Why I’m Excited For The Wii U
Sometimes I feel like the only person on the Internet who is excited about the Wii U. People are ready to pounce on Nintendo’s new console before they even have a chance touch it. If you take a step back, however, maybe you can see what I see, and start getting excited about it. I know you have already pre-ordered it.
People have this strange hatred for the Wii that I have never fully understood. Most people feel like the Wii represents an extreme departure from the hardcore Nintendo fans, but they conveniently forget that there were two new 3D Mario games, two new 2D Mario games (depending if you want to throw Super Paper Mario in that camp), two new Metroid games, two new Kirby games, a brand new Donkey Kong Country, and two new Zelda games. None of Nintendo’s predecessor consoles can boast that many of Nintendo’s biggest franchises having as many core entries in one generation, with the exception of Donkey Kong Country on Super Nintendo. Everyone looks at the Just Dance and Wii Bowling fans and decries the system for killing what made Nintendo great, and all of this debatably undeserved hatred is spilling over to the Wii U.
For the first time, we are going to have an HD Nintendo console with two control sticks. When I was at E3 this year waiting for an appointment to see Dead or Alive 5, I picked up a Wii U and began playing Ninja Gaiden 3. I began pressing every button on the controller in an attempt to find the command that would instantly rotate the camera behind my character’s back. On the Wii, without the presence of a second control stick, this button has been required in order to maintain camera control. It was only after I had expired every button in Ninja Gaiden 3 that I remembered that there is a second control stick. There will be full camera control on a Nintendo console without the need to compensate for the Wii’s shortcomings. Admittedly, this is something that should have been there since the Wii’s launch, but that doesn’t mean we can’t get excited about it finally happening.
Taking information off of the main screen and relegating it to the one in your palms is exciting. I’ve been enjoying Darksiders II, but having to pause every few minutes to change out equipment is annoying. With the Wii U, all of this can be relegated to a separate screen where you can just poke your new equipment and be done. If you look at a game like Diablo III (perhaps the quintessential hardcore gamer’s game) you could argue that it would play better on a console with an attached tablet controller, than it would on a system with a single screen. Map information, inventory management, all that stuff can be relegated. Imagine not having to bring up a menu screen to change from the bow and arrow to the hookshot in Zelda. It will just be a quick glance and a quick tap.
Multiplayer on the Wii U is going to be incredibly accessible right out of the box. If you’ve got Wii Remotes lying around, then you are ready to start playing with other people. No need to invest $50-$60 in a second controller so that a friend who loves Cheetos a little bit too much can play with you. And with games like Call of Duty, siblings will no longer have to put up with split-screen shenanigans, or arguing about screen-watching. Now the argument will be over who gets to play on the TV, and who gets their own personalized screen.
This is more of an unlikely dream than a confirmation, but an HD Nintendo console could mean HD re-issues. I would love an HD Super Mario Galaxy collection, or how about an HD Zelda collection? Wind Waker looks amazing as is, but imagine if those colors were even more vibrant. It would be hard to play the game through all those tears of joy.
It’s fun to hate things and be pessimistic about video games, especially under the anonymous guise of the Internet. Gamers are the most passionate people on the planet when it comes to their hobby of choice. We either love something more than is probably healthy or safe, or we hate it more than we hate culturally relevant pop-stars.
I think the Wii U is something worth getting excited about. The games it will offer are going to be different than anything else we’ve ever played, they are going to look phenomenal (for about a year), and most importantly, there are going to be Nintendo games on it. Don’t let your hatred for the Wii cloud your judgment. Wait until you get a chance to put your stationary non-waggling hands on it, and then e-mail me your tirade about why you hate it.