5 Reasons I May Pass on Nintendo’s Wii U [Game On]
In case you haven’t heard, Nintendo is prepping to launch its next gen system, the Wii U. Normally I run out and buy nearly every gaming system at launch. I actually waited overnight in a tent to get a Nintendo Wii with my friend in 2006 and was enthralled with the new system. However, this time around I have some reservations that are putting me off. For starters…
1. The Controller
While an iPad-like interface sounds good on paper, in practice I see nothing but a nuisance here. Nintendo’s new controller is supposed to look like this-
“But Josh, look at it! It’s like something out of the future! Imagine the possibilities!”
I agree, it’s certainly forward thinking, but just because a piece of technology is advanced, that doesn’t make it ideal for its proposed application. I’ve no doubt many cool things can and will be accomplished with this new interface, but I also see a lot of pitfalls that aren’t being addressed.
For example, laying a tablet in your lap or resting it on your knee is comfortable enough, but holding it up like a game controller seems painful, especially for extended play sessions. Comfort aside, how much will one of these beasts cost? I was irritated enough at the repeated cost of controllers and nunchuks on the Wii, so how much will this set me back?
If that weren’t enough, look at the features on this thing:
built-in accelerometer, gyroscope, speakers, front-facing camera, sensor strip, microphone and a 6.2 inch (15.7 cm) 16:9 resistive touchscreen
That’s a lot of features! However, what kind of havoc will all of these goodies wreak on battery life? If I want to gorge myself on Doritos while I’m on a 4-hour Castlevania tear will I even be able to without plugging the controller in?
2. The games
The last time Nintendo launched a system was the Nintendo 3DS back in April. So far we’ve seen a handful of good games made available, but largely software has been nonexistant for the recently discounted handheld.
Yes, Nintendo has some of the finest first-party offerings if not THE finest in the entire gaming industry. Unfortunately, Nintendo’s continued overreliance on my nostalgia is no longer boring me- it’s starting to outright piss me off. I love Mario like family, but I can’t even remember the last time Nintendo brought something new to the table to entice me. Pikmin? Nintendogs maybe? The point is if I have to sit here and struggle to think of something there’s a problem.
3. Lack of Innovation
Nintendo used to offer some true innovation, but lately with the advent of their questionable foray into 3D and this forthcoming amalgamation of a tablet and home console has me scratching my head. The original DS was rife with possibilities and outstanding support almost from the outset. The Wii was bringing us ever closer to virtual reality that was actually worthwhile, but this? I’m not sold. Even the Kinect made the Wii look archaic by comparison. It feels like the tablet (er, iPad) craze has been tacked onto the Wii U and Nintendo is running out of ideas.
4. Lack of 3rd Party Support
Nintendo’s going out of its way to recapture the hardcore gamer’s heart with this machine. So naturally they want to garner as much 3rd party support as possible because the odds of Nintendo producing a first-party murderfest are pretty slim and like it or not, we, as gamers, respond pretty well to that sort of thing. The question is, will there actually be a rash of 3rd party developers ready to jump onboard, or will the Wii U sit awkwardly alone on store shelves with only a handful of decent titles leftover from the launch?
5. I know Online Play Will Suck
This is perhaps the most maddening thing and I’ll say up front, I realize, this is all speculative right now. But Nintendo has proven to understand online gaming communities about as well as PETA understands the tastiness of a Filet Mignon. All in the name of family-friendly and safety concerns I’ve watched Nintendo cripple online gaming again and again with unintuitive layouts and maddening approaches to friending people online.
The bottom line is that Nintendo will always be synonymous with gaming, but I’m really hoping they address some of these concerns prior to launch or it’ll be hard for me to justify running out to purchase one.
How do you feel about the Wii U?
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featured image credit: PopCultureGeek.com