On Tuesday, Nintendo finally announced their next generation console, the Wii U. Although the name sounds more like the sound an ambulance makes than the name of a video game console, the system’s capabilities and new controller have the potential to change the industry the way the original Wii did.
The Wii U’s new controller features a six inch screen, motion sensors, two analog sticks and nearly infinite gameplay possibilities. Games can use the new screen controller in addition to the current Wii remotes to allow for new multiplayer experiences. Four vs one multiplayer games, more accuracy for motion control games, instant inventories and even the possibilities with shooting games had my ears perked up as the intro video finished. The question now is whether Nintendo will deliver on the promises that have come with the new console.
Nintendo, being notorious for its lack of third party support, has promised to bring third party content to their console as well as provide a console that caters better to the hardcore gamer than its predecessor. So far, games like Darksiders 2, Tekken, Smash Bros. and EA Sports games are some titles that will eventually end up on the Wii U lineup. If Nintendo wants to gain back the support of the hardcore, they are going to have to keep these kinds of games coming thoughout the console’s life. Nintendo’s first party IPs won’t keep the hardcore audience on its one console, so Nintendo is going to have to provide unique experiences with franchises like Call of Duty, Assassin’s Creed and Grand Theft Auto.
Personally, I think that Nintendo’s new console can be another game changer for the video game industry. I am excited for the gameplay possibilities that could come out of a controller with more input options than there ever has been before and to see some of my favorite Nintendo franchises in high definition. As long as Nintendo and its partners make gaming experiences that Microsoft and Sony can not replicate on their own consoles and appeal to the hardcore, it will continue to trail blaze innovation in the industry and the competition will continue to follow Nintendo’s lead.
What do you think of the Wii U? Will it spur innovation or just spawn more gameplay gimmicks? Let us know in the comments.