Opinion: Wii U’s Experience

Okay, let’s get this out of the way. I love Nintendo. I’m a huge Big N fan, have been my whole life, always will be. It’s no surprise that I am, in fact, excited for the Wii U. However, I was very skeptical at first. After getting to play the Wii U a bit I have come to the clean conclusion that despite what many others may think or feel (usually criticism) of Nintendo’s new console, I am sincerely excited and believe it is a good step for Nintendo. I really do think the tablet controller is a great innovation, perhaps even better than the motion controls the Wii brought us. I can’t wait to plug my Wii U in and play Nintendo Land and New Super Mario Bros. U with a group of friends. I see a bold opportunity for the console, and here is why.

What was the problem many gamers had with the Wii? Its lack of strong, third party titles and the fact you had to play with the Wiimote for most of the games. The Wii U will theoretically not have this problem. With the Pro Controller as well as the Gamepad and Wiimote, you not only have options on what fits in your comfort zone, but developers also have options that can enhance or change gameplay mechanics based on the controller you’re using. The touch screen is amazingly responsive and the technology allows so many things for developers to dip their toes in. What’s great is that many developers want to explore their options with the Wii U, so we might see some very creative sparks from some of our favorite devs in the near future.

I love the idea. The idea of having information available at all times via touch pad is awesome. The gyro functions of the controller please me. The accelerometer, the built in microphone, the near field communications and the built in camera are all sweet, sweet additions that make me like it more. One could call it a TV sized version of the Nintendo DS. I agree to an extent, but feel that the simple difference of having the bottom screen separate makes for many renditions and experiences the DS cannot achieve. The Gamepad was also surprisingly lightweight, I remember thinking “Wow, this is almost as light as a Sixaxis controller.”

The evolution of first party Nintendo icons is upon us. Think of the possibilities that a new Legend of Zelda can hold. With active mapping and item switching alone open up many puzzle that involve movement and motion. Star Fox can offer strategic options on the touch screen, while the controller takes on the Arwing’s navigational systems. Metroid can take the element of scanning environments to the next level using the gyrosensor. Perhaps Pokémon can utilize the camera to catch those lovable little monsters in the real world, aim your controller around your living room and search under chairs, behind curtains, or even out the window! I see a future with the Wii U where some see fault.

Nintendo is a company that is known for its innovation. Some see it very differently. Some suggest this is even the end for Nintendo. One thing people need to realize is that Nintendo has moved on. They’re aiming for a new generation of gamers. They’re also doing this very successfully as demonstrated by the Wii’s sales. You might be upset by this, but it was bound to happen one day. Yes, I’m hopeful for the Wii U, but not with the same hope I held for the Wii. It’s a much different feeling. Nintendo has moved onto a different audience, one that they KNOW they can successfully capture while Microsoft and Sony continue to do their thing. I’m buying a Wii U. I don’t care if it has handicapped online gameplay, that isn’t why I buy Nintendo consoles. I buy Nintendo consoles to play locally with friends and family. This is why I trust Nintendo will deliver, they will hit the ball out of the park in that market, and I’m all for it.

I’m a heretic.

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