The WiiU Can Succeed, Here’s How
2012 will be the year that Nintendo strikes first in the next gen console war. While we have no idea what Microsoft and Sony’s next consoles will be like, we have a lot of information on the WiiU. Many people have stated their opinion that it’s just too late for the WiiU, and I would even agree to some extent, but Nintendo can make the WiiU successful.
The WiiU focuses on one thing to sell it, the tablet controller. Nintendo did the same thing with the Wii and the Wii-mote, and it worked flawlessly. Many people bought the Wii because of the idea of motion controls, and Microsoft and Sony even made their own motion controller schemes to compete against Nintendo. The WiiU tablet is a whole different type of gimmick, and Nintendo is hoping they can once again innovate rather than directly compete against the competition, but is it too late for Nintendo?
The WiiU tablet is exciting many gamers and developers for good reason. Nintendo is expanding the idea of the DS, and bringing it to the console space. Having 2 screens opens a whole new world for gaming. Imagine playing Madden and never having to leave the field. You could pick all of your plays right from the tablet. Same goes for Zelda, being able to select all your items without having to access another menu can make even more mind bending puzzles. A second screen can really push gaming to the next generation, but the tablet can do so much more.
Nintendo has already said that the tablet will have an internet browser, and it will have some sort of video chat functionality. We also know that you will be able to stream game play from the console to the tablet, providing game play even when your TV is occupied. Nintendo will also be making the leap to HD, and it will be bringing all of its franchises with it. While all of the features sound great, Nintendo is still playing catch up, but there are a few things Nintendo can do to make a huge impact, and truly build a console that people will want.
Multiple Tablet Support
As of right now the Wii U will only support 1 tablet, and multiplayer games will rely on other players using Wii-motes. When this was announced I didn’t believe it. The WiiU’s gimmick is the tablet, and Nintendo needs to make the Wii U support at least 2 tablets. Couch co-op and multiplayer is still extremely important, and every player needs to have a similar experience. If only one person can experience the tablet at a time, it somewhat defeats the purpose.
The price of the WiiU is going to be higher than ever compared to Nintendo’s other consoles. It’s widely known that Nintendo made $50 from every Wii sold, and the Xbox 360 and PS3 were subsidized. Nintendo cannot charge more than 400 dollars for the WiiU, and even $400 is tough to swallow for a lot of people. The tablet is going to be expensive, but to get people to purchase a console that’s going to be visually similar to what’s already on the market graphically is going to take a lot of convincing. $300 would be a sweet spot, and Nintendo can take the App approach to make their money back.
Apps and Virtual Console
Applications are becoming a must for any device, and the WiiU must abide by the mainstream, and get applications. Facebook, Twitter, Skype, and Netflix all must be accessible not only on your TV, but from the tablet as well. This is something so simple that Nintendo can’t overlook. Virtual Console could also be a huge factor for the WiiU. Being able to download classic games from NES, SNES, Genesis, N64, and GameCube would already build upon the great library the Nintendo already has for the Wii. The way Nintendo can push it the next level is to allow the classic games to be stored and played on the WiiU tablet. Having a portable library of classic games, and being able to play them where and whenever they want is something Nintendo fans have wanted for a long time. Nintendo could take it even a step further and allowing people to transfer titles purchased on the WiiU to their 3DS. Similar to how the PS3 transfers games to the PSP.
The WiiU tablet is single touch. This to me, is not acceptable. If Nintendo wants people to use the WiiU as a web browser, Multi touch is a must. Every touch screen device today is multi-touch, and people are now used to using things like pinch to zoom. Having to use a single touch device, in an era that’s multi-touch will push people to not use the device.
Better Online Experience
This is a no brainer. Needless to say the online experience on the Wii is far inferior to the competition. Playing a game online on the Wii is not very good. The few games that do have online suffered from no voice chat support, and laggy servers. Voice chat is a must for online gaming, and an eco system needs to be built for the WiiU.
Games and Strong Launch Line-Up
The words shovel ware, and Wii go hand in hand. The Wii has only a handful of titles that really make the system stand out. A lot of developers tried their best to make good content for the Wii; games such as No More Heroes, and Madworld were great titles but performed very poorly on the Wii. With Nintendo finally making the jump to HD, and having a more traditional control style with analog sticks and buttons on the WiiU tablet, developers have something they can work with. Nintendo needs to get third party support more than ever on the WiiU.
Launch titles need to be very carefully planned out. A big first party game from Mario or Zelda needs to be there (my money is on Zelda) but more importantly major third party games need to be there for the launch as well. A Call of Duty or Battlefield title needs to be at the launch to get people that are fans of online games. Exclusive titles from companies like Ubisoft, and EA are a necessity, and they need use the tablet in very unique ways to help push the idea of the WiiU. A great way for Nintendo to show that they have the hardcore in mind would be to get GTA V day 1 on the WiiU. Using the tablet to have the map, and being able to set waypoints without having to leave gameplay could really show off how the WiiU tablet and how it can enhance any game.
The idea of the WiiU is very exciting, but Nintendo’s past shows that a great idea can turn into a gimmick really fast. Hopefully Nintendo has learned from their past experiences, and will make the WiiU a truly great console. With the machine having somewhat underpowered hardware, they are going to really have to push the tablet of the WiiU and prove to people that it’s not a gimmick. Only time will tell, but as I always say you can’t forget the rules of the Nintendo. Expect the unexpected, and never count Nintendo out.