The Wii U – A Console With So Much Potential.
It’s no secret how every gamer out there, who has even vaguely heard of Nintendo’s fresh to-be-released home console and is avidly anticipating this year’s E3, is slightly (or even 100%) skeptical on how the Nintendo Wii U is going to make a change in the gaming world by introducing itself as the first home console of the 8th gaming generation, let alone revolutionise Nintendo’s former front face as “the casual game-makers”. Despite me claiming to be a die-hard Nintendo fan, I myself can’t blame them; the curiosity has caught a hold of me too.
Nevertheless, at last year’s E3 in June, when the Wii U was unveiled, I must confess that I was impressed at a very high degree – introducing tablet controllers into the face of gaming for the first time? Innovative, Nintendo, innovative. Not to also forget the many pleasant demonstrations we were shown of what the machine had to offer and was also capable of, especially the amazing Zelda demo we were gifted with a viewing of at the event. I think it really showed off one new (well, new for Nintendo) thing that the company are finally implementing – solid 1080p, beautiful HD. I may be one of the few people who actually hope those intricately detailed graphics make it into a new Zelda title on the Wii U. It would be a massive best-seller, in my opinion. Now, not that I’m one to judge a game by its look or whatever kind of graphical style it uses, HD or not, but I for one do believe it is a very major factor to the overall feel of the game, and it would be a very naïve move on Nintendo’s part to not, after all these years, fire it on to the Wii U. Besides, who doesn’t like pretty polygons on their TV screen?
I digress. The point is, with E3 2012 so steadily approaching, here comes the hard part for Nintendo. We’ve seen part of what the Wii U can do, and we’ll hopefully see more this year. The bigger question involves exactly what launch line-up Nintendo will wow us with to ensure their success in the 8th generation. You can’t deny that’s what’s been going on everyone’s minds. But before I opt to go further into this, let me take you back to something we also heard around the time. If you were avidly listening to just about every game news reporter in cyber-space just around last E3, you would have heard various reports on how the Wii U was willing to change and broaden Nintendo’s mass market in an extremely new way. To put it simply, one of the main targets of the Wii U now is to bring in the gamers they never captured with the Wii: the hardcore gamers. Satoru Iwata and Shigeru Miyamoto were one of the few who stepped up to the podium to say this for themselves, and also gave a brief insight of what they didn’t do with the Wii, why they didn’t, and why they’re just correcting this now with the Wii U.
A report via Andriasang stated that, in Iwata’s own words, “Wii was not accepted by core gamers because they did not want to abandon their preferred control approach,”. Hmmm. So basically, it seems what Nintendo has done with the Wii U controller is improvise; give the gamers a standard-feel gaming controller after all these years, but with something that screams Nintendo all over it – the touchscreen. Oh, yes. I personally think that’s an admirable move on Nintendo’s front, but the core gamers will need a lot more to be drawn in than just a pretty controller.
The former statement was also followed by, “Additionally, Wii did not use HD because HD cost performance at the time was low. Wii U makes it easier to use conventional controls.” That answers why all these years, Nintendo never stepped up to the graphical plate with their main competitors – but arguably, with enticingly solid first-party franchises to cater to their then main market (the Wii, I mean), I can see why they didn’t make it too much of a priority. That’s one thing Nintendo does have against Sony and Microsoft, regardless of hardware.
Iwata then once again added, “Also, the Wii U controller is not as big or heavy as it looks.” I must say, as happy as I was when they first unveiled the Wii U, that was one of my main concerns. It seemed sort of… blocky and awkward for one to game with. I mean, really, as much as I do like the impressive thought of tablet gaming, I really don’t want something akin to a stone tablet in my hands. Rest assured though, various E3 coverage reports from last year did put our minds to ease that our first impressions were off. Phew.
So, after hearing all of this, and all about the Wii U is almost said and done, this brings us back to my main question: what games have Nintendo got lined up for us that will push them to the finish line? Yes. Every single gamer around the world knows that it’s mainly the games that determine the success of a console. It’s what they were built for; if the entertainment isn’t there, it just doesn’t cut it. It’s pretty much the deciding factor. While Nintendo has given statements that they promise us a rich launch line-up and many games to follow at E3 this year, I think we need to look into what would really make a good show – not just for E3, but for the Wii U as a whole.
Many people would go for more games in the regular franchises that Nintendo is practically made of; not that I can blame them. They bring in the sales. Mario, Zelda, Pokemon, etc. Apart from my huge urge to be able to find brand new IPs on the console within the first year of sales, I too would personally like to see new installments in all these existing series – but in a different way. A new adventure for Mario, like how Super Mario Galaxy was introduced to us back on the Wii? Certainly. A new story entailing Link’s rescuing of the princess, even better than Skyward Sword? Yes, indeed. A brand new RPG in the Pokemon series, packed with new style? But of course. The word I focus on here is, quite simply, new. Of course, all these don’t necessarily need to happen immediately with the Wii U, but I personally feel Nintendo needs quite a bit of this to happen while the console can still spark up a fresh discussion for all gamers, maybe after a year or two. New is what the Wii U means to me, and new is what I’d like to see in relation to it.
Apart from that, a lot of loyal Nintendo followers worldwide are seemingly agreeing that they want the Wii U to do a “Kid Icarus move” – that is bringing back old franchises we haven’t seen since the old gaming days that the world would love to see reborn in this generation. It wasn’t too long ago that 3DS owners, after about 20 whole years, got a bout of Kid Icarus: Uprising – newer, bolder and a whole different experience from the retro era. I can agree with this actually, and it seems the most-wanted franchise installment requested for right now is the almighty F-Zero. Oh, yes. Speedy HD vehicle action, weapons blasting in every possible direction, and an excellent opportunity for amazing multiplayer fun. I personally, have never played any F-Zero game, but I have heard a great deal about it and read up on the series ever since. I don’t know what you may think, but this would be an opportunity that Nintendo would be daft not to take. Just so long as they do it right. Another franchise I’d also like to see come on to the Wii U after all this time is the legendary Earthbound. This would make for great gaming, in my humble opinion. Really.
I suppose, basically, my point here is, Nintendo, to successfully gain the attention of hardcore gamers, is not just to give a great variety of titles, but to give us something we’ve never seen happen before the Wii U and to resurrect beloved games people would have their interest captured for sure with. The new IPs, the old franchises, the existing ones we have come to love, alongside with brilliant third-party games from contributing developers for the console, would make this console mind-blowing. This entire editorial has really just been a voice to what I think the Wii U has to offer, and what would benefit it the most. And up at this point, I really think this is all I have to say. When all is said and done, we will still see the final verdict at this year’s no-doubt exciting E3 press conference – and of course, in the years to come with the Wii U spreading into many households near and far.
Bottom line, the Wii U has fantastic potential, and I, along with many others, would shed tears of blood for it to go to waste.