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The Wii U is now out in the wild, having been released in North America on Nov. 18, coming to Europe and Australia on Nov. 30, and finally Japan on Dec. 8. This is the first of the next-gen consoles, with Sony and Microsoft expected to follow suit and release their own next-gen machines Why Next-Generation Games Consoles Can Wait [Opinion] Why Next-Generation Games Consoles Can Wait [Opinion] The current generation of home games consoles - the Wii, the PS3, and the Xbox 360 - have all been with us for some time. This seventh-generation began in 2005 with the release of the... Read More in 2013.

The Wii U isn’t intended to be competition to the forthcoming consoles though, with Nintendo setting its own agenda and forging its own path into the future. Just as with the original Wii, this is a gamble. The first one paid off in a big way, with Nintendo selling 90 million units of the Wii hardware around the world. The question of whether the Wii U will pull off a similar feat was the subject of last week’s We Ask You column. The results of which are below.

What Do You Think Of The Nintendo Wii U?

We asked you, What Do You Think Of The Nintendo Wii U? The response was, well, let’s not beat around the bush here, woeful. I take the blame for this poor showing, as I suspect people want to actually use the Wii U for themselves before they commit an opinion on the device to paper. Or in this case, the comments section of a technology website.

The people who did take the time and trouble to comment — and I thank every one of them — gave responses that were as varied as they could be. Some don’t want to know, being perfectly satisfied continuing to play consoles from previous generations, while others are eager to get their hands on a Wii U. I suspect most won’t be tempted until the better games start arriving though, as the Wii U currently has a pitiful line-up of software.

Nintendo has rallied against the idea that next-gen means improved visuals and nothing else. In effect the company has set itself against its competitors (who are arguably all about the visuals) and instead focused on the game-playing experience. The Wii introduced motion control 6 Crazy, Interesting Or Useful Ways To Use a WiiMote 6 Crazy, Interesting Or Useful Ways To Use a WiiMote When Nintendo released the WiiMote, it was arguably a console industry game changer. The concept of interacting with a game using your physical body was born. Lifelike motion controls enabled it to appeal to a... Read More ; the Wii U keeps that in place while also adding a tablet controller into the mix. But for that to work the games are going to be all-important.


Comment Of The Week

Comment Of The Week goes to Scutterman, who receives the respect of myself and hopefully everybody reading this. His comment (posted below) as well as his follow-up point (posted in a separate quote) raise some great points. In particular I enjoyed his assertion that Nintendo is trying to please too many people — casuals and the hardcore — which is surely a hiding to nothing.

I’m not going to comment on whether it will succeed or fail as a console, but there are several aspects of the release I think have been handled wrongly.

Firstly, from my understanding, Nintendo is trying to get back into the hardcore market. From the fact that they kept their specs very quiet….it seems the specs can just about beat the specs of the current generation hardcore consoles. This doesn’t bode well considering that the current generation is on it’s way out. I know that specs don’t mean everything, but a lot of gamers believe they do.

Another thing is that they are making a standard game controller, which makes a lot of sense and I’m happy to see. But they got the name wrong. By calling it the “Pro” pad, they are essentially saying that the pad controller and the standard Wii controller are for casual games or novelty use.

Where the Wii struggles is attracting the hardcore developers. Since there isn’t yet the optimisations to the console and game engines that current generation consoles have, I think the Wii U will still have a hard time attracting serious games.

As a console in general, they released it at the right time. Right before Christmas and at least a year before it has any competition. But unless it gets the good games fast, it’ll be ignored by the hardcore gamers and their lead will only mean a financial success.

I think Nintendo is trying to do too much. They yearn for the days when they were a contender in the hardcore market, but that was a long time ago. They can’t risk selling two different consoles, so they try to force a “hardcore” market into their existing console. They are walking the line between cheap and fun for their current market, and the power and features of a new market. It’s never going to stand up to the hardcore-first of the contenders.

We will be asking a new question tomorrow, so please join us then. We Ask You is a weekly column dedicated to finding out the opinions of MakeUseOf readers. We ask you a question and you tell us what you think. The question is open-ended and is usually open to debate. Some questions will be purely opinion-based, while others will see you sharing tips and advice, or advocating tools and apps for your fellow MakeUseOf readers. This column is nothing without your input, all of which is valued.

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  1. Jonen
    November 28, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    i sort of agree. im pretty sure Nintendo is split between focusing on the consumer and the gamer market. it seems nintendo have been pushing for games that were left out for Wii to be on the Wii U to show the hardcore players that are disappointed in Wii that they now have the hardcore games and theres no reason to switch boat.

    similiarly, their Adds too give mixed messages. some commercials scream "hey gamers! the Wii U has everything the 360 and ps3 ever had with more, buy it, it wont be like the Wii that only had family games" while still being whimsical enough not to upset general consumers that watch it.

    other adds scream "hey mortals, the new Wii U is everything the Wii was, but cooler" while trying to still be cool enough not to scare away traditional gamers.

    i dont know where this will lead. i think its gonna keep its lukewarm reception for some time and sell less than Wii, but more than its future competitors. some may say its gonna be like the dreamcast, but i dont think so. the dreamcast appealed only to the gamers sega had disappointed over the years and tried to outdo its competitors, it also lacked third party support. Wii U may have the best third party support from a nintendo console yet, it does not try to build on its competitors and appeals to the casual market as well as gamers.

    i decided to get one, im a fan of nintendos games and its not like a new xbox or a playstation is gonna pop up for a while. seriusly. Nintendo announced the console 1 and a half year ago and no returned fire from Sony and microsoft? they must be either very confident or struggling with their projects. not saying playstation or xbox is bad, i may get the new playstation if its not over 500$

    • Dave Parrack
      November 29, 2012 at 8:11 pm

      You have a Wii U already? What do you think of it?

      I fully expect Sony and Microsoft to announce new hardware in 2013, and one will probably release by the end of the year too. There wasn't quite the need for them to jump to the next-gen as there was for Nintendo.

  2. Austen Gause
    November 28, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    why does it say nintendo is trying to get into the hardcore market. no offense to anyone who likes the wii but the wii u is anything but hardcore.

    • Dave Parrack
      November 29, 2012 at 8:09 pm

      Nintendo has said so. It's aware that the Wii was considered a joke amongst core gamers, and so is trying its hardest to have games for them too, such s ZombiU.

  3. Seppe
    November 28, 2012 at 10:21 am

    Who says that Nintendo is trying to get back the hardcore market? They just want to sell as much consoles as they can, they've always wanted to do that and you don't do that by targeting the small hardcore audience.

    by the way. Since when are "hardcore" gamers all about the specs? It's about gameplay and fresh, innovative ideas and the Wii U is the only console who's trying anything new. It's the only real next gen system...

    • Dave Parrack
      November 29, 2012 at 8:08 pm

      Nintendo itself has said that they're aiming to appeal to core gamers as well as casuals this time around.

      If core gamers are about "gameplay and fresh, innovative ideas" then how come Call Of Duty sells millions every year?

  4. Zhong Jiang
    November 28, 2012 at 4:18 am

    I don't know. Does having touchscreen functionality and more hardware to plug in sounds fun? What I think Nintendo is going for is to have a console-like appearance, but with additional handheld equipped. So it appears like the nintendo ds except for the actual hard drive.

    • Dave Parrack
      November 29, 2012 at 8:07 pm

      I like tablets in general, but I'm not sure about them as games controllers, if I'm perfectly honest.