Since our favourite plumbers have been gone many of the Nintendo Generation have grown up, moved on… and bought an Xbox. With Nintendo are set to launch their eagerly anticipated follow up to the Wii U later this year, we ask, ‘should you be eager?’
Nintendo have a big battle to win if they want to see the Wii U succeed as well as it’s predecessor. In the years of their absence, gaming has taken leaps and bounds forward, motion control is now not solely limited to Nintendo, there is Kinect for Xbox as well as Move for PS3, though it is more considered a three legged horse.
The main feature for the console is the new GamePad. It enables gamers to continue playing the system via the touch screen when others want to watch the TV, which surely will prevent many a domestic. As well as controls one of it’s primary function will be a touch screen to display in game menus or maps, handy for those of you who have ever tried to play Zelda without pen & paper. The introduction of a Pro Controller will also appease those who are forever exclaiming about Nintendo’s lack of dual control sticks, though it might upset a few more with it’s suspicious similarity to the Xbox controller. HD is billed as another of the Wii U’s main selling points with it being Nintendo’s first console to support HD, in the futuristic year of 2012 I’m a little sceptical of anyone who lists HD as a selling point.
The Wii U will launch with around twenty games to choose from in the US to just a shocking 9 here in the UK, the most impressive of which being ZombiU. Big names such as Assassin’s Creed III and Batman Arkham City Armoured Edition will follow shortly after. Much like the Wii & Wii Sports the Wii U will come pre-boxed with a game; Nintendo Land. This aims to showcase some of the best features of Nintendo games in a theme park style atmosphere, with players taking part in ‘attractions’ such as Animal Crossing: Sweet Day, Pikmin Adventure and my personal favourite Luigi’s Ghost Mission. The new console will hopefully encourage larger developers to look at the Wii U as a credible option for launching games onto, wherein the past there have been poor adaptations that do not fully utilize the Wii’s motion controls.
When the 3DS launched last year, to say it wan’t well received was an understatement, with one of the main criticisms being the lack of launch titles, this led poor sales and the drastic reduction in the console selling price. This knocked the confidence of many a Nintendo customer, myself included, who are still waiting for some of the launch games they were promised even now. This makes it ever the more crucial that Nintendo deliver a stellar line-up of titles to those customers who still believe, rather than loosing them to the now dominant Microsoft.
Prices for the console start at £259.99 for the basic, £309.99 for the premium and £349.99 for the ZombiU bundle. For anyone who has seen the US prices and knows the current $:£ rate you might have noticed the £60~ price difference. Games have been priced online from the acceptable £30 to the extortionate EA end of the scale at £50.
Some stores in America, such as Gamestop have reported selling out of pre-orders for the console, resulting in listings for the device on eBay beginning to rise well above the RRP price for the console. Could it be that, much similarly to the Wii the console has a fantastic launch but is ultimately unable to live up to customer demand at Christmas?
The Wii U will be released on November 30th and is currently being priced from £250 for a basic pack.