The Wii U is mere months away from release and interest is building. It represents a huge risk for the oldest games company left in the console business and could prove to be a huge disaster, however so was the Wii and look at how that turned out. Here is a list of the 5 reasons it wont be go that way and could prove to be Nintendo’s most popular console ever, a console that appeals to all ages and people.
1. It’s the successor to the Wii
Despite many peoples predictions the Wii was a huge hit, selling out worldwide as people clamoured for the ‘new’ experience of the console. Its motion controls bringing gaming to a whole new world of popularity as young children and their parents picked up controllers for the first time in their life as a combination of the new and fantastic marketing combined to enthral millions across the globe. The Wii became a christmas blockbuster, up there with the Furby and tamogotchi as christmas must haves. Coupled with family friendly games such as Wii Sports the wii was a game that the entire family wanted to play as soon as they saw it. The Wii U is the successor to this, keeping the name as well as the controllers will allow the console to continue appealing to the casual market.
2. The Tablet Factor
It isn’t any secret that tablets are hugely popular now. Apples Ipad inspiring a host of imitators and cheap copies that have opened the tablet market up to the wider population, to the point where they are simply part of life. The Wii U’s controller has a built in touchscreen giving it the look and feel of a tablet with the wii’s familiar white around the edge. This controller is the selling point of the console, Nintendo’s next attempt to innovate and give their console a unique selling point that essentially acts like an extra screen. Though the uses have so far been limited in scope, in – game menus and similar things that will likely change as time goes on and companies learn to innovate. This will likely be a large part of the consoles success as people flock to a new tablet that doubles as a videogame controller.
3. Broader Appeal
One of the key reasons the Wii suffered a huge drop off in sales and interest as the console aged was due to its abject failure to appease the hardcore gaming market. Although casual games where released by the bucket load, and continued to after sales figures lessened, many who bought the console had moved on to the next big entertainment thing, whether it be facebook, smartphones or a 3d tv. With their newfound casual popularity waning Nintendo needed to be able to fall back on mature games, it failed spectacularly. Many perceive the Gamecube as a childish console but it had some excellent games for mature gamers, that crucially stepped away from the Nintendo norm. Pikmin, Resident Evil 4, Okami, Eternal Darkness and the Metroid Prime series are just a few examples of the sorts of games Nintendo published for the console, ensuring that a steady stream of quality mature games was always available. The Wii really failed on this part, its mature games often weak and gimmicky (there are of course, exceptions.) From the its reveal Nintendo have been careful to make it clear that this is a console for everyone, not just for those who like playing with friends. Games such as Zombie U show a company eager to welcome those who felt let down last time back to the fold, combined with a more complex controller the console is definitely going to be better for the usual games market and advertsing it this way will be an important part of making it a success. If it means less Harry and Jamie Redknapp on screen I will definitely be happy.
4. Decent Third Party Support
Another thing the Wii has chronically lacked is decent third party support. Its exclusives have mainly been there own ip’s as companies that exclusively developed for the Wii found their games selling poorly. Many PS3 and Xbox 360 games never saw release on the Wii and if they where released proved to be poor ports, relying on cheap gimmicks to compensate for the consoles chronic lack of power. The fact the both Assasins Creed 3 and Batman Arkham City are being released on the console shows that Nintendo is eager to change things and offer publishers the kind of incentives they need to develop more for Nintendo again. This will also help broaden the appeal of the console to those who want a new console but one that feels familiar enough with game series’ they know and love. The internet will play a huge role in the consoles success and again seems to be an area they are strengthening. The Wii’s internet experience was fairly miserable, supporting only a few games and then it was often a poor, laggy experience. This is something that Nintendo has been working on with a slow improvement in their internet service on the DS and later 3ds systems. The 3ds was a large step up and it appears the Wii U will continue this trend. As internet gaming becomes more important doing this is exactly the sort of thing Nintendo need to do.
5. The Mario Factor
Never underestimate the power of Mario, the power of a huge star to turn a console from a failure to a success. Nintendo’s whoring of there major star has been one of the key aspects of the wii’s success, putting him in a large number of platform games, sports titles and others, all designed to eke money from as many people as possible. It’s a system that has worked well selling Olympic themed games to customers who would not normally be interested. The continuing appearance of one of gamings most well known figures will ensure that the console remains popular and the announcement of New Super Mario Brothers U will help populate the console with people eager to play the sequel to a very popular wii/ds game. Of course it isn’t just Mario. New Zelda’s, Metroid and even Pikmin will help keep the console popular and with the huge success of the Wii the appetite for these characters to appear in new games has only increased.
These five points make it clear that the Wii U has a lot going for it. As well as these there is of course the fact that there are no other new consoles it is time for Nintendo to step up and produce the goods with a console that stays true to their roots, while also proving popular enough to convince compnaies to continually support the console in a way so few did with the Wii. Of course there are a huge number of pitfalls to be avoided, which will be covered in my next article; The 5 reasons the Wii U will be a disaster.