I don’t consider myself a super hard-core gamer, but I have, for a time, discounted the ability of Nintendo to service my gaming needs. In all honesty, the N64 was the last Nintendo system that I had any love or respect for as a gaming system (the Wii is to be respected for its ground breaking motion controller though), so while the technical advances that were promised with the Wii U pad were intriguing, I’d be lying if I said that anything shy of a miracle could have convinced me to invest money into a Wii U. As you can tell from the title of this article, that miracle didn’t come, and instead I found Nintendo’s presentation lacking in announcements that would convert even the most open-minded gamer.
For one thing, the games were an epic failure. More kid friendly originals (like you’d expect) that don’t speak to a lot of adult gamers (unless I can figure out how to kill shit in Scribblenauts) and ones that actually would, like Super Mario Bros. U, Zelda, or Smash Brothers, that were either extremely disappointing (Mario, which looked like a game that should live as DLC, not a stand alone disc) or non-existent at the presentation.
There were games that peaked my interest, like Zombi U, but unlike Sony’s The Last of Us, the game didn’t seem to have an interest in shaking up a familiar concept, and instead it seemed like a standard FPS zombie game that was only unique because of the Wii U pad. Now, admittedly, holding up the pad to use a sniper scope in the game was pretty cool, but this “new way of gaming” doesn’t feel very intuitive, and it actually seems like it would be awkward, distracting, and time consuming. All things that every gamer loves in the midst of a fast paced zombie game.
Third party games like Arkham City: Armored Edition, Mass Effect 3, and Darksiders 2, seem like simple ports or ports with a few extra bells and whistles. That’s something that Reggie Fils-Aime seemed to take issue with after the presentation when Spike’s Geoff Keighley made that observation to him, but those denials, assurances, and requests to, essentially, get people to overlook what they saw with their own eyes aren’t likely going to work.
Honestly, and Keighley alluded to this with Fils-Aime in the chair — these are tough times, and people can’t afford to drop $60 on the same game that they’ve already beat, and they can’t afford to buy a system that offers nearly no advantages over it’s (most likely) lower priced competitors either.
That price is another thing, we still have no answer from Nintendo on how much this thing will cost, and what specs will be inside of it — information that might help position the system as competition for the big boys.
Really, what we know from the Wii U is that they have 3rd party support on some new games, paltry exclusives, and nothing that promise to knock anybody out. If that wasn’t bad enough, they also have a piece of hardware which may be, at once, an inch above and a mile below it’s competition.
Sure, the Wii U pad will have Hulu, Youtube, and Netflix, but as someone on the @NerdBastards twitter pointed out during our tweet and watch, we all have numerous devices that do that. Right now, I’ve got 3 of them within 10 feet of me, including a year old cell phone.
An idea like the Mverse is a neat enough idea, the secondary screen could be cool, and Nintendo Land is a nice enough concept whose novelty wore off before the show was even over, but really, this is a system you buy if you are a Nintendo loyalist, or someone looking to come off of a Wii who hasn’t yet discovered the superiority of an Xbox 360 and the PS3.
The problem with Wii is the same problem Wii U looks like it will face, and it is an interesting parallel with the other two companies that presented at E3 — Sony wants to be a game system, Microsoft wants to be a media hub, and Nintendo doesn’t know how to do either, so it tries to be both and it fails miserably.
At the start of this presentation Reggie Fils-Aime proclaimed that the Wii U would change our lives, but in the end, I don’t think the Wii U presentation changed a thing — try as they might to re-court gamers, Nintendo lost this war a long, long time ago.