Written by Mark Del Rio Tuesday, 05 June 2012 11:11
Having just finished watching the Nintendo Press Conference I have come to the conclusion that the Wii U will never reach the same success as its predecessor. Here is why.
- The current Wii audience won’t see the need to upgrade. Nintendo reached a previously unreachable audience, the “non-gamer,” because they were not interested in the traditional game console (XBOX, PlayStation). That same audience is NOT going to buy the Wii U. Why? I believe this will be the first thought that goes through their head when they hear about the Wii U:
“I already own a Wii. Why do I need another one?”
When you try to explain to them how it’s a newer and more powerful console they’ll respond with:
“I don’t even play my Wii.”
That brings us to my next point:
- The current Wii audience doesn’t even use the old Wii; they’re not going to use the new one. How many of you own a Wii? Lots of hands going up? How many of you actually play it regularly? That’s what I thought. The fact is, the Wii was a fad, a must-have item, and like all fads they eventually go out of style. Now that everyone is doing motion control (Kinect, MOVE) the Wii is no longer unique. A handheld touchpad isn’t enough to bring in new audiences. In this era of iPads and tablets, the “WiiPad” isn’t as revolutionary as the “WiiMote” when it was released back in 2006.
Speaking of that “WiiTablet,” that brings us to my third point:
- The “Wii U” is sure going to be expensive. The Wii U is composed of 2 major pieces of hardware – (1) the system itself and (2) the tablet/controller. As we all know, tablets are very expensive. The iPad starts at $500. The Samsung galaxy can be purchased for around $300. Just off the top of your head, how much do you think the “WiiPad” will cost? [insert your own triple-digit $$$ amount here] Now, add that amount to the assumed price of the system. This system will not cost less than $400 at launch ($600 perhaps?). In order to keep cost down to a minimum, Nintendo is sacrificing some of the power of the system.
And that brings us to my final point:
- It’s still going to have technology that’s behind the times. The technical specifications of the Wii U have not been announced at this time but enough rumors and leaks have lead us to believe that it will only be as powerful as the XBOX 360 and PS3. The XBOX 360, released back in 2006, is the oldest system of this generation. By the time the Wii U launches in fall of 2012, 7 years will have passed. Let me rephrase that in another way: AT LAUNCH THE WII U WILL BE 7 YEARS OLD!!! Some of you may be thinking to yourself:
“But the XBOX 360 and the PS3 have great graphics already. Why is this even an issue?”
The only way I can respond to that is:
“If you think the XBOX 360 and PS3 have great graphics, then you have obviously never played a PC game at resolutions higher than 1080p with all graphical sliders set to maximum and full DirectX 11 effects.”
The Wii U is expected to launch sometime winter 2012. Like all console launches initial sales will be high. With a new XBOX and PlayStation expected winter of 2013, Nintendo doesn’t have much time before the true “next gen” systems hit the market. Of course, I could be wrong and the Wii U ends up driving Microsoft and Sony out of business. We’ll just have to wait and see.