That being said, drawing back from the E3 presentation and really thinking about it, there are plenty of reasons to pick up a Wii U, if not this year in the near future. Here are my top ten:
Friend Codes will in fact still be a thing. But it's also been promised that they will be part of a much better system. Nintendo can literally offer experiences that if taken on-line you can't find anywhere else. No other company to date offers Kart racing on the level of Mario Kart or crazy fun 4-player fighting on the level of Smash Bros. and there's a lot more potential where that came from. Obviously potential for a Starfox or Metroid title with online capabilities would be humongous. If Nintendo does finally take online seriously and treat it as a major pillar in its strategy, it could pay huge dividends. Speaking of which...
9. It's the ultimate MMO console: I already did a post specifically referring to this idea, and clearly I'm not the only one who thinks this way be Wii U's greatest asset. MMOs on consoles are still a pretty new thing. The gamepad is a way more ideal setup for playing MMOs on your TV than what is currently available. Hopefully games like Dragonquest X will just be the start. We could see a number of either original or well-established MMOs really solidify the Wii U as a system that really has experiences you can't get on anything Sony or Microsoft would have to offer.
7. People are ready for something new: While I wouldn't say people are ready to toss their current consoles in the garbage, for at least the last two years we've been expecting some kind of solid announcement from Microsoft and Sony. It's been a very long generation, and it looks to have a couple more years left in it. That's good and all, but a lot of people are ready for something new and until The PS4 & Xbox 720 or whatever they'll be called actually hit shelves, the new thing will be the Wii U. It will have new games and experiences while at least for the next couple of years he Wii U has the field all to itself.
6. It's an incredibly weak holiday season: The PS3 and 360 have a ton of great games coming. Sometime next year. What's coming this year? Halo 4, Call of Duty Black Ops II, Assassin's Creed III and.... yeah not much else. In previous years during the holiday season, we were practically drowning in AAA releases. This year it seems we are down to a handful. And honestly? That handful isn't all that exciting. The Wii U launch window has a slew of many unique titles that won't be available on other systems even if they don't offer completely unique experiences like the Wii did at launch. Honestly it isn't even the big Nintendo titles that interest me the most. If anything will sell me it's games like Rayman Legends and Project P-100. But again what we are seeing on the current consoles is a lot of the same old same old. The Wii U has one of the more interesting launch line-ups in recent memory and while there are some disappointingly safe bets there's plenty of cool risky stuff too.
5. NINTENDO IS FINALLY IN HD: Granted, for some this may not be that big a deal, but remember the crowd going completely apeshit at seeing the Zelda tech demo last year? Now that it's finally been dragged kicking and screaming into the HD era we will get to see our favorite Nintendo characters in glorious hi-def and for many that's enough. Sure we may get a lazy 2D Mario platformer now, but at some point we will get a shiny new Mario Galaxy successor, an HD Zelda and probably an HD Metorid at some point along with others like Smash Bros. Maybe even an HD Kirby. Nintendo's staple of awesome characters in HD will always be a big selling point.
4. It's getting into the next gen at an attractive price: Ok we don't really know the price point of anything coming out right now, But we know Nintendo has to be somewhat competitive so I think $349 would be the absolute highest and even that might be a stretch. It's virtually guaranteed that the next systems from Sony & Microsoft will be significantly more costly because they will be running insanely high-end powerful engines like Unreal 4 that while pretty, are also very costly to run. Sure, they'll sell the consoles at a loss, maybe even embrace the "subscription" model that Microsoft is testing out now but something like $500 would probably be the minimum at launch you are looking at.
3. It will attract smaller developers: Current gen titles are expensive. This generation has seen unprecedented studio closures and titles need to sell millions just to break even. This will be even more so on the next gen offerings from Microsoft and Sony. One title flopping could easily mean doom. Nintendo has a opportunity here to court smaller developers that make risky original titles because they will comparatively be the low end console. The next Braid or Fez or Cave Story could easily be on the Wii U with it's smaller budget demands and that would be awesome.
|By the time I finally get around to playing this, the Wii U will probably be out...|
2. It will bridge the gap: Aside from being compatible with all Wii titles, it's already been established that Nintendo will offer a full transfer of saves and Virtual Console games to the Wii U. No it won't play Gamecube games, but when backwards compatibility has been such a sticky issue with Sony and Microsoft, it's nice to see Nintendo jump right out there and say yes, they will do it. Always makes the jump to a new console a lot easier.
1. The Next Brain Age: Is Nintendoland Nintendo's next huge crossover title? It doesn't look like it. But then neither did Brain Age. Or Nintendogs. Or even Wii Sports. Nintendo has a proven record of these titles that no one really thinks will even do all that well and end up selling in the kind of numbers franchises like Call of Duty and GTA can't even dream of. Even if it's not Nintendoland, odds are something will come along that has that huge crossover appeal. I mean why do a new 2D Mario co-op game rather than a new 3D one? Oh yeah, because New Super Mario Bros. Wii sold more than three times as much as Super Mario Galaxy 2. So odds are there's at least one title if not in the launch lineup, that will hit soon after that will really sell everybody, core and casual alike, on the system.
So as you can see, there are plenty of valid reasons not only to not write off the Wii U but enthusiastically pre-order it. Maybe I should call Gamestop now and see if they'll just take my money....
That's all for today, I should be back tomorrow with thoughts on Lollipop Chainsaw and a few other things, until then here's your TRAILER OF THE WEEK: Django Unchained