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The Ten: Updated Wednesdays-Fridays-Sundays

Friday, January 27, 2012

Let's continue to talk about the Wii U... recent updates

Big news. Almost as big as this controller.
So just last night, we had some updates on the nature of the Wii U, its release date, and its capabilities. The Nintendo Network has been introduced, which, in layman's terms, is Nintendo's online community. In specific, it is-

-the new network platform which will be used for Wii U and 3DS, “aiming to establish a platform where various services available through the network for our consumers shall be connected via Nintendo Network service so that the company can make comprehensive proposals to consumers.”
- Competitions and communication among users included
- Sales of digital content will also be covered within the Nintendo Network
- Nintendo will be pushing to make software work with the Nintendo Network
- “We will make available the downloadable add-on content for this Nintendo first-party digital download title in the near future.”
- “Nintendo, as a software maker, does not plan to deploy businesses where our consumers cannot know in advance which item will appear as the result of their payment and they have to repeat the payments and, before they know it, they end up spending a huge amount of money in order to obtain the items they originally wanted to purchase.” (Essentially meaning "No more Wii Points, you can pay pretty directly instead of having to obtain a certain amount." Also, this system is essentially Nintendo's equivalent of Steam... which is kinda awesome...?)
- The concept above was built into the 3DS and the necessary infrastructure is in place for this, with the same infrastructure being built into the Wii U, “The decision must be made by taking into consideration such factors as the relationship with the wholesalers and retailers, and the best way to be embraced by consumers, as well as the environment surrounding the market and consumers, such as the required memory capacity on consumers’ SD memory cards.”

So hold on there, bucko. If I'm correct in saying this, which I'm almost kind of sure I am- Nintendo is essentially marketing the Wii U as "the Nintendo entertainment system" which, if you kind of didn't get the reference, is what Nintendo's kind of been striving to do their whole existence- establish themselves as a presence in the household. You can pretty much only go to Nintendo devices to get Nintendo quality. I mean, I think that, for a period of time, we'll be able to go to the store to pick up a Nintendo game, but since "Nintendo IS considering the future possibility of distributing packaged software digitally", that means physical purchase could be ruled out... so essentially, Nintendo would be a digital distribution company that has third parties falling in under it... like Steam.

Nintendo is essentially saying that they are the Steam for the Wii U, which will be a home device that COULD potentially MAYBE be used as a Tablet/Video Gaming device/CPUish thing because of its data storage... though CPU is a bit of a stretch. MOST importantly, it will be a central entertainment device... like the current gen consoles. FINALLY.

Whoa. Keep reading, it gets better.

Personal account system for Wii U will be compatible with the Nintendo Network- the personal account system allows different people to log in and play under their profile, purchase games for themselves, and have screen names and such for Nintendo-based online games. So data about multiplayer performance will be saved and uploaded to leaderboards and whatnot instead of staying home on the console. In concept, that's similar to... um, I don't know... the XBox Live system? The Playstation Network system? The only thing we're talking about here is that Nintendo said multiple accounts can be accessed per system- if so, and let's say, we're taking our Wii U tablet and our 3DS over to our friend's house to stream it to his Wii U, we can also access our account there... or it's saying that a family of five could have their own individual accounts per console. OR it's saying my family could buy a Wii U, I could make a profile there, and then get my own Wii U and open up my account from my family's house... which is/would be pretty nice. What would also be nice is if we could link our 3DS eshop account to it... which I'm almost one hundred-percent sure this is going to happen.

Now, the only thing some people might complain about is that Nintendo does not have their latest console sporting it's own hard drive... while I'm pretty sure that is ridiculous, the Flash/SD Card thing isn't really that bad, considering the storage space you can now get on some of those things- my 3DS has personally downloaded a shit-ton of software from eShop with it's original Flash Card in there, and it's doing pretty grand. If Nintendo can successfully play with file downloads and DLC without a hard drive, I'd be pretty impressed... we'll just have to see where it goes from here, though...

See Nintendo has been against the idea of DLC because they don't think that you should have to pay for a game expecting NOT to get your full money's worth from the original package. Which is honorable of them- but unfortunately leaves big development gaps in their release schedule. Which sucks, sort of- but at the same time, when a Nintendo game is released, you KNOW it's going to be damn good. If they can release games like that but increase their longevity with DLC to already full-fleshed out titles, that would be fan-fucking-tastic. Imagine Super Mario Galaxy 2 being DLC to Super Mario Galaxy, and you've pretty much figured it out. Adding extra quests to a Zelda game...? Right. Sooo yeah.

It almost sounds a little apologetic, really. Nintendo's attempting online in a manner that will make up for their lack of online coverage in the past. If this formula can work- which I pray, pray, PRAY to the video game gods that it does, then Nintendo will successfully be able to bring their own online presence to the game. I mean, them acting kind of like steam for their own console is pretty ballsy, and that's the thing that, as a company, they've always had going for them- while simultaneously also being a flaw- they needed to figure out how they were going to stick to the Nintendo name in the age of DLC and all- and they shied away from it with the Wii because they wanted to try something else- something that made them just as successful as a home entertainment system, but not in the sense of having a community.

I guess I'll go back to the comment I made at the start of this article- Nintendo makes home entertainment systems- it used to be just from a video gaming angle, but they made a drastic step with the Wii- to be a hub in the household, even with it's meager internet abilities- but accessible to all ages because of the motion control aspect. With the Wii U, they have the ability to take gaming anywhere in the home with the tablet, or stay connected to the console and browse the internet with more Nintendo-centric software design. They have a much more comprehensive idea of entertainment now, especially with the inclusion of a Nintendo Network.

But they still have to sell consoles- and that requires an important thing- launch titles. That appeal to "me and you" even more- this console needs more than just a Wii Sports launch title- it needs a hardcore Nintendo title AND a hardcore third party title. Because that's the only way they're going to convince people that they're on-par with Microsoft and Sony.

Yikes. Word vomit.

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