.
Since a few days have passed since Nintendo’s E3 2011 conference, perhaps it’d be a good time to reflect on the Wii U’s showing. I’ll share my thoughts below and hopefully you guys will as well in the comments area!
Wii U was introduced in an… interesting way. Satoru Iwata came out right at the beginning of the conference to discuss how Nintendo’s next console would be “deeper” and “wider”. However, that was only a tease! After a bit of background information, he left the stage to give the 3DS some airtime. A bit later, Reggie finally introduced the controller. To be honest, the reveal felt a bit out of sync and anticlimactic. That’s just my opinion!
Again, rumors about Wii U’s controller were quite accurate. So, in a way, the reveal of the “tablet” wasn’t all too surprising. It was nice to see the actual controller, though… there’s no denying that. The trailer shown was also a fantastic way to demonstrate the many ways that the controller could be used not just in a gaming setting, but also for more casual experiences such as web browsing and video watching.
I don’t think ANYONE saw the “Wii U” name coming. There were a ton of codenames and possible final names that publications were throwing around: Project Cafe, Feel, Stream, even Nintendo. Yet none of them turned out to be the true name of the console. Nintendo isn’t abandoning the Wii brand, which might be a smart move. Not only has the Wii generated incredible success for the company, but the Wii U actually uses all of the Wii’s peripherals. Hopefully consumers will understand that the new console is fully backward compatible.
We saw some interesting things in terms of “games”. As far as Nintendo goes, perhaps the most game-like demo we saw was New Super Mario Bros. Mii. There were a bunch of other tech demos to play and watch, such as the Zelda HD experience. There’s no question that the Zelda demo alone was enough to excite passionate fans. Still, it would have been great if more concrete software was available to preview.
The third-party support
Say what you will about Wii U getting some third-party games a year after they’re released for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. But you can’t deny that it’s a fantastic sign that the console is getting some heavy hitters in the future, most of which are very mature titles. Batman: Arkham City, Darksiders II, Metro: Last Light, Aliens: Colonial Marines, Ninja Gaiden III: Razor’s Edge are among the list of games that have all, for the most part, been promised for the console. Heck, even EA came on stage to tease the possibility of seeing Battlefield 3.
Ubisoft will also be taking a risk by launching a new, somewhat mature IP for Wii U, Killer Freaks from Outer Space. They’re also developing Ghost Recon Online, Assassin’s Creed, Raving Rabbids, and a mystery multi-sports title for the system. Ubisoft and Nintendo having a joint conference on Wednesday was something that could bode well for future third-party support, since it means that Nintendo is really making an effort to maintain better relationships with outside publishers.
Some folks do like to point out that we’ll be seeing most, if not all, of these announced third-party titles on other platforms before Wii U. But would anyone have guessed that we’d see the likes of Darksiders II on a Nintendo system? Third-party publishers seem much more open to embracing a possible “hardcore” audience that the Wii U could have.
Alright – now it’s your turn. What do you think of the Wii U? Like the controller? Hate the reveal? If you have any thoughts about the console, feel free to post them in the comment section!