Skip to main content

Nintendo's Wii U Gamble

Nintendo outed the Wii U to gamers around the world last year at E3. This year we expect to see more of the games that will be accompanying the launch of the WiiU this fall and a better picture of the ecosystem that Nintendo looks to surround their new console with.

The Wii U looks to be a safe move by Nintendo. Take the successful formula that propelled the sales of the Nintendo Wii, upgrade the hardware, include the same motion controls, include backwards compatibility, and then add a new controller aimed at more hard-core gamers. This on the surface looks like a good move for Nintendo who, as of late, has been struggling to move as many Wii consoles into consumer’s hands. Overall it looks like Nintendo has listened to some of the vocal complaints against it and has plotted out a strategy to include gamers who are looking for a hard-core experience.

Nintendo still has a lot to follow through on though. With no real laid out online strategy, no content deals and almost no exclusive titles beyond what Nintendo creates in-house, the Wii U doesn’t present a compelling reason to add it to the home entertainment centers around the world other than it’s new and for a short while, will probably boast more powerful graphics output than the Xbox 360 or PS3 currently do and will enable some new game play features with the new controller.

The first problem is that one can only use one of the new controllers with the Wii U, and while Nintendo has said they may be rethinking this, how did they not see the obvious multi-player potential of at least two screens in people’s hands? Two people playing Madden and choosing their plays on their own screen while running them on the big screen is the first and most obvious example of this, it makes sense and many would be willing to pay for a second controller to do this. Secondly, Nintendo makes the best use of their own hardware and Nintendo only. Because Nintendo has gone the solo route on motion gaming and made the entire experience of using the console revolve around that, developers have to drastically alter the code for their game to get them to run on the current Wii hardware, this could also be the case for the Wii U.




Clearly Nintendo isn’t looking to create a media empire, or even a graphical empire with the Wii U, but wants to give people to the option to experience gameplay in a new and exciting way. Will that be enough? Microsoft is closely tying the Xbox 360 with Windows Phone and Windows 8, Sony is making sure the PSP Vita and Playstation 3 work together, but more than Nintendo, these consoles can do more than game. For most consumers, if they are going to spend $300-400 on new hardware for their living room, they are going to want to get the most for their money and right now that’s not Nintendo. Hopefully Nintendo still has more to show when it comes to the Wii U and the role it will play with the 3DS and other services they plan to provide through the console itself. I expect E3 this year to be a very exciting time for gamers.

Popular posts from this blog

ARMing Windows

Qualcomm announced on June 4th, the Snapdragon 850 for use exclusively in PCs. A move that is clearly designed to improve the shortcomings of the Snapdragon 835 in current ARM-based Windows PCs. In fact, Qualcomm is telling us to expect a 30% improvement in performance over the 835 chip.
This new class of ARM chip from Qualcomm signals a new shot in the ongoing war of Intel vs ARM. Qualcomm clearly sees the opportunity for a return on its investment in customizing silicon for PCs otherwise the new wave of Always On, Always Connected PCs would be using the Snapdragon 845 that is currently featured in high-end smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S9 or OnePlus 6. The 850 is the second-generation of the 10nm platform that debuted with the 835. Intel is now only beginning to slowly roll out 10nm chips, showing they've had a hard time reliably stepping down from 14nm.
I believe this new chip, along with continued development of Windows 10 on ARM could potentially make this new category of…

Windows 8 Review

Before I begin my review on Windows 8, I want to explain how I approached this review. I'm not going to review Windows 8 from the power user's perspective, I'm looking at this from the average, casual computer user. That is the user who is going to be most affected by this change from Windows 7 to Windows 8. To that end, I've been using Windows 8 for the past two months in the most traditional way, on my work PC and on my home PC, with no new touch or gesture enabled hardware, just a keyboard and a mouse.

Windows 8: A Bipolar Operating System Windows 8 represents a monumental shift from Microsoft to combat Apple and Android devices that have been stealing mind and market-share away from Windows based devices. Unlike Google who has Chrome OS and Android or Apple who has OSX and iOS, Microsoft is opting to use Windows 8 across the board for phone, tablet and desktop. While this strategy allows for Microsoft to re-use thousands of lines of code across platforms, it also f…

Life, Death and Tech

On April 6th 2013, I lost my sister, Anne Smedinghoff, to a suicide bomber in Afghanistan, where she was stationed working as Foreign Service Press Officer for the State Department. She was on a mission to deliver books to a school. Books being so important to help increase the literacy rate in Afghanistan so young people are able to read the Quran and other books for themselves to make informed decisions. The days and months that have followed have been the hardest days on my short life so far, and the struggle to move forward is not over for me. Through it all, I have come to several realizations about the industry I love to cover I want to share with people, especially through the lens of losing a loved one.

The thing that struck me first, is that my sister carried her iPhone 4S in her 'go-to bag' that she was holding at
the time of the attack. The iPhone is one of the most dropped, damaged, broken devices I see in people's hands, screens are cracked and backs are shatt…