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What's wrong with...Wii U?

Posted by choodi , in Wii U 20 June 2011 · 903 views

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So E3 has come and gone and we now have the first (vague) details on Nintendo's next console. There was the usual knee-jerk reactions from gaming fans and gaming press alike, some proclaiming it the next coming and others trotting out the usual "Nintendo is doomed" line. I must admit that I was massively intrigued by the new possibilities and new gameplay experiences that the new controller would create. However, now that the dust has settled and I am able to view it with an objective eye, I am seeing a couple of massive flaws that Nintendo really needs to address before I will commit to buying the Wii U.

1 - A single new controller only. I mean seriously Nintendo, why are we only able to use one controller? Doesn't that severely limit the experiences that the Wii U can offer? Ever since Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles on the Gamecube, I have been convinced that there was serious potential in this whole "connectivity" thing you were harping on about. The first thing that I though of when I saw the new controller was, "Yes, finally they can do that type of game right!" Then you revealed that only one new controller would be able to be used at the same time and you killed my dreams dead. That's not to mention the other ideas of how the controller could add a massive dimension to local multiplayer first person shooters or role-playing games.

2 - Single-touch screen. Really? In this day and age of multi-touch, you are not going to let me pinch-to-zoom and all the rest of the benefits of multi-touch screens? Talk about missing out on some massive gameplay opportunities. Think about what a multi-touch screen would mean for genres like real-time strategy! A multi-touch screen would also help developers who have abandoned console development for things like the iOS and Android. Give them similar capabilities and let them port their games. Single touch means that the Wii U misses out on the greatest source of innovation there is in the current industry (i.e. independent developers).

With the little information the Nintendo has released thus far I will reserve judgement on the Wii U as a whole, but these two flaws alone are enough to make me seriously question whether Nintendo has the Wii U concept right. That is something that has never really happened to me before, except on the initial reveal of the Nintendo DS when we still didn't know about the touch screen capability of that little gem. Here's hoping that things turn out in a similar way.

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Out of the the 2 you mentioned. I believe the first point would severely hurt most. Surely point two can be rectified or at least implemented in the next wave of controllers (though they really shouldn't compromise) Overall agree with everything said, despite what has been shown. I'm also quite frightened about their online infrastructure. The only thing going for them at the moment is the somewhat solid details in regards to HD-able gaming.
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Phantom Ganon
Jun 21 2011 09:47 AM
I've been keeping an eye on the first point and it's a HUGE point at the moment on GameFAQ. From what I gather though, it's not the fact that the hardware can't do it that's stopping them. As far as I'm aware, the hardware can stream up to 4 video outputs. What seems to be the problem is the cost of a controller.

So from what I see, Nintendo are telling the devs to focus on single Wii U controller experiences for now as buying a second controller is super costly at the moment.
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I've been keeping an eye on the first point and it's a HUGE point at the moment on GameFAQ. From what I gather though, it's not the fact that the hardware can't do it that's stopping them. As far as I'm aware, the hardware can stream up to 4 video outputs. What seems to be the problem is the cost of a controller.

This is also what I've read. Hopefully the option is there, or eventually becomes available (if Nintendo actually lock it to one in the first place.)
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The problem with waiting till prices come down on the controller is that developers are going to base all of their resources around developing for one controller and when they enable multiple controller games, it will not be used because it is not "standard".

The reason no one utilised the classic controller is because it was not "standard".

I can afford to buy four controllers and I want to use four controllers. Give them to me!
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The problem with waiting till prices come down on the controller is that developers are going to base all of their resources around developing for one controller and when they enable multiple controller games, it will not be used because it is not "standard".

The reason no one utilised the classic controller is because it was not "standard".

I can afford to buy four controllers and I want to use four controllers. Give them to me!

But the Classic Controller was supported by the games that needed it; mainly things that needed to be accessible, like Mario Kart.

If there a lots of ways to play, it ensures that people will be comfortable, and since Nintendo have tried to capture a new market with the Wii, they might as well cater to them. This is why the Wii Remote is still supported and why they will want to keep costs down on they're new console, especially now that the Wii is sub-$200.
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Phantom Ganon
Jun 21 2011 05:04 PM

The problem with waiting till prices come down on the controller is that developers are going to base all of their resources around developing for one controller and when they enable multiple controller games, it will not be used because it is not "standard".

The reason no one utilised the classic controller is because it was not "standard".

I can afford to buy four controllers and I want to use four controllers. Give them to me!


Fair enough, but what if three additional controllers costs almost as much as the console? It's too early to know.

Look it's easy for us gaming typss to say that we're willing to pay for additional controllers but don't forget there's a more casual audience as well. They're going to look at an extra controller for multiplayer, baulk at the price and be turned off the system entirely (thinking of course that no fun can be had without the extra controller), going for one of those Kinect doo-hickies instead.

Of course, this all changes if Nintendo really slams home the fact that old Remotes work with the Wii U. I'm not sure they can though.
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Nintendo has certainly dropped the ball in the communication stakes with the Wii U reveal. They didn't really seem to have the key messages sorted out very well.

As someone who works in marketing and communication, I have great respect for what Reggie has brought to Nintendo's strategic communications, but they really didn't get this E3 right at all.

I guess the gist of what I want to say is that if I am going to convince my non-hardcore mates to play, they will want to play on equal footing, not passing the one awesome controller around and the others playing on Wii Remotes.

I also want to reinforce the second point about single-touch screens. Does anyone else think this is actually a bigger issue than the first point? I do, and adding a multi-touch screen down the track is not going to work because you will have split the market between those with multi-touch and those without.

In five years time a single touch screen is going to be even more out of date than it is now. The same sort of situation as the Wii going with standard definition graphics way back when it was released. It didn't seem such a big deal, but it does now.
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I also want to reinforce the second point about single-touch screens. Does anyone else think this is actually a bigger issue than the first point? I do, and adding a multi-touch screen down the track is not going to work because you will have split the market between those with multi-touch and those without.

In five years time a single touch screen is going to be even more out of date than it is now. The same sort of situation as the Wii going with standard definition graphics way back when it was released. It didn't seem such a big deal, but it does now.

I see what you mean, but with this device, the touch-screen is there to complement standard buttons, not to replace them like an iPad. So it shouldn't matter too much. Multi touch would also makes it less like a giant DS, which might ruin any planned cross-compatible titles like SSB.
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Cross compatibility is a very interesting prospect isn't it?
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PlasmaDavid
Jun 23 2011 12:23 PM
I love the idea of having multiplayer with very literal split-screen!

I wonder how many games will relegate the controller to being the menu/itens + controller, and have the main action on-screen like a "normal" game. Certainly it will be very cool as a map and things like that to completment a "normal" game.

Okay, so I just want a Battalion Wars game whith drop-in co-op where P2 can control a single unit, or even a gun turret.
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Gun turret sounds perfectly suited to the new controller. Move the screen around to aim off the main television screen!
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All these complaints are rendered moot by the fact it will have BATMAN on the system.
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I see your point!
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What is wrong is clearly that playing with an iPad as a controller is extremely unconfortable, specially when this is not a mobile device, but only a console system to play at home. Not even taking into account the price of each one of those huge tablets.
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An iPad is uncomfortable because it doesn't have anything to hold on to. The Wii U controller clearly has grips on the back where the triggers are and all of the reports from E3 said it was very comfortable to hold.

The iPad is not designed with ergonomics in mind, only aesthetics. The Wii U is clearly going to have some better thought put into the ergonomics of holding and playing with a big tablet in your hands. Remember, Nintendo brought us the Gamecube controller, which is still the most comfortable controller ever.
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The iPad is not designed with ergonomics in mind, only aesthetics. The Wii U is clearly going to have some better thought put into the ergonomics of holding and playing with a big tablet in your hands. Remember, Nintendo brought us the Gamecube controller, which is still the most comfortable controller ever.

I totally agree with you, but I am worried about the circle pads.
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Phantom Ganon
Jul 07 2011 09:51 AM
We've been told the circle pads are more advanced than the 3DS ones, whatever that means.
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