If you've ever read anything I've posted on Destructoid, there's one thing that should be very apparent by now: I'm a Nintendo fanboy. If it's Nintendo-related, I'm probably going to be interested. I've been crazy-excited for the Wii U, Nintendo's newest console offering, which releases in just a few days. However, the latest Nintendo Direct
and this page from Nintendo's website
have me seeing an entire FIELD full of red flags. There's so much not right here that I don't even know where to begin, other than one simple question: What decade does Nintendo think we're living in?
1. USB hard drives are only supported if they have external power supplies
That's not to say that drives without external power won't work at all, but Nintendo keeps saying that they recommend hard drives that you can actually plug into the wall. Seriously, who wants to carry stuff like that around when we can get hard drives that are pocket-sized now? And needing that special cable to plug one drive into two USB ports for extra power? What's going on here? On my PS3 and 360, a single hard drive cable is quite sufficient. Hell, I can run entire GAMES straight from my USB flash drive on the 360. Why do hard drives on the Wii U need so much power?
2. You can't move drives between machines, even other Wii Us
"Once a device has been configured for use with a Wii U console, it cannot be used with another Wii U console, PC etc. unless it is reformatted." That's what Nintendo's own website says. This means a couple of things: First, it means that you CANNOT take your save data with you. Your drive will not be recognized on any other systems, not even other Wii Us. This means that you'd better not want to take your save data to a friend's house, because from the sound of it, it's going to be absolutely impossible. Second, if you have a hard drive full of games, and you DO want to show your digital library to your friend, you'll have to delete the games, format your drive, and redownload ALL YOUR GAMES on your friend's console through your profile to get any of them to work. If there's a better definition of redundancy, then I haven't been made aware of it. Yes, I understand partitions can be made to use the drives on other machines. But what if I want to back my save data up to my PC, like I've done with the Wii? Hell, what if I just want to move my data to a different console to play with friends? Looks like Nintendo doesn't like that crazy notion.
3. SD cards don't have any Wii U functionality
From what I can tell, the SD card slot in the Wii U will serve absolutely no purpose as far as actual Wii U stuff goes, save for -- are you ready for this? -- storing a picture of your Mii. It's there specifically for original Wii games and original Wii save data. There's nothing you can do with an SD card and Wii U games, which seems like a massive waste to me.
4. You may not even be able to download your own games on other consoles
"On the system where you made the initial purchase, you can re-download a deleted game at any time by going to your Profile in the Nintendo eShop Menu and selecting My Downloads." Again, straight from Nintendo's website. They specifically mention being able to redownload games "On the system where you made the initial purchase..." With the Wii U being like any other gaming machine, i.e., a finicky electronic device, what would become of our games if our consoles died? Why is that something we even need to worry about?
5. USB devices are not hot-swappable
This seriously, legitimately worries me. You can't switch out USB devices connected to the Wii U unless you turn the system off first, and do what you need to with the power being cut. The last system I had that actually required you to shut a machine down to connect a peripheral to it was Windows 95. There's NO REASON you shouldn't be able to just plug and unplug USB devices. Last time I checked, it was 2012. What's the problem?
I was more pumped for the Wii U this month than I can even describe in words, but after getting hit by this double-whammy of Wii U news today, I'm sincerely wondering if I should wait on it. I know I'll own it one day -- Metroids and Zeldas will come eventually, and I'll be playing them no matter what. But something tells me I can wait -- There seem to be way too many unknowns for a console that's just around the corner. What do you guys think?