The WiiU, Nintendo’s latest console, has finally been released as of November 18, just in time for the holidays. Since this console is on a lot of people’s wish list this year, the question remains if this launch will be a success or a bust? This is a great concern since the Wii had good intentions and some success with games like “Mario Party 8.” Many games ported to the console were not well executed as the remote style control is extremely limited.
For the hard-core gamesters who like Halo and other extremely cutting edge games, the Wii was NOT the console of choice by any means. The WiiU is trying to get into the gaming ring with a console that is meant to bring a new generation of games forward. The biggest innovation is the WiiU Gamepad, which acts as the main controller and introduces features that create a different kind of gaming experience. The gamepad is touch screen with two analog sticks, a D pad, and several buttons. It looks rather clunky to some but from what I see, it’s easy to hold. The best way I can explain how this works is by looking at some of the games that were immediately released such as ZombiU and NintendoLand. The gamepad screen is integrated into these games. For example, in ZombiU, you use the gamepad to customize your weapon, scan your TV screen in search of hidden items, and as your map.
The main issue with this new console is that the games really have to showcase the technology the WiiU is trying to convey to people. It needs to prove it’s the real deal and that it will bring new and fresh games to the table, and not just a gimmicky one-time use toy that would make a cool present for your little brother or sister. Besides games, the WiiU is also said to have more features like NintendoTVii which allows people to use the console to stream programs from Hulu, Amazon, and other web based services including the Nintendo Network which will allow players to access an EShop to download game titles straight to their console.
Consoles today are trying to be much more than just games, to be a complete source of media-based entertainment including TV, Internet use, and online shopping. Still, the WiiU brings very interesting ideas to the table and a new way to program games by using a gamepad to make game play more interactive. Also, the WiiU introduces the Pro-controller, which has an uncanny resemblance to the X-Box 360 controller. However, this makes practically any game compatible with the WiiU since the control scheme will be easy to program for. So far, a large list of games has been announced for release this coming winter and next year. While I am cheering on Nintendo to get back on its feet, I am still worried that this launch with the current games might not be enough to make the WiiU as successful as it needs to be. I have seen the system and many people whom I know have said that the system is solid and so far has no problems. The WiiU is currently being sold at $299.99. I don’t think I’ll be getting this console yet but it’s definitely worth looking at and keeping an eye on.