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Is The Wii U Really Doomed?

 

Is the Wii U Really Doomed?

     As we all should know by now, the Nintendo Wii U is going to be released by the end of the year, and it will be the first console to jump into the next generation of gaming. Even after some questions have been answered at E3 2012, people are still throwing questions around like little toys, waiting for Nintendo to come and catch them all. One of the main questions that have been talked about lately is "Is the Wii U doomed?" This started a few days ago when Michael Pachter, an analyst, made his latest prediction. This time, it was about the Wii U. This is what he said:

"I don't get it. I think that essentially this is a solution in search of a problem. I mean, somebody had an idea-'let's make the controller a tablet'-and there aren't many games that are going to take advantage of that."

"[The Wii] worked, they got lucky, [but] I don't think they're getting lucky with Wii U. I don't think they suck. I just think that they really believe that, 'If we're still novel, everything we do will work'. This isn't going to work. Hardcore gamers will buy them; hardcore Nintendo fanboys will buy it. They could put out a piece of cardboard and say that it'll play Mario and they'll buy it."

(alba from My Nintendo News, 2012)

     He's basically saying that the Wii, this generation's console, got "lucky" and that the Wii U will not have the same luck, meaning that it will fail. He was also insulting Nintendo's fans for buying anything made by Nintendo and Nintendo for making low-quality products by mentioning the cardboard part. So, ever since he said that, people have been asking "Is the Wii U doomed?" Well, let's take a look at that idea and see if it is or not. 

Making the Wii U Successful 

     There are many factors that can make the Wii U very successful; maybe even more successful than the Wii, but, if Nintendo makes one mistake, that could affect the Wii U's future greatly. The first factor is online connectivity. Nintendo looks like they are doing it right by providing an ultimate online experience, but it does look somewhat similar to XBOX Live. With the ability to send in-game messages and even video call people using the Wii U GamePad, it does look great, but it could be bad. For example, if Nintendo has some bugs inside of Miiverse, that can easily make gamers run to Microsoft and Sony, and we all know that Nintendo really doesn't want that. What Nintendo needs to do is to provide and online experience that is abnormal (If there was someone that was ever going to make something abnormal, I'd bet all of my money on Nintendo.), entertaining, and fun to use all at the same time. They look to be taking steps in the right direction as they have included video chatting and in-game messages, but you never know. Nintendo doesn't have a very good history when it comes to online capabilities, so they might mess up somewhere along the road.

     The next factor that will affect the Wii U is its launch. There needs to be some triple-A games present at its launch. Remember the 3DS's launch? That launch did have some exceptional games, but it did not have the games people wanted. Because of how poor the 3DS's launch was, it resulted in a price drop by 1/3 of $250 along with the 3DS to not do good until November, when Super Mario 3D Land got released. Nobody wants that same thing to happen with the Wii U. The good news is that Nintendo is aware of their mistake with the 3DS and is not making that same mistake with the Wii U. Now, the question is "What are they going to release at launch?" We still don't know what games they are going to release at launch; we only know what Wii U games are going to be released because of Nintendo's E3 presentation and third-party announcements. A few games have been confirmed for launch but not many have been confirmed. For example, Darksiders II has been confirmed for release on the Wii U's launch. Two triple-A, first-party games that have been predicted to be released on launch are Pikmin 3 and New Super Mario Bros. U. If those two games get released on the Wii U's launch, that could do the trick, even if they are only two games. The Nintendo 64 had a successful launch and it only had Super Mario 64 as its launch game, so it could happen with the Wii U.The next factor that will affect the Wii U is its launch. There needs to be some triple-A games present at its launch. Remember the 3DS's launch? That launch did have some exceptional games, but it did not have the games people wanted. Because of how poor the 3DS's launch was, it resulted in a price drop by 1/3 of $250 along with the 3DS to not do good until November, when Super Mario 3D Land got released. Nobody wants that same thing to happen with the Wii U. The good news is that Nintendo is aware of their mistake with the 3DS and is not making that same mistake with the Wii U. Now, the question is "What are they going to release at launch?" We still don't know what games they are going to release at launch; we only know what Wii U games are going to be released because of Nintendo's E3 presentation and third-party announcements. A few games have been confirmed for launch but not many have been confirmed. For example, Darksiders II has been confirmed for release on the Wii U's launch. Two triple-A, first-party games that have been predicted to be released on launch are Pikmin 3 and New Super Mario Bros. U. If those two games get released on the Wii U's launch, that could do the trick, even if they are only two games. The Nintendo 64 had a successful launch and it only had Super Mario 64 as its launch game, so it could happen with the Wii U.

 

     Yet another very important factor for the Wii U's success is the Nintendo eShop. The 3DS didn't have the eShop until 3 months after its launch, and, when the eShop was released, it still didn't have many excellent games (it only had a few). We already know that the Wii U is going to have the eShop available from day one, but what we don't know is what games will be available for the Wii U. All we know is Mighty Switch Force HD and Little Inferno will be released. That's it. Another thing that we do know is that the 3DS and Wii U will have unified eShop accounts, meaning that your eShop account on the 3DS will also be on the Wii U. This also means that money will be shared between the two systems. Already that announcement is an excellent one, and we are still waiting for more. If the Wii U doesn't have great eShop launch titles along with great, future eShop games, it will have the possibility of failure. From what we already know about the eShop on the Wii U and its games, there is some great stuff that's going to be available in the future but that will not last long, so we need to know what else is getting released. At the moment, it looks like Nintendo is doing the right thing with the eShop, but that can all change with a lack of blockbuster releases.

 

     First-party games also play a vital role in the Wii U's future. Without them, the Wii U will fail. So, what first-party games are coming? The games that have been announced are mixed between the good and bad. People are saying that Pikmin 3 and New Super Mario Bros. U are excellent first-party titles that will be available. On the other hand, games like Wii Fit U and Nintendo Land are games that have been scoffed at by gamers. Other first-party titles that are going to be released have been hiding in the shadows because we don't know of them at the moment. We have gotten a hint by Shigeru Miyamoto himself by him saying that games that missed the Wii will possibly return on the Wii U. This means games like Star Fox, F-Zero, and Earthbound are possible first-party titles that will be released in the future. Along with first-party retail titles, there are also first-party digital titles, meaning Wii U Ware games made by Nintendo. We currently don't know of any first-party digital titles, but, from what was provided on the 3DS, I'd expect some grade-A titles in the Wii U's future. I'd expect some triple-A, excellent games in the future, but, if Nintendo keeps releasing the motion games that nobody but casual gamers want (like Wii Music), then the Wii U will be running down the same path that the Wii ran and will end up failing eventually.

     Along with first-party titles, third-party titles also play a vital role in the Wii U's future. We've already seen what happened with the triple-A third-party titles not coming on the Wii, and we really don't want that same episode to start again with the Wii U. So far, a ton of triple-A, third-party titles have been announced for the Wii U, and that is a good thing. Titles like Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition, Zombi U, Scribblenauts Unlimited, Darksiders II, and much more have already been announced. Sadly, most of these games are already available on the XBOX 360 and/or PlayStation 3, leaving little brand new games to hit the Wii U. The good news is that most of them are getting extra content that are Wii U exclusives. Although that is the case, many people still won't buy them because they already have them on their XBOX 360 or PlayStation 3. Another good thing is that this is just happening because of the transition between generations. When the Wii U gets settled in and new games get released while the Wii U is up and ready to go, this problem will be fixed. Also, digital, third-party games for the eShop are starting to pop-up, but not many have been announced, just like with the first-party titles. From what we know, Mighty Switch Force HD and Little Inferno are already excellent additions to the Wii U's eShop, but what other third-party titles are there to come? 

     A very critical factor is how much the Wii U will cost. Remember the 3DS and when it was released with a price of $250? That price was way too expensive for most consumers, and, because of that price, most people didn't buy the 3DS until after the price drop. Well, the same thing will happen to the Wii U if it doesn't get a reasonable price. The good thing is that Nintendo is also aware of that problem and is not going to make the same mistake. Another good thing is that they have already said that the Wii U will cost a reasonable amount of money and its price will be close to how much the Wii costed when it first got released. That means I would expect it to cost around $300 - $400. The price of the Wii U isn't all that. It is also about the price of the games. Brand new Wii games usually cost $50 while brand new XBOX 360 or PlayStation 3 games cost $60. Another question that will be answered in the near future is "How much will the Wii U games cost?" Will they cost $50? $60? Maybe even $70? Also, what about the accessories? We don't know about many accessories for the Wii U, but we do know about the Wii U Pro Controller and the Wii U GamePad. We already know the Pro Controller will cost around $20, but what about the GamePad? That thing is loaded with a ton of gadgets. Because of the amount of gadgets, that thing has got to be worth $100 easily. If Nintendo wants the Wii U to succeed, then they will need the system's price, software, and accessories to be reasonable. Otherwise, Nintendo is asking for bankruptcy.  

     The next factor actually relies on the developers along with Nintendo. As we all know, the Wii U GamePad is a game changer and has many possibilities. The next factor is whether or not the video game developers, like EA or Ubisoft, will take advantage of the Wii U GamePad. At the moment, it looks like they are taking advantage of it, but you never know. Sometimes, they might just ignore it altogether. It's like with the 3DS. Some developers just ignore the 3D feature altogether while others take advantage of it to make an incredible game. There are many different possibilities available at the table. For example, in Mario Kart, you could use it to pick the items for the players or maybe even control the computers. There are a world full of possibilities out there. We already know that Nintendo will take advantage of it (I mean, it's their own system. Why wouldn't they take advantage of it?), but what about the third-party developers?  

The last factor that I am going to talk about is the hardware. There were two reasons why third-party developers ditched Nintendo and hopped on the Microsoft and Sony train: the Wii supported motion controls and the Wii's hardware wasn't as advanced as the XBOX 360 or the PlayStation 3. According to many developers, the Wii U is a very powerful system, but how powerful is it? We still don't really know that. Another thing to think about is how the Wii U will fare with the XBOX 720 and the PlayStation 4. Will next generation's XBOX and PlayStation end up having more advanced hardware than the Wii U? If Nintendo provides some high-tech hardware, either equal or greater than the XBOX 720 or PlayStation 4's hardware, then Nintendo can reclaim its dignity that it lost with the Wii. Also, most developers said that the one thing that they want in a console is power. The more power that Nintendo includes, the better.

So, what do you think? Do you think the Wii U is doomed, or do you think that it will succeed?

Thank you for reading my blog on the Wii U, and I hope you enjoyed it!

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