We’ve reached that time of the decade, children. That’s right, that console you recently bought is becoming obsolete yet again! With the next Xbox jacking directly into a port into the back of your neck, and the next Playstation joining next year’s NFL draft, all of those hard-earned monies you spent on this generation of consoles are either lining the pockets of the red and black mega-corporation super ultra international video game retail superchain, or supporting that local game store just down the street from you.
Helping ease us into this age of technological enlightenment is Nintendo’s new Wii U console. More powerful than a loco 360, and faster than a speeding PS3, while the specs of Nintendo’s new addiction are more impressive than the current generation of consoles, in a couple of years we’ll be wondering why the graphics aren’t making our eyes bleed like Nintendo’s competitor’s new entries certainly will.
Nintendo previously countered lack of graphical progress by trying to innovate the way games were played. The Wii brought motion control to gaming, allowing us to control those on-screen pixels by enabling our hands to be a foot-and-a-half apart from each other, instead of requiring them to be side by side holding a single controller. People around the world entered their robots in Real Steel tournaments for a chance to procure one of these hard-to-get consoles, and to those who were able to get a Wii in those first few weeks, nothing was more exciting…For about two weeks. Wiis around the world started collecting dust to all but the most hardcore bowlers and Mario fans. Have you owned a Wii? You understand how quickly the shininess can wear off. However, everyone wanted a piece of the action, and Nintendo sold enough consoles to be able to feed the whole of North Korea for an entire year (they didn’t do that, but they could have). Why did the luster fade? Nintendo suffered from the same disease that plagued them with their Nintendo 64, followed by the Gamecube. Most titles made by Nintendo were top-tier games, and most titles released by third parties were piles of poo smothered in poo sauce (most, not all).
Nintendo’s looking to fight that disease head on with their newest console, the Wii U. Upon the launch of the system, not only did we get a Mario title right off the bat, we got multiple Ubisoft games, along with some of the more popular titles of the current generation (Arkham City, Black Ops II, Madden 13). While certainly a step in the right direction, Nintendo’s path to continued success will lie with making sure other publishers maintain an interest in developing for the console.
So, the Wii U is more powerful than the other consoles on the market, there’s promising third party support, and an HDMI cable is included with each system (eat that, MicroSony)! Did Nintendo think that would be enough? Hell, no. The Wii U introduces a new gaming innovation. The system’s new controller (deemed the Wii U GamePad), takes multiple pages from the iPad generation. Containing your typical buttons and analog sticks, this controller has a tablet-sized touchscreen display with multiple functions. The controller display can be used to interact with games you’re playing on the screen. It can also be used for in-game menus, maps, and alternate camera angles. Does your lifemate want to watch Gilmore Girls on the telly but you want to stomp Goombas? Simply hit a button and transfer the game’s display from the television to your controller. That’s right, now you can easily poop while you Wii! Add in the fact that the GamePad will easily sync to your TV for channel surfing, and this thing comes across as pretty nifty.
Are you still wondering whether or not the Wii U is for you right now? It’s simply going to depend on how patient a person you are. Nintendo has proven to us over a span of nearly 3 decades that most first party titles for their systems are worth playing, not to mention we have a promise of better third party support. The GamePad is nifty, but Nintendo needs to make better use of this controller than the simple uses of motion controls most of the games on the Wii provided. We’re coming up on Microsoft’s and Sony’s new entries into the console market within the next couple of years, but that’s a couple of years your instant gratification-lovin’ butt can’t wait, right?
Go get it. You know you want to rescue Peach again. Mario needs your help, dammit.