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This generation of home games consoles is nearing an end. Sony and Microsoft are surely both working on successors to the PS3 and Xbox 360 respectively, even though neither will admit to it. While they likely won’t show their hands until 2013 or later, Nintendo has already officially announced its next-gen effort. And it’s called the Wii U.

The question is whether the Wii U will succeed or fail. There are several reasons to argue for and against Nintendo’s new hardware. And I am personally very torn on whether the Wii U will continue on the obvious commercial success of the original Wii or fail in a similar way to the GameCube. This calls for two articles, one arguing the case for (this one) and one arguing the case against (coming up next time).

Wii U

The Wii U was unveiled on June 7, 2011 by Nintendo of America CEO Reggie Fils-Aime during Nintendo’s keynote at that year’s E3. If it is released in time for the start of the 2012 holiday season as promised then it will be the first console of the eighth generation. But that’s a big IF at this point in time, with reports suggesting Nintendo is struggling to bring all the various elements together in time for that launch period.

Regardless of any delays, part of me still thinks the Wii U will turn out to be a hugely-successful console. Below are four reasons I think the Wii U will succeed…

 

1. First To Market

Even with delays it’s almost guaranteed the Wii U will be the first of the next-gen consoles to launch. Nintendo would have to go into complete meltdown for Sony and/or Microsoft to unveil and launch their next games hardware in the meantime. Which means Nintendo will be first to market, and that could be crucial.

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Gamers always want the next big thing. And if the Wii U is intriguing enough for gamers to covet one then being first to market will help Nintendo immensely. They may well be happy with their PS3 or Xbox 360, but that won’t stop them wanting to buy into the newest system available. Assuming they don’t hate Nintendo in some elemental way. Which some do.

2. Cheap & Cheerful

The Wii would not have sold in the numbers it did do (95 million and counting) if it hadn’t been as cheap as it was. Nintendo launched it for an affordable price and cut the price as soon as it could warrant doing so. This despite demand meaning used consoles were changing hands for more than the retail price for a period of time.

We don’t yet know what the Wii U will cost, but I strongly suspect it will be cheap, even with one tablet controller included in the price. Nintendo knows that once it has persuaded people to purchase the hardware they will then spend money on more controllers and games. And unlike its competitors, Nintendo owns most of the studios making games for its consoles, which is where it makes the serious money.

Remember too that the Wii U is to be fully backwards compatible, with all Wii games and peripherals such as the Wii Fit Board working with the new hardware. That will save gamers upgrading from the original Wii some serious cash. And give them another reason to make the switch.

3. Gameplay, Gameplay, Gameplay

Nintendo has always focused on just one aspect of gaming – the actual gameplay. It has eschewed lush visuals in the quest to deliver the best gaming experience to its fans. Prior to the Wii it achieved this by delivering innovative games that immersed the player into a new world. The Wii then utilized the motion-control Wii Remote to deliver that on a new level.

This approach means Nintendo has been scorned, and oft mocked Is The Wii All It’s Cracked Up To Be Or Has Nintendo Lost The Plot? [Opinion] Is The Wii All It’s Cracked Up To Be Or Has Nintendo Lost The Plot? [Opinion] The Wii was a ground-breaking device when it was released in 2006, and there is no doubt that it paved the way for motion gaming and indeed bringing together every generation of a family for... Read More , by serious gamers. The hardcore, as they like to be known. Complaints about the cartoonish graphics and childish characters are delivered from all corners. But those who understand Nintendo adore these very elements.

That core belief in gameplay above all else means Nintendo is never chasing its own tail in terms of employing the latest tech. Each game is what it is, either enjoy it or don’t enjoy it, the choice is yours.

4. It’s Nintendo!

The Wii U will succeed because it’s Nintendo. Plain and simple. Nintendo rarely misses a beat, rarely puts a foot wrong, and rarely does some other tired soundbites I cannot think of right now.

Nintendo surely wouldn’t throw away all of the progress it has made with the original Wii over the past few years by releasing a failure. Failure is not an option. Just look at Sega (and the woefully-underrated Dreamcast) for evidence of that.

Conclusions

Obviously this is just half the story, and there are also four reasons I think the Wii U will fail (which we’ll get into next time).

Are you excited at the prospect of a new Nintendo games console? Did you succumb to the joys of the original Wii and feel that more of the same (with a new control system) would be a good enough reason to upgrade? Or are you a PS3 or Xbox advocate and will wait to see what Sony and Microsoft do next before committing. Let us know in the comments section below.

Image Credit: S. Diddy, Pop Culture Geek

  1. Tony
    August 26, 2012 at 11:25 pm

    It's quite simple actually, the Wii U will succeed because they now have modern graphical capabilities on their system, which allows for much stronger third party development, so why then do consumers need a Xbox and a Wii U, or a PS3 and a Wii U? If they're getting all of the big third party hits + Nintendo's own critically acclaimed titles which alone sell systems, on one platform it's a no-brainer.

    The PS4 and 720 will not be able to update their graphical abilities too far beyond what we already have as they will have to spend megabucks on the dev kits which will most likely lead them to a loss of profit; the jump in graphics was so big last time that this time around it wont be such a huge leap.

    Pushing higher resolution support will only turn consumers off as they will again have to spend thousands on new TVs just to game in a higher resolution, and for the moment unless you have a 70 inch TV 1080p is going no where. So this coupled with their new controller and online embrace leaves me to conclude that it should be a successful day at the office for Nintendo.

  2. james braselton
    August 18, 2012 at 2:55 am

    hi there yeah wii fast 4 gb ssd xbox 360 fast ps3 slow with only 40 mb/s max speed 5,400 rpm games take 10 minute load time hours of game install

  3. sync wii remote
    April 11, 2012 at 3:34 am

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  4. DABYX
    March 27, 2012 at 11:03 pm

    *Late to the party*

    Anyone who gets bored of a game series is imo, a moron. I'm sorry but just because it may include the same characters or level design does not make it the same game.

    It's like condemning all 'cutesy' platformers or all fighting games...

    Plus with the HUGE number if IPs Nintendo owns, from easy going Mario & co to Sci-Fi serious Samus and super fast racing of F-Zero, there is a lot of different styles and genres available.

    Admittedly they dont use them all prob due to fear of bad sales.

    I dont know a lot about the Wii U also but using a standard button controller would help 3rd party efforts.
    If I was Capcom I would also hesitate to make a fughter for the Wii because of the motion controls or alternative, like 3 buttons in odd positions.

    I think it isn't Nintendo's fault 3rd party sucked per-se but the nature of the Wii itself.

    That coupled with the fact developers see "Hey! Small kids and Grandparents are using this, they know nothing if videogame quality and will also appreciate any form of cheap game produced!!"

    Again, a fault of the nature of the Wii's audience.

    The day Nintendo die or stop console production us the day I stop caring tbh.

    Not coz I'm a fanboy,(I own a 360) but because gaming will die and continue to run the traintrack of more money, less product.

    • Dave Parrack
      March 28, 2012 at 10:06 am

      Maybe not the same game but similar. You have to admit Nintendo has a history of changing very little with their core series.

      That's a great point about 3rd party devs. I guess they did just struggle to truly get a handle on the motion control system. There was definitely more than a hint of releasing any old crap to make a fast buck.

      You see Nintendo as the epitome of gaming then? We lost Sega (on a hardware level at least) and the world kept on turning. It would probably be the same with Nintendo. I too hope they stick around though.

      • DABYX
        March 28, 2012 at 12:08 pm

        Yea but back when I was younger gameplay was important, not a new world to visit etc. Plus again, Nintendo as of today have these genres available to them.

        Fighting like no other - Smash Bros
        Platformers - Mario & co
        FPS - Metroid
        Friendly Racing - Kart
        Futuristic, Fast Racing - F-Zero
        RPG - Mario, Pokemon
        Adventure - Zelda
        Space Shooter/Exploration - Starfox
        Family Board - Party
        Sports - Tennis,Football etc

        I could go on with the many minigames and random titles.

        The only things that are essentially the same are the characters...and the items.

        And yea, the gaming world kept turning when Sega bit the dust and maybe I'm a grumpy ol' so and so but not for the better.

        D/L this and don't have a physical copy,
        release this unfinished deliberately to make you pay more,
        Online only this
        etc.

        Plus do these guys saying COD or Medal of Honour etc are always the same?
        If you dont like sonething fair enough but you cant have 2 Mario platformers with one removing the star,Yoshi,enemies,Koopa,Mushroom Kingdom and Mario and still call it a Mario platformer...

        • Dave Parrack
          April 2, 2012 at 9:11 pm

          In some ways I agree with you. I do wish more developers would concentrate on gameplay and then build the visuals on to that rather than the other way around.

          I would say that the CoD games ARE getting repetitive. Nintendo has the luxury of appealing to new generations of gamers with each new title but in terms of the games I feel they can get a bit samey. Each to their own though.

  5. Chris Hoffman
    March 16, 2012 at 5:03 am

    While it will be the first "next gen" console, its graphics quality will be on par with the current consoles.

    And with Kinect and such, other consoles are getting creative, too. Personally, Kinect sounds more interesting than a tablet controller to me. (I game on PC, though.)

    And, on the cheap point -- Nintendo was making a profit on all the Wiis, unlike Microsoft and Sony that were putting their consoles out at a loss.

    I'm not really sure what will happen with the Wii U, but my sense is that it won't do too well. The tablet controller seems like a gimmick to me.

    Long term, Nintendo will probably end up like Sega, making games for iPhone, Android and such. Some of their investors already want them to do this.

    • Dave Parrack
      March 16, 2012 at 2:35 pm

      I think you're right long-term, and it wouldn't be a bad idea for Nintendo to go that way. They have the characters to not have to rely on producing their own console to sell the games. Which is where the real money is anyway.

      I think Kinect is more promising than anything else. If Microsoft improves it for the next Xbox then it could be the difference between success and failure for that console.

  6. M.S. Smith
    March 15, 2012 at 5:16 am

    I'm not so optimistic. 

    The controller is a cliche. The motion control of the Wii drew huge attention because it was really unique at the time. A gimimick, to be sure, but a damn unique one. Remember, this is back in 2006, before smartphones had made motion-control a sort of common experience. People thought it was really cool because they'd never really used something like it before - at least not something that worked.

    The new tablet controller? A different story. We've had tablets for awhile - so now it's a controller, eh? Yawn. Whatever. No big deal.

    Nintendo has repeatedly shown that it doesn't know how to work with third parties on games. The popular franchises are great, but everything else is shovelware. Someone over there needs to grab the wheel and steer them in a new direction. They can't sustain themselves on Zelda remake number 31, or whatever we're up to now.

    Don't get me wrong, I'll probably buy one. I tend to like Nintendo games and I do all my "serious" gaming on the PC, so this fits nicely into my life. But I don't think Nintendo has ever understood the market well, I think the Wii's success was complete luck, and I think that there is a serious need for some new blood to find its way into the company.

    • Dave Parrack
      March 15, 2012 at 12:57 pm

      You definitely need to read '4 Reasons The Wii U Will Fail' coming to a computer screen near you soon. I make some of the same points.

      You're completely right that motion control was innovative at the time but that tablets are everywhere now. That could hit them bad.

      The fact you'll still probably buy one is telling. Despite all your reservations you will still be making the Wii U a success. It's that attitude that Nintendo must be relying on. And it should prevent them going the way of Sega.

      • Timothy James Bow
        August 9, 2012 at 11:15 pm

        I think the reason NIntendo believes that the Wii-U will be a success is that they have hooked a new generation of young people onto their tried and true characters. My Nana (who hates most technologies more advanced than a tube television) has really enjoyed blue-shelling my hopes and dreams in Mario-Kart and routinely asks me when the next Mario-Kart game is coming out. I imagine that children who have fallen in love with Link through Twilight Princess (or heaven forbid Skyward Sword) will still beg mommy for the next game.

        • sprag
          September 4, 2012 at 11:32 pm

          WHAT DO YOU MEAN HEAVEN FORBID SKYWARD SWORD!!! It is an amazing game that people love, way better than alot of first part on xbox and ps3.

  7. Austin Beatty
    March 15, 2012 at 4:01 am

    When I first got my Wii, I enjoyed it for a bit then wrote it off as crap, and bought a PS3. Don't get me wrong, I still love my PS3, and it is superior in MANY ways to the Wii, but in the past handful of months, I've played my Wii a TON and haven't played my PS3 at all.

    Nintendo has some of the most sucessful series out there, things that never get old like Zelda and Mario. Can't say that about many other game series, they've been around since the 80s and are still pumping out quality games. Nowadays, game series come and go in the span of like 5 years (see Guitar Hero, it wouldn't surprise me to see CoD go down that road to in the next couple years too) Every Zelda and Mario game they release is just pure awesome, there's just something special about Nintendo games that no other developer can seem to match.

    Now if they just suppliment that with HD graphics (which the Wii U will have) and a good XBLA/PSN style online system (friend codes are awful, they better fix that), and can lure back the major third party developers, the Wii U could become the king of the next gen consoles.

    • Dave Parrack
      March 15, 2012 at 1:00 pm

      I think you may get your wish on the graphics and online fronts. But most third-party games on the Wii have been terrible, and I'm not sure that will change for the Wii U.

      Have you never felt yourself getting bored of Mario, Zelda, etc.?

      • Liber Cunarro
        March 15, 2012 at 7:57 pm

        I think the Wii U will be a success simply because is Nintendo! the true is, I currently own the three consoles the play station 3, the Xbox 360 and the Wii, and I like them all, but Nintendo has special place in my heart, and often I find myself waiting for the next Mario,Zelda or Donkey Kong or the newest Super Smash or Mario-kart, or other lets famous franchise like Star Fox that in this generation has been forsaken in a way, but my point is, that I grow up with Nintendo and I don't see myself loving other characters and games the way I do the Nintendo franchises

        • Dave Parrack
          March 15, 2012 at 8:33 pm

          That is where Nintendo has got you: a longtime love for the company and the characters it holds dear. The Wii succeeded because it moved past die-hards such as yourself and into the mainstream. The question is whether the Wii U will manage the same trick?

      • Austin
        March 16, 2012 at 12:08 am

        Sure, I get bored of the first party Nintendo games, and when that happens I'll play some other game on another console or Gamecube or Virtual Console games, which don't count, but they are nice to have (particularly VC, which is one of the best features of the Wii in my opinion). And out of the like 10 Wii games I own, none of them are 3rd party, because there aren't any good ones, and that is the Wii's biggest weakness. However, Nintendo knows that, and wants to change that. But with the Wii U, I think Nintendo will be able to lure back the 3rd party developers for two reasons. One, developers will want to start putting out games on the newest, most advanced console, and two, the things keeping developers away from the Wii like inferior graphical and online capabilities will be fixed. I don't see any reason why if Nintendo handles it right, they can't have just as strong a thirdy party library as Sony and Microsoft's next consoles.

        • Dave Parrack
          March 16, 2012 at 2:32 pm

          That's an interesting point. But if the bestselling Wii wasn't able to persuade third-party developers to put time and effort into producing strong games, I'm not sure the Wii U will. Especially if early sales are poor.

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