[In Divnich Divines, EEDAR Vice President and videogame analyst Jesse Divnich traverses the bogs of sales data, hype, and good old fashioned game geekery to give you his two cents on hot topics in the game industry]
Despite months of concept art "leaks" and other rumors surrounding Nintendo's Project Café, the gaming juggernaut was still able to catch us off guard with its Wii U announcement at E3. But will the Wii U offer enough for "core" gamers, who perhaps already own an Xbox 360 or PS3 to fulfill their HD console needs?
In this new regular feature on Destructoid, I poll Jesse Divnich for his analyst perspective on current and ongoing developments in the game industry. With the initial skepticism of a multiple console owning gamer in mind, this edition's question is: "What will it take for the Wii U to become a commercial success at this stage of the console generation lifecycle?"
"I would caution Nintendo to stray from labeling the Wii U as a platform that delivers a core experience as its primary function. It just doesn't need to compete with the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 when they've already carved out a rather large niche market for themselves.
"My biggest fear is that third-party publishers will simply 'port' their PS3 and Xbox 360 library over to the Wii U, while adding minimal unique features to the Wii U version. Simply put, I don't think the core community will fall for it and no one can honestly say they would purchase Assassin's Creed III for the Wii U, when they've already built a strong loyalty to the series on another platform. If someone told me they own every console and have purchased every Assassin's Creed iteration, I can bet with a high degree of certainty they likely own all iterations for the same console.
"Our data shows that over 55% of Xbox 360 consumers who play more than 10 hours a week of core gaming are also engaged in the mobile markets, yet when we look at the top-selling iOS titles, they are all casual or bite-sized experiences that would only be enjoyable on the iOS devices due to the specific technology inherent to the platform (touch screen, etc.)."
"The idea that the 'core' or 'casual' classification of a gamer is static is ridiculous. When I go to the theater, the movie I watch depends entirely on the experience I am looking to enjoy. If I am with a group of guys, we want to see something with high octane action; when I am with my wife, a romantic comedy. I believe consumers act similarly with video games.
"The Wii U will be a successful platform. The question remains, however, aside from Nintendo, who else will be rolling in the profits? My guess, the ones that take full advantage of the differentiating Wii U technology."
Not that anyone will care about shovelware and shoddy ports once an HD Zelda or Mario game is announced, of course.