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Will the Wii U be the next Dreamcast?

Ilium |  Jan. 30, 2013 at 17:17

I was stood in a GAME the other, staring at the Wii U section. It was tiny and nothing jumped out at me to make we want to reach into my pocket, pull out my wallet, and buy the console.

I can't help but feel that with the price point, the lack of games, the lack of consolidation in this early period, and the almost inevitable arrival of powerhouse consoles this Christmas, Nintendo have done this all wrong. With the Wii they were filling a niche that people didn't realise they wanted. With the Wii U, it seems they're trying to fill a niche that's just not there. With nothing.

The question probably won't be 'can the wii u survive', but will the 3DS (like the Game Boy, GBA, and DS) be able to balance the books enough to allow Nintendo to keep making hardware.

I have a bad feeling about this. Might Nintendo go the way of SEGA? What do others think?

I know one thing for sure: until the Wii U drops below £200, I'm not getting one.

Most Useful Answer Late  Jan. 31, 2013 at 13:01

Are you me in disguise?
I've pretty much been thinking the exact same thoughts...
(EDIT: lol - the above is directed at Ilium (though I also partly agree with BloodR0se!). Hate it when you reply to a post that's had no reply in nineteen hours, you spend half an hour typing it, and it turns out someone posted a comment a few seconds before you hit submit!)

Most games are multiplatform - and in those instances the U doesn't really offer anything I'd be interested in. Generally the graphics seem to look the same as (or worse than) on the older consoles. There might be one or two that look slightly better, but not to the extent that you're going to buy a new console. The only real difference between a multiplatform game on the U and on other consoles, then, is the controller - and I see nothing to get excited about there. A few mini-games (if I want hand-held mini-games I've got thousands of them on the tablet and DS - most of which are more fun and aren't tacked onto a big game for the sake of utilising a feature that is under-utilised), the option to play on the controller screen rather than the TV (has no appeal for me at all - my TV is high definition, the controller screen isn't), and a shortcut to seeing a map or inventory screen (is it really better than pressing pause and seeing it on your TV?). Very little appeal in multi-platform games, then - although Colonial Marines has the potential to be much better on the U than on the other consoles.

That just leaves the exclusives to try and draw me in - and there's not a massive amount of appeal there, for me personally. Lego City Undercover looks very good. Wonderful 101 looks good. That's about it, to be honest. There's certainly not enough appeal in the exclusives line-up to tempt me to fork out my "hard-earned". (You'll understand me putting those quote marks around that when you appreciate I'm typing this missive whilst currently hard a work... ;) )

Bearing in mind their hardware faux pas in recent years I don't think it's unreasonable to worry for Nintendo's future.
That said, though, they've a massive fan base, and are in a market with very few rivals - and that's helped them through some major worries and dodgy hardware decisions.
I know I'm not alone in buying a Wii only to see it spend half a decade gathering dust. It was way too underpowered - and I think mine has been turned on around three or four times in the last three or four years.
Omitting the second control-pad from the 3ds was a ridiculous mistake - as was setting the price so high.
And now we have the U, which is a lot less powerful and a lot more expensive than most people had expected - and with no official price cut on the cards I'm not sure many people are willing to jump aboard, especially as new machines from Sony and Microsoft look to be on the horizon...

(2 people agree)
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Late  Feb. 1, 2013 at 16:34

It's always good to get a wide range of opinions and viewpoints, of course. ;)

parabolica  Feb. 2, 2013 at 06:52

"Poor comeback. This was all about you from the start."

You really want to do this? Like I say, it's boring, and you're wrong, but if you insist...
Not sure if you're trolling or or genuinely this blinkered. :\

I'll have to cut it short, as you've spammed an awful lot in the last day, and if I quote and reconstruct it all it'll run to slightly longer than the average novel.

I said the problem with the Gamepad minigames is that the game is written and then a daft minigame for the gamepad is tacked on seemingly as an afterthought. You countered with the DS being a success.
What are you harping on about now? How is that even remotely relevant? The DS is a fantastic bit of kit, and I used to play with mine a lot a few years back. Games on it are designed for it - they're not some bolt on.
You're making no sense.

You then talked about the weak launch line-up for the the xbox 360. Not sure why. Nobody's ever said the 360 had a good launch lineup. Hell I love my 360 but didn't get one until a year or so after launch. I was happy to stick with my ps2 for that year, because the new consoles didn't have enough draw.
Not sure where you're going with this argument, tbh. Are you saying the U's sales will take off when it's library is improved?

Next up you said Nintendo are trying to steal some of the tablet appeal. You've already pointed out you don't have a tablet and have no interest in one, so I guess that explains why you have no idea what you're talking about in that regard. The U isn't stealing any tablet appeal. Tablets' main appeal is the flexibility, their apps, their browsers, etc. Does the gamepad do much of that? No, it's just a low-res resistive touchscreen, akin to the lower screen of the DS (which is fine for the DS, but not for a machine that's played on the big tv, and can't leave the house).

Then we had something about Nintendo losing customers to apple, to apps, and to minecraft. Not sure where you're going with that point. We're saying Nintendo is losing market share, you're saying it's not, and now you're providing us with extra ammunition?

Moving on to your next post...
Your main points here seem to be that high definition isn't important, and people don't want lots of clutter in their lives.
Well I'd disagree with you on the first point. Games, consoles, and TVs have moved forward a lot, and continue to do so. My first home console was a Binatone, played on a crappy little 11" black and white TV in my bedroom. Personally I'm much preferring to play on the 360 in my front room these days, but if you prefer to play on an early eighties machine on a tiny and low res b/w screen that's you're prerogative. Feel free to tell me how you're getting a better experience because the gameplay on Pong is so much better than the games on modern consoles, while I snigger at you.
I'm not saying high def graphics are the only thing people want from a game. I am saying that people don't want **** graphics, though.
Then you say people don't want lots of clutter and peripherals in their houses. Which is a most bizarre argument to make when you're supposed to be supporting Nintendo - a company that seems to survive on peripherals and on rereleasing the same machines over and over but in new colours or with a tiny tweak.

"Are big noisy, hot, but powerful multiple CPU boxes, really the way forward?"
Multiple CPU boxes are most certainly the way forward, yes. Not sure about big and noisy. As technology evolves and components get smaller and stronger the console manufacturers get the choice every few years - keep the console as powerful as the last one but make it physically smaller, or make it a bit bigger and stick a shedload more oomph in there. Over the last half decade we've seen the current crop of consoles get smaller. Now it's the turn of making them more powerful - for Sony and Microsoft, anyway. Nintendo appear to have eschewed that convention and decided to make an underpowered console instead. Again.

Wow but I should get some work done... Never mind - we're getting there. Moving on to your next post(s)...
Three long posts listing launch titles for various consoles?
Are you saying those consoles had poor launch lineups and ended up doing well, so the U will do likewise? Because the problem with that arguments is that everyone knew those consoles were capable of producing spectacular things but hadn't demonstrated much of it at launch, whereas people are looking at the U and wondering whether it's up to competing with current gen consoles - while next gen consoles appear to be less than a year away.
Generally, if a console's to do well it needs to square up against the opposition (though the first wii was an exception to that, as it brought something new and exciting). If the new machines from Microsoft and Sony aren't as powerful as people expected, and are considerably more expensive than they expected then Nintendo may well sell a lot of units next Christmas. I think it more likely, though, that people will be faced with a choice between paying £250 for a Nintendo that doesn't have much under the bonnet or paying £350 for a next gen machine with massive potential.
Even if those next gen machines each have only 3 games available at launch, and all three look pretty weak it'll still be a better proposition than buying the massively underpowered machine with a couple dozen games under it's belt...

Then a couple of other people managed to squeeze a word in, before we're back to your multipostings...
(Cool - I made up a new word.)

Okay, so you start by saying you don't want to ram your perspective down peoples' throats. You seem oblivious to the fact that that's exactly what you're doing with this thread hijack...
You also say you think the U will have disappointing sales but not because of it's features - but decline to say why it won't sell well. Ummmm. Not sure how to respond to that.

You then go on a bit of a meandering monologue about Nintendo's priorities being different to other companies'. Not sure why - everyone knows that already, so the crowd of people you're arguing with numbers zero on that particular matter. Kudos on finally being right about something, but throwing something random that everyone knows to be true into the middle of a losing argument is an act of desperation. You should go into politics.

Hate to ask this, but feel it's justified with the style in which you've dropped the insults. Exactly how far up your own **** are you?

As I said, I don't think the the Wii U will do well and suggested that with all the kids wanting to get their hands on tablets to fondle games, Nintendo have tried to capture or at least divert some of that to their new package.
Without the market for tablets, it's likely Nintendo would have gone for the other options they are quoted as saying they had in their R&D dept.
But I got insulted.

Unlike you I've not commented how good or bad Nintendo's controller is. You think it's crap, other critics and gamers themselves don't think it's crap.
But I got insulted.

You then try a range of common and perhaps predictable insults that are clearly un called for.

Hijacking the thread? You came here preaching your own selfish reasons. As if Nintendo's success depends on 40 somethings who take their Google Nexus outside for a fondle whilst they have a smoke.
We don't want to hear it, especially as a comeback or some kind of justification to me pointing out your comments were contradictory.

You also have a pop at Nintendo's bundled mini games. A choice and variety for new owners to play out of the box. A concept that goes right back to your black and white Binatone with it's, perhaps in your words, crap pointless variety of the same pong game. and the Atari VCS that came after it with it's bundled combat cartridge.

My point about the Nintendo DS, was that the dual screen concept was a blank canvas for developers and many would have felt forced to use both screens. Yet you criticise The Wii U's pad for the same thing. Your comments were an echo to me of what was said about the DS that you interpreted as me "harping on".
This is what you said

"I suspect it will be a similar story on the majority of titles. Make a game, then try retrospectively to think of some way of using the gamepad, and bolt it onto the code. Utterly pointless."

"As technology evolves and components get smaller and stronger the console manufacturers get the choice every few years - keep the console as powerful as the last one but make it physically smaller"

Nintendo specifically said they were going for low power small discreet living room friendly box.
Perhaps this is were I should insert an insult of some kind?

Our latest Xbox 360 locks ups with graphics intensive games unless pulled out of the dedicated media unit it sits in (a unit with a good few inches around it). The previous Xbox 360's were flawed due to packing too much power/heat into too small box.

No Nintendo console has ever suffered with overheating or cooling issues. Yet you've tried to make this another area of putting me down.
Nintendo may have a different agenda to why they have purposely released low powered hardware i.e share holders, but they're not wrong, and neither am I. in stating that smaller quieter lower power consuming device has become more desirable for the mass consumer. I will wager money that Microsoft and Sony also make an attempt at sleeker looking perhaps lifestyle design hardware for which there will be a compromise made.

I don't recall saying Nintendo are loosing market share. The fact is that kids follow trends and they all want tablets at the moment and they are all playing Minecraft, proving graphics don't matter.
Of course feel free to insult me there for exaggeration and the meandering monologue.

Reading your reply again, you call me boring?
Please just come back with your point.
Remember you agreed with the OP of "it seems they're trying to fill a niche that's just not there. With nothing."

You also agreed with "I can't help but feel that with the price point, the lack of games"

I pointed out the 360 and PS3s was worse, yet you guessed it reader. I got the sly insult treatment.

(1 person agrees)
parabolica  Feb. 2, 2013 at 07:31


Loved the fact that you felt the need to slip in "must get some work done"
a dig & pointing out you're not a layabout all in one?

As articulate as you seem. Don't wast your time with the digs and insults, they're just as tiring as the spelling, grammar and wasting bandwith digs, that you probably used in the old days.
Anyway, school is over, so got all day..... ;)

Late  Feb. 2, 2013 at 12:59

Tldr and way past bored bickering with you.

Last edited by Late, Feb. 2, 2013 at 13:21
Gold Feet  Feb. 5, 2013 at 00:24

"The resolution of the GamePad screen, while inferior to an HD TV or an iPad, still presents game graphics exceedingly well. Mario looked just as vibrant and was just as playable on the GamePad screen as it was on the TV. Madden transferred fine. Nintendo Land's Pikmin and Zelda games looked technically better on the GamePad screen than any console games in their respective series ever looked on televisions. Graphically, visually, the GamePad holds its own."

"I was puzzled, but when I started asking questions, a top Nintendo designer asked me if I'd ever glanced at my cellphone while watching TV. Of course I had. Then I played some Wii U multiplayer games and had the odd experience of sharing a TV with a few other co-op gamers while a rival gamer in the same room played his part of the same game via his private screen on the GamePad controller. That's when I got it.

The Wii was a machine designed to focus a family or a group of friends on one thing they could enjoy doing together.

The Wii U is for a new way we live. It's for the era of four people going to dinner, theoretically being together, but all also being off in their own worlds via the cell phones they keep checking. It's for the husband who watches TV and has his iPad nearby while the wife is on her laptop in the same room. It's for the teenagers who text in the movie theater. It's for any of us who, even when we are together, are off in our own worlds. That is how you play the most interesting Wii U multiplayer games. You get together with someone in the same room. You theoretically play the same game, but the Wii U's two screens let you dive into your worlds separately and—this is important and makes this more than a LAN party—lets you interact through your two portals with different sets of controls, doing different things."

Stephen Totilo, Kotaku.

seedy  Feb. 7, 2013 at 10:29

I got the WiiU at Christmas for my lad.I never liked the original Wii but I have found myself using the WiiU more then him, I think it's great I love the fact that I can take the pad downstairs and continue my game. Just hope it's not to little to late for Nintendo.

Ilium  Feb. 12, 2013 at 16:50

Well this kicked off mightily :D


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