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The Ten: Updated Wednesdays-Fridays-Sundays

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Special: Let's TALK about the Wii U...

A special console for a special time...

Okay, so I've pretty much established how much I love Nintendo, right? I own a Wii and buy releases for it regularly. It's the underdog of videogaming right now, though- working with a weak system and relying on motion controls to be accessible to a large audience.  The only hardcore gaming titles you really see on the Wii are made by Nintendo- which is why I don't understand NOA's refusal to localize games that actually do appeal to that market- they're only hurting their reputation with the hardcore audience they have. BUT that's not what's important, right now.

The Wii U is Nintendo's answer to their lackluster performance in the console war- and it's a risky move. To release an HD console towards the end (or at least the second half) of the console life of such superior machines as the 360 and PS3 is again putting them behind everyone else, if Microsoft and Sony should decide to release new consoles. However, Nintendo likes to do things first, and that's very evident with this new console.

Nintendo isn't stupid. If they built a console that ran on practically the same graphics but added motion controls to it, and then sold just as many consoles as it's superior competitors, they can't be. They are aware of what gamers are looking for, but they're also aware of what the public is thinking. Part of the Wii's success was its ability to cater to a much more casual audience- anyone could play a Wii and enjoy it. The Wii is a household name, but it is not a gamer's console. The Wii U, to succeed as the Wii did, needs to be both a casual and hardcore gamer's console. Fortunately, Nintendo as sown the seeds for just that. With the introduction of its controller, the Wii U has caught everyone's eye... in a fantastic way.

I'll get to the point- the controller for the Wii U is a tablet. It streams games, but it can also act as an independent device- a collection of tabletop games, a drawing pad, a browsing tool, an image sharing tool, a communication tool, and it can even interact with individual devices like the balance board. Rumors have been spreading about Nintendo bringing ebooks to this device- and since it does have its own memory, one can assume the storage of data is possible. Essentially, we are dealing with a cheap version of a tablet that works in sync with the console as a home device. But there is no doubt that it will also work as an independent piece of the the puzzle, too.

Nintendo allowed an individual to download data from the Wii to the Wii Remote, so there is no reason why one couldn't do that with the Wii U controller. If the device is as portable as it appears to be, though, one could take their controller with game data or otherwise to someone's house and share it there. Its attractive possibilities surpass the realm of gaming and become more of what the Wii was an attempt at- a home device, something that everyone can use.

And that is a little bit different than what Sony and Microsoft give their players. There's are more traditional gaming devices- with DVD and blu-ray support, and good internet connectivity and downloads, with a healthy online community. Nintendo has yet to really create an online community, however, but their store has been fairly successful. Graphics have never been their focus- though again, that seems to be changing with the WiiU.

My opinion of this system is already very high- if only because it will unify a number of tasks that a console doesn't usually perform- and that its competitors cannot currently offer. But again, the Wii U must succeed in the areas that Nintendo has failed in the last generation, while also offering these new tricks. So the Wii U may be the most pivotal console release Nintendo has made in the history of their company... and there is a part of me that believes the company is smart enough to think this through.

The reason this is a Special post is because I want this to be a discussion on the Wii U, not just a voicing of my opinions. There's a lot to talk about- potential to succeed and fail. But this console is interesting, and I think it warrants some talkback. If you will buy a Wii U, for what reasons will you do so? If not, also feel free to voice your comments. I would greatly appreciate hearing what you have to say, because there are certainly reasons, arguments, and aspects I haven't considered in writing this post. Feel free to talkback on the Stories of Limbo Facebook Page OR the forum post that redirects here.

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