Uhhh… for once I wrote this part of my blog last. Usually it’s the first bit, and it functions as a warm up for the rest of the blog. Today I didn’t need that. What I was trying to get out pretty much came out on its own… like a nice healthy poop. Wait. That came out wrong. Shit. Wait. No. Double Shit! I guess I could have left that out. Oh, well.
Nintendo has spent the past five years making great games on consoles that I either didn't want to own, or didn't quite measure up to the ones that I already did. By releasing a new console to the market they've opened me back up to their good graces and possibly wanting to own their machines for a larger purpose than playing the newest iteration of their classics. If you couldn't sell me last generation with Metroid, Mario, Donkey Kong, and Zelda, then clearly there is either something wrong with me, your console, or the combination of the two.
Let's talk about how Nintendo hopes to correct this.
Wii didn't have solid catalog of third-party titles. This is arguable of course, but only insomuch as if you disregard all of the cross-platform titles that either didn't make the jump to Wii, or did attempt to make the jump but did so like Super Meat Boy does this through a dozen stainless steel blades. The games are there, but not readily apparent, and when they are because they are ports, it's just too much of a mess to appreciate.
So what did Nintendo promise us during their conference?
Batman: Arkham City
, and doesn't that get your blood pumping? Sure, it's not an exclusive, and it will probably show up later than it should, but I am pretty sure that it is a game that appeals to more than just the Nintendo crowd. The same goes for all of the other announced third-party titles like Aliens: Colonial Marines
, Darksiders 2
, Assassin's Creed
, and, forgive me if I cannot forgive you in doubting its relevance to 'Core gamers, Metro 2033: Subtitle Unknown To False Nipple
If you are looking for exclusives by Nintendo that cater to niche gamers, then you're out of luck. Oh, and for the record I excluded Nintendo Fanboys from the running when qualifying that last statement. That isn't to say that the system won't have niche or hardcore games, but that it is beyond mentioning until it has a year on the shelves and developers have learned the ins and outs of Nintendo's hardware, and it isn't fair to assume what titles they have or will have, let alone to throw in the towel. We’re still too early in the game to make a call.
We'll just have to move on from there.
The next point of consideration is that Nintendo has stepped up to HD, or at least have told us that they have, so touting out our 360’s and PS3’s graphical superiority may no longer let us dismiss Nintendo’s box when buying cross-platform titles. Nintendo even went as far as announcing a few that we know well enough not to be exclusives. So sooner or later we won’t just have XBOX vs. Sony fans ruining the internet with cross-platform game comparison rants.
Keep in mind that they didn't have a functioning demo in HD of any game, first party or otherwise. It's more than likely that they will be showing Wii U again at next year's E3 as opposed to it being on the streets and shoveling Wii U Carnival Games 2
at us. A high definition console does not sell without software, or more egregiously behind the promise of it. That we only saw the tablet in action is telling to say the anything at all, because to the audience that they hope to recapture, it's honestly the least important aspect of their new system. It's a gimmick... again.
I've already said this a couple times in the comments, and I'll probably say it again because I don't think that the people that need to hear it, read it, see it, and actually make an effort to digest it have done so.
The Wii U tablet controller is not enough to sell me a console, nor is it a representative of the actual console's capabilities. As a matter of fact, it might not even be necessary to play most games. That you can only pair one tablet per console pretty much excludes it from a variety of party-style, multiplayer games that Nintendo is known for.
It does have many other assets though, and again I probably have mentioned this elsewhere, but the tablet is pretty, damned savvy for something that at its heart is an input device. Until the situation arises where you or someone else has to share a television, and usually rather unpleasantly decide who gets priority over it, the game transferring option for Wii U isn’t going to seem all that impressive. Trust me when I tell you that it is though.
One relationship eroding fight will be all it takes to separate Wii U owners from someone on their XBOX, let alone how the gamer is going to feel when he jumps out of an online match into a forced, rape snuggle during Grey’s Anatomy
hoping to scrape up the emotional strength to want to get into bed with that frag-blocking fartwhistle.
Another feature that intrigues me, although I know it probably won’t once I get my hands on it, is the capability of the tablet to be used as a drawing device. You may or may not know this, but I love to draw, edit, and create digital and non-digital art. Four seconds of someone drawing Link was enough to pique my interest, and I am not even a huge fan of the Zelda series (Yes, I know that is blasphemy. I’m sorry. It’s just who I am.). The software’s depth is going to be a large qualifier on just how interesting that is to me, and although I am not expecting something on par with Adobe Photoshop
, I am expecting to see more than Mario Paint, and a bit of integrated digital photo editing and media sharing would go a long way.
And here is the part where I may lose a few of you.
The tablet controller is not sold separately.
Let me repeat that.
A device being marketed with such high levels of convergence and usability that it looks like you will never, ever want to put it down, let alone share, isn’t cheaply or conveniently replaceable. You break it, and guess what? You just bought a new console, or have to send it in for warrantied service, which we all know is only marginally better than buying a new console.
Just take a look at the damage that has been caused with Wii Motes in the past.
Imagine that on a more expensive scale and then multiply that by the number of families with small children, who were safe enough to play Wii, but absolutely weren’t trusting enough towards their tykes to let them own or touch Daddy’s iPad. I hope that you can recognize how troubling that makes the Wii U tablet. It’s on the verge of being too hardcore.
That’s right. I just said that, and it fucking frightens me.
Only time will tell if Wii U is not only a quality machine, but also one that has the goods that gamers want. At this point in time, I can say without a doubt that it will sell. What it does for the people that own it remains to be seen. E3 is no better to gamers than a campaign promise is to voters. Both tend to become obsolete a year or less after we've given both our money and loyalty to our party of choice.
Let's hope Nintendo honors its word.
LOOK WHO CAME: