Author Topic: Wii U Strikes Back  (Read 1166 times)

Offline miDnIghtEr20C

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Wii U Strikes Back
« on: January 23, 2013, 09:16:57 AM »


Thatís really the only word that comes to mind after watching Nintendoís new ĎDirectí broadcast. In just over 30 minutes, the game publishing giant not only made a better case for the future of Wii U than in the previous 12 months, it managed to surpass the hype it generated at its past two E3 outings - combined. For months, even years, Nintendo has simply placed a tablet-driven product in front of us and asked us to imagine the possibilities. But our imaginations have limits, particularly in the face of games that exist in the here and now - games that arenít on Nintendoís systems. We need to see the future, not just believe itís coming.

Promise gave way to confusion. Confusion to frustration. Frustration to a resignation that perhaps Nintendo didnít have a vision.

Mind you, those mental transitions happened at considerable speed. The modern world moves quickly, and when a system struggles to feature any considerable new content for two months - with not so much as a whisper to the horizon - our attention shifts elsewhere. To the smartphones that feature dozens of new games daily. To the aging generation of consoles that even now, seven and eight years after release, are home to excellent new content.

Today Nintendo did something remarkable, in a way that puts most other developers and publishers to shame. Though the Big N is often quiet and secretive, it has managed to find a modern, progressive format to deliver its news directly to its fans, while retaining its trademark sense of humility. In 30 minutes, over a dozen games were showcased, some coming in mere months, others perhaps years away. Regardless, the message was clear - Wii U is not only home to innovative new play styles for families, but epic, core experiences that rival the grandest, most ambitious endeavors available elsewhere.

And these games are entirely, completely exclusive, all tied to Nintendo directly as a software publisher, not as a licensor. The sheer glee of Wonderful 101 wonít be coming to Xbox 360. The visual brilliance of Yoshiís Island wonít be appearing on a phone with loads of in-app purchases. PlayStation 3 will never get a HD remake of the timeless, gorgeous Wind Waker.

Thatís what made today so remarkably potent - for any gamer who actually cares about games instead of arbitrary, meaningless console supremacy. Nintendo has started to provide a real sense of strategy for Wii U. The GamePadís much-hyped innovation doesnít matter without games. Neither does Miiverseís social connectivity. Nor the fact that all those Wii remotes and games will still work. None of that matters without compelling games. But those features and ideas, once combined with software we canít get anywhere else, collectively start to say something powerful. Something special. At the end of the day, gamers care about games. Thatís what they want, and nothing else matters.

More than simply confirming games and outlining new service, Nintendo has done something very clever. It has tipped its hand toward what ought to be a very powerful E3 2013. Assuming this isnít the entirety of its presentation, the publisher is bringing a 3D Mario, Mario Kart and Smash Bros., in one form or another, to the big show. At a time when other publishers will be focused on presenting new hardware, Nintendo will be able to arrive with the focus and strength of a second generation of game experiences. Microsoft and Sony will be where Nintendo used to be - attempting to convince gamers that remarkably similar visions are somehow radically unique. Meanwhile, in the booth next door, Nintendoís innovation will be on display, playable by all.

And that underscores the opportunity weíve all suspected Nintendo might have, even if itís taken the publisher a while to embrace it. Regardless of system power, no other system can wield the diverse range of exclusives that Wii U can. In some ways the announcement of a HD remake of Wind Waker trumped everything else, not for any fault of the other games, but because Nintendo was willing to do it. Think of what other options suddenly become possible. More importantly, realize that a project like Fire Emblem X Shin Megami Tensei is just the beginning of a partnership strategy for Nintendo. What happens when its IPs are borrowed by quality developers? What happens if itís willing to publish some of the brilliant, under-appreciated visions of companies like Platinum Games? And then thereís the quiet force that is the eShop, which has been likened to the console equivalent of Steam, with Nintendo being more flexible and indie friendly than ever.

Nintendoís vision is taking shape, moving from the theoretical to real, even with some proposed games sitting on the distant horizon. But it must be said that the company isnít necessarily building upon a lead, but making up for lost time. Anecdotal evidence continues to suggest Wii U suffers in the minds of gamers, a lack of information leading the masses to draw their own conclusions. With brand new consoles from Sony and Microsoft on the way, there are considerable challenges ahead for a platform that by any definition will simply lack the power of its contemporaries, and perhaps by extension widespread third party support.

All of this simply reinforces one thing - Nintendo canít stop now. Today was exactly what was necessary, and begins to shape a very promising case for a very new system. But more than ever, and certainly more than the past couple years, Wii U will have to make its case in the face of strong opposition. Fortunately if this month was anything to go on, the Big N completely understands that. Two presentations that donít total more than an hour have very much changed how gamers will think about a portable and a home console. By any means necessary, Nintendo must continue its endeavors harder than ever before.

It might be strange to think that after such a powerful software presentation, our parting thought encourages Nintendo to do more. But this is a company that refuses to acknowledge success for fear of becoming complacent. This is a company that embraces its desire to find new forms of entertainment, to innovate and discover what will thrill millions around the world, to dare to be different when so many publishers dare not. We want to see more from Nintendo not only because it assures us that the 3DS and Wii U have a future, but because watching this vision of the future is a sight to behold.

Offline hdinred

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Re: Wii U Strikes Back
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2013, 03:46:50 PM »
Good stuff.. I don't feel as bad about getting a Wii U now!

Offline VOLTAN

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Re: Wii U Strikes Back
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2013, 08:24:28 PM »
Good stuff.. I don't feel as bad about getting a Wii U now!

Great Nintendo Direct today.  Plenty good reasons to be a Wii U owner coming forward for sure.  A lot of great ideas, now let's see how they work in actual application.  I'll certainly take 7 Virtual Console games for 30 cents a pop.  Already grabbed Balloon Fight today.  F-Zero, Super Metroid, Punch-Out, yeah baby!!! I'm still loving Nintendo!!!  Even if it takes more effort than it should....