So, I've read much in the way of illegitimate criticism on the 'Wii U'. The majority of what I've read is stupid, knee jerk reaction, gamers-hate-change unreasonableness. Other stuff just seems to be a simple misunderstanding of what Nintendo presented. Of course, there are plenty of legitimate criticisms of the new hardware, but that is not what this blog is about.
"The iPad is already doing this!"
No it isn't. The iPad is playing iPad games. iPad games are near universally shitty. When your best game is an inaccurate mess of a PunchOut clone with swords, do you really care if you can play it on your big screen? This also applies to the "Sony can do this with the NGP." crowd as well.
The main difference is this: The controller and the console system are the baseline for Wii U developers. Every Wii U player will have a dual analog controller with a built in touch screen, sound and motion controls. This is the default. You might get something close if a developer takes that route with an NGP-PS3 combo title (If Sony will even allow this) but my guess is most PS3 owners will not own an NGP and this will be an incredibly expensive option ($550 minimum buy-in) for a not quite similar experience.
To note, I'm really excited for what Sony is doing with the NGP. The dual touchscreens and Transfarring style cloud saving will create a very unique experience I can't wait to try.
"More Casual Crap!""Nintendo abandoned the Hardcore gamer!"
I am so sick of this. People were wrong when they said this about the Wii and they are certainly wrong saying this about the Wii U. Yes, Nintendo makes some simple titles for less experienced gamers and the expanded audience. However, 24 of 63 titles they've published for Wii are for the hardcore gamer (Titles like Metroid and Sin & Punishment), 11 of 63 are crossover titles (like New Super Mario Bros. Wii) that can please both audiences. Shift those titles between those two groups however you want, 35/63 titles are for hardcore players (not including the Atlus made games they published in Europe). Over 50% of what Nintendo released was for hardcore gamers.
What's worse, is hardcore players abandoned Nintendo's hardcore games (or perhaps are pirating everything after Smash Bros. came out). Metroid Prime 3 only sold 1.5 million copies. Metroid Prime Trilogy sold less then a million. Both of those games were critically acclaimed (I loved them myself), directed at the hardcore and some of the best values in gaming. Both of those games combined sold worse then Wii: Music (3 million). Who abandoned what now?
The Wii U is what hardcore gamers have been asking for in comment after comment: Standard set up dual analog sticks and button controls, HD graphics (supposedly more powerful then PS3) and M rated games. It has the added benefit of a large touchscreen, built in microphone, headphone jack and SIXAXIS style motion controls. The casual market are still buying Wii titles so Nintendo will continue to serve them, but every addition to the Wii U is obviously added to please the hardcore gamer.
"Nintendo's online service is crap!"
This is absolutely true when talking about the original Wii, as well as the DS/DSi family. Their one friend code per game tomfoolery, comparatively horrible storefronts, lack of support for multiple users and missing standards like voice chat, messaging an even friend status were, at best, hard to deal with. Spotty connections and missing features make those systems far more then deserving of the negative reputation.
You'll notice I left one system out: The 3DS. The 3Ds is a major step up in connectivity. Not just for Nintendo but for console gaming in general. There's a solid infrastructure as most online matches I've played have been lag free. The games and system automatically download updates whenever you're near an open WiFi connection. Automatic downloads of DLC bring a new element of surprise every time you start a title. Friend Codes have been reduced to 1 per console (making it like a phone number). There's still some room for improvement, but it is leaps and bounds ahead of where Nintendo was and certain features are above and beyond what anyone else offers.
I'm pretty sure Nintendo will not stop the progress of their online service with the 3DS. It's already been hinted at new online capabilities the Wii U will offer. Ubisoft, at e3, talked about checking what your friends were up to and receiving messages from Ghost Recon on the controller screen when the console was not active. I think it's pretty safe to assume the Wii U will have it's own built in friends list so you can easily see what all your friends are up to just by checking out the controller. With a built in mic and a forward facing camera, perhaps video-chat will arrive in a big way as every controller comes with the ability to do that video chat standard.
"The Wii U is the worst name ever for a console EVAR"
Even worse then the WonderSwan?
I hope people who've made these same complaints will read what I have written and stop and think before jumping to negative conclusions. Some of what I've wrote about the Wii U is conjecture which isn't dissimilar to what I'm writing against. I'm just writing positive conjecture. Nintendo still has a lot to show us and a lot to prove. It pains me to read when someone expects the worst out of promising new technology, especially when it's based more on memes then reality. I'm not saying to have wishful thinking or to even to give everything a chance, just don't malign somethings potential before you have a real reason to do so.
(All sales data from VGcharts.com)
(List of Nintendo published titles for Wii available @ wikipedia)