We are probably less than 90 days away from the launch of Nintendo’s next home console – the first console of the next generation, and we still know next to nothing about it. We are still not in hype mode yet, but Nintendo’s media briefing on Thursday is likely to initiate their hype program. I’m still not sure what they could announce that would make me want a Wii U this year.
If you look back, Nintendo held a similar conference for the original Wii almost exactly six years ago where they announced its launch date, price, and list of actual launch games. If I recall they also revealed the Wii Menu as well as the workings of Virtual Console and Nintendo WiFi on the Wii on that date. From that I think we can assume this is what we’ll get for the Wii U this week. It’s just a question of whether any of that will entice you or not.
In 2006 I was actually ready to get an Xbox 360 with Gears of War and Rainbow Six Vegas, waiting until 2007 to get a Wii after Super Mario Galaxy and Metroid Prime 3 came out. The only thing that changed my mind was Zelda Twilight Princess only having widescreen and progressive scan on the Wii. It didn’t really launch with a system-selling game other than Wii Sports. Same problem with the 3DS.
I want to go ahead and assume that at least New Super Mario Bros. U will be there at launch, and probably even Rayman Legends. It’s already known how huge NSMB is and likely how good and popular NSMBU will be, but I feel like the potential of Legends hasn’t really hit us. This is probably because Origins didn’t sell very well, but most of those who played it recognize it as one of the best games of 2011. From that, and how excellent the game looks so far, in my opinion Legends should be a system-seller in the eyes of the discerning gamer, maybe even the gamer who is tired of NSMB.
Two other big exclusives – Pikmin 3 and P-100, are probably going to slip into early 2013. P-100 apparently hasn’t even received an official title yet, but I think that is the one game that would seriously sway me towards getting a Wii U this year if it were a launch release. If the Wii U ended up getting NSMBU, Legends, and P-100 at launch, that would be three exclusive games I intend to buy, which is more than I can say for most platform launches. Plus I would at least rent Zombie U.
Honestly, I’m actually very interested in seeing what he eShop is going to be like on the Wii U. We already know of a good chunk of the games that will be available but I’m honestly just more interested in the upgrades to the service and storefront itself. I’m impressed with how much of an improvement the 3DS’s digital store is over that of the Wii, and really hope to see those improvements and then some rolled over to the Wii U’s additional screen real estate. I also really want to know how all my Virtual Console games will play when I transfer them over.
Even though the age of the console exclusive (outside of 1st party games) is dying out, multiplatform games on the Wii U are kind of a moot point for me personally. I’ll be getting every multiplatform game I buy this year on the PC, but even for console-only gamers the multiplatform games on Wii U will be a hard sell.
Madden and FIFA seem to be making excellent use of the GamePad but not much else, and that’s besides all the games being late ports and many major multiplatform games still not showing up on the Wii U. In today’s console landscape where Xbox Live is the main reason why most people buy games on Xbox, I still don’t think Nintendo can challenge that service with MiiVerse or the eShop.
Nintendo’s probably banking on their main 1st party system-sellers bringing people over who may then buy the multiplatform games, but that might be kind of a Gamecube situation. I don’t know. The main reason I finally ended up buying a 360 in 2010 was the selection on Xbox Live Arcade. Maybe if Nintendo can entice a lot of developers to release on eShop (indie devs have been very positive on it apparently) it might look really appealing. Maybe if Nintendo can better advertise Virtual Console’s massive back catalog on the Wii U eShop it could bring more appeal. I guess for me it’s still just about the Nintendo games.
- Steam console mode launches today and Kotaku has a pretty lengthy article on it: http://t.co/2SWYolTt