We are about a month away from the official release of the Wii U, and we are just now starting to see some commercials popping up. Seems one of the first TV commercials debuted in the UK. I don't know if this kind of cheesy type of commercial is normal for ads in the UK, but it is almost humorous to watch. We get a big taste of someone using the new gamepad controller with screen. It also shows how you can apparently play any game without a TV entirely, solely using the screen on the controller, so your hot Russian girlfriend with heavy accent can watch her favorite soap opera. It also appears the controller has some Wiimote like motion controls utilizing the screen. This is a clear sign that Nintendo is focusing on the new controller as its selling point. Too bad you can only use up to two of these controllers on a system.
So what else do you get that the commercial doesn't tell you? Well, the system finally has a muti-core chip, however we don't know exact details. This means you finally will get the same graphic quality as the PS3 and Xbox 360, with games running probably at 720p, but capable of 1080p. But this does comes with a price. The Wii U will have a larger, louder fan to keep it cool that you'll have to deal with.
The Wii U is also region locked. Which is very disappointing, but follows a tradition when it comes to Nintendo devices. Why Nintendo limits their target market when it comes to games we may never know. Sony and Microsoft do not impose this, it is up to the game developers.
Nintendo says the Wii U is the "first" next-generation console. I think they are just finally playing catch-up with the PS3 and Xbox 360. Whether or not the new controller with screen becomes the tipping point to call this a true next-gen console is yet to be determined. Stay tuned, we will have plenty of hands-on reviews of the new system as soon as it comes out.
The Wii U will launch with a reported 23 games. Nintendo says this number will rise to 50 by March 2013. The most popular will probably be Nintendo Land (comes with the deluxe edition of the console), New Super Mario Bros. U, Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Batman: Arkham City - Armored Edition, Assassin's Creed III, Sonic and All-Stars Racing Transformed, ZombiU, and Pikmin 3. There are plenty of others too, so the good news is, everyone has something that should trip their trigger with their brand new shiny console. You can see a full list right here on MeltedJoystick.
We're at the point of diminishing returns in console hardware. If it gets significantly "better" than current gen, it will be crazy expensive and you may as well buy a gaming PC. I don't really think the next Sony console (if there even is one) or MS console will be all that amazing, as the economy simply won't support it.
I'm worried the WiiU will be gimmicky, and the whole, "play on the controller like it's a handheld" angle is counter to everything I believe about a good game experience. But the WiiU WILL have Nintendo franchises, it WILL be affordably priced, and it WILL play used retail games without complaint. I can't say any of those things about the other guys.
I have no desire for this system. It has the hardware of a Xbox 360 (And less then that of a PS3) and the tablet controller looks pretty gimmicky. I think I will just wait for the Xbox 720 and then maybe a PS4. Sorry Nintendo your lack of good games on the Wii has made me vote no confidence.
I have to admit the the launch titles look pretty good - but I'm still not sold on the system itself, including the new controller. I do want to test it out, however, and if it does impress, I wouldn't hesitate to get one myself. However, I'm not going to be standing in any lines or pre-ordering this time around.