My Thoughts on WiiU

This week, Nintendo announced their new home console called WiiU. Like the Wii before it, the WiiU presents something entirely new, but this time Nintendo is taking care to keep the more dedicated gamers happy (at least that’s what they are saying). I’ve watched all of the developments since the original announcement and overall I am very pleased with where Nintendo is headed.

I was initially pleased with the direction Nintendo was headed with the Wii, but as time ha passed Nintendo has lost third-party support due to the strength (or lack thereof) of their platform. This has left the Wii without major third-party titles that could have kept more dedicated gamers interested in the platform. Instead, there are few games other than Nintendo’s first-party games that keep dedicated gamers interested in the Wii.

However, once again I’m pleased with the direction Nintendo is headed. The Wii was a let-down, but some great games were made for the platform and I have high hopes for the WiiU as well.

I find the new controller very interesting. I’m excited to have a chance to play with it (though I’ll be waiting a long time), but I have a couple concerns. The controller is larger than a traditional pad, but I do think it is something that will eventually feel as natural as the controllers we have now. I am more concerned about the placement of the analog sticks. Both of them are located at the top instead of the right analog stick being located below the a-b-x-y buttons. Without actually holding the controller, it’s hard to say whether this will be a problem, but I have read some hands-on impressions that shared my concerns.

Unfortunately, Nintendo didn’t have much to show games-wise, but the Zelda demonstration looks amazing. I can only hope it becomes the next entry in the series. I also expect the New Super Mario Bros. Mii demonstration to become an actual game. Shigeru Miyamoto also did us all a favor and announced that Pikmin 3 will be released for WiiU.

I am also extremely pleased with the third-party support so far. Ubisoft is already working on exclusive titles, EA has promised their full support, and other major franchises could be heading to the WiiU as well. Mass Effect and Final Fantasy are two examples of series Nintendo missed out on in the past, but they could now receive the same treatment as the PS3 and XBOX360. Furthermore, rather than down-grading their games to be playable with inferior technology, third parties are now promising to upgrade their games to support the new featured enabled by the “Wiipad.”

Overall, Nintendo gave us a great sneak-peak this week, but I expect to hear a lot more before the launch next year. I’m very excited about what Nintendo is planning.

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