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Our Wii U launch plans and expectations


wii u

With Nintendo finally revealing launch and pricing details for the Wii U to the world last week, and the Gaming Age staff having a weekend to count our pennies and digest the details, it looks like not everyone is quite buying into the experience (yet).

Maybe we’re getting old and jaded, or maybe the industry is changing and we’re not ready to adapt. Either way, it seemed like a good opportunity to voice our (unedited) excitement and/or concerns for Nintendo’s unique new-gen console and GamePad.

Read on.

Dustin

Honestly, the launch price clocks in about $50 more than I had anticipated, and after the Nintendo Direct bit last night in Japan I was surprised to seem them go with a split SKU, even if that is sort of the norm for their competitors nowadays. And it seems like the Deluxe bundle would definitely be the way to go, assuming you’re at all interested in NintendoLand.

I’m not super enthused by the Nintendo TVii stuff, mostly because I don’t watch a lot of standard TV. But I do think having all of the video options, Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon integrated into one place, with content split by personal profiles, is a smart step. I’m assuming the Tivo stuff only works for current Tivo subscribers, but it would be great if there was a way to get the DVR side of this thing to work with current cable box units, which tend to have the DVR function built in.

On the game side there’s definitely plenty of stuff to look forward to! If you’re on the fence for New Super Mario Bros. U, I’d urge you to check out the new trailer. It looks fantastic, and the new modes intro’d look to give a bit of challenge to those of that have found the series to be a little easy. It’s also definitely a step up visually, and should be fun to play. I’ve been kind of ho-hum about NintendoLand, but the more I see of it the more I like it, and a “Horde” mode mini-game featuring a Metroid skin does sound/look like fun. I’m sure this will be something me and the wife will enjoy, so I’m looking forward to checking it out. Of course, the other big announcement of Bayonetta 2 is pretty awesome, and certainly was a surprise to me. And getting an official title, and closer look at Platinum’s other game, now called The Wonderful 101, is also a big plus. And then there’s that Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate announcement, which has me hyped to jump back in, especially with some cross platform functionality on 3DS.

I tend to get pretty hyped for new consoles in general, but I’m hoping to see more good things out of the Wii U during the launch window. The idea of playing ported over releases of titles from other platforms isn’t that exciting for me, regardless of the new bells and whistles, but the new third party and first party stuff is certainly enough to get me to plop down funds on a pre-order, for the Deluxe version of course

Brian

Boogeyman’s Top 10 Reasons why he is not investing in the Wii U

10. Costs too much for a system that is using current generation power.
9. Still Waiting on Mario Football, I mean come on, it’s bound to happen!
8. Not ready to weed through all the shovelware companies like ZOO are going to mix in the batch between the few great ones.
7. My insurance doesn’t cover the hernia that HUGE controller will cause.
6. If you think that the Wii remote has broken TV’s, just wait till someone lunges that puppy by accident.
5. I’m not sure I remembered all my friends codes to play online.
4. Either all my friends will have to own one, or I will have to take out a second mortage to play 4 player Smash Bros U.
3. I’m afraid if I hold my new Wii Controller up to the screen to interact with my games, I’ll get sucked into the Twilight Zone.
2. Fred Savage still has not signed onto the sequel to the Wizard

and the number one reason why the Boogeyman is not investing in the Wii U…

1. The name’s rhyme scheme is too close to what Mario plunges up and says, “P U!”

Craig

I’ve always been a video gamer at heart. I grew up on the 2600 and Commodore 64, but really fell in love with gaming when I got my NES back in 1988. Ever since then I was not only a fan of games, but a stout supporter of Nintendo – a company whose games I considered to be of the highest quality. Flash forward to today and I still have a soft spot for their style of games. When the Wii U was first announced I thought to myself – FINALLY – Nintendo’s games will be in HD. In fact, even if that was the only improvement that the console would bring I figured I’d be fine with that. When I played Wii U at E3 2011, I became convinced that I had to own one. Sure, the “games” were simple tech demos back then, but looking back at my 3 days of gaming at that show – I had the most fun playing these “mini-games” with a group of strangers. I recently had a chance to play actual Wii U games coming to retail and had an absolute blast playing them. Games like Rayman Legends, New Super Mario Bros. U, and Zombi U really showed that you could have deep 1-player experiences as well as fun multiplayer chaotic play sessions. Then I played Nintendoland, a game that even I had serious doubts would be any good. Those were wiped away after just a few minutes playing the different attractions in the game. Even the most jaded gamers I know were smiling, laughing, and having a good time.

Prior to the official announcements, I had predicted the Wii U would come out on November 18 at $299.99 with some demos of some sort in the box. I was sort of close. I never imagined they’d launch 2 separate bundles (until recent rumors surfaced a few days ago). Even so, I think it’s great they kept it under the $300 price for those wanting to jump in, but honestly the $349 Deluxe Bundle is such a better deal with 4x the storage space, Nintendoland, a charging cradle and stand for the GamePad, and a stand for the system. Quite a bit of extra stuff for only $50 more. So, it will probably come as no surprise that one of the first things I did on September 13 was plop down a reserve on the $349.99 Wii U bundle. I simply have to have the system at launch and am giddy to not only play Nintendo’s offerings, but a host of 3rd party software as well. I’ve even passed up some releases on purpose to buy them for the Wii U. The games I’m most looking forward to are Zombi U, Mario U, Rayman Legends, Pikmin 3, Nintendoland (bundled with the system), and The Wonderful 101. In addition, I have reserved Lego City and Assassin’s Creed 3. I’m seriously considering picking up Sonic All-Star Racing (I loved the prior one), Epic Mickey 2, and early next year will most likely snag Aliens: Colonial Marines.

I’m excited to finally play Nintendo games in HD and see how their online works out this time around. Miiverse sounds interesting and NintendoTVii, if it works as advertised, might be a really awesome feature of the system. I know that many people (including many staffers here) felt burned by the Wii because not enough games came out that interested them. I agree the final year and a half of the Wii’s life was excruciating. Xenoblade and Last Story helped make this year somewhat bearable, but I completely understand those that are hesitant to buy another Nintendo system at this point. I just hope Nintendo can pull off better third party support this time and convince them to create some truly captivating software. I’m looking forward to seeing what they’ve got cooking for us in the months and years ahead.

Chris

I have been a big Nintendo fan ever since the NES. My parents would never allow me to purchase the SNES when it came out so when it did, I snuck it into the house. I dropped the ball on the Nintendo 64 and didn’t buy that one till a Zelda title came out on it. Super Mario 64 became one of my favorite Mario games that I never finished. (I know bad me) The GameCube and Wii where day 1 purchases for me. I have never regretted buying a Nintendo system, and with the Wii U I don’t think I’m going to start.

At $300 for the regular version and $350 for the deluxe the price is a little steam in my opinion, it probably should have been about $50 less. Regardless I will be getting the Deluxe model as my wife and I have more games on the Wii than games on the PS3 or the Xbox360. We are very excited for New Super Mario Brothers U and Pikmin 3. The tablet gaming looks like a lot of fun, especially the way it is being used for Mario. Both of us are big fans of Pikmin and Mario, we haven’t missed a game on their console. With the new systems that are inevitability coming from Microsoft and Sony, how will the Wii U stack up? The other problem that Nintendo might have is the power of the Wii U is close to on par with the power of the 360 and PS3, the system is $300-$350, how will the price point stack up against it’s two main competitors? Especially with the 360 being $200 for the base model and $300 for the larger model.

I am a huge Nintendo fan, I have enjoyed Zelda and Metroid as a couple of my favorite series. Leaps in innovation with the Wii has made Metroid and Zelda much more fun. I cannot wait to see what they have cooked up for the new Zelda game. As far as launch games are concerned, as I said before in my article, Mario and Pikmin are the first party games I’ll be buying right away. As far as third party games Tekken Tag 2 Wii U Edition will be a purchase as well. Lego Undercover and Zombi U looks great too but I have to draw my spending line somewhere.

Mike

Price aside, I feel less excited about Wii U than I did about Wii. I think there was a certain intuitiveness to Wii; you saw it’s control mechanism and you knew exactly how it would work and how it could be leveraged by developers to make some really cool games. With Wii U it’s not the same; I see the controller and can’t help but think it’s the same old dual analog we’ve been using for years now on every other platforms, but with a giant screen slapped to the centre. That in and of itself isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but something tells me that all this controller will do is promote ports from the other systems using the same dual analog control scheme rather than something new. With Wii it seemed lazy when a dev tried to retrofit dual analog controls to the Wii Mote when a cooler, wave-ier version was available… With Wii U’s dual analogs there will be no reason for creative controls on cross platform titles, and devs will merely slop some controller display mechanic that you won’t care about.

Basically, I fear that all the Wii U does is stiffle third party developer’s motivation to make really unique and cool games, whereas Wii’s controll practically begged for fresh ideas and didn’t give too many alternative options. No one will want to spend money and time on R&D for an exclusive title when they can use the system’s dual analogs and port their crossplatform titles so easily. The rift widens because the first party developer’s games will obviously stand head and shoulders above the rest (in terms of leveraging Wii U’s unique strengths), all of which leads to another console generation where the only good games on the platform are Nintendo’s…

Don’t get me wrong, I need me some Mario, Metroid, and Zelda loving (playing Metroid and even Zelda with a map always on-screen will be a dream) but I can wait for a price drop (or three) this time around.

Also, friends codes really do suck.

Travis

I think this pretty much sums it up:

[10:59] Friend: WiiU $299, November 18th
[10:59] Travis: Ugh, I have no intentions on owning that system
[10:59] Friend : pfft
[10:59] Friend : some rpg will come out
[10:59] Travis: true
[10:59] Travis: Let’s say, I have no intention on owning that system at launch
[10:59] Friend : there you go
[11:08] Friend : welp, you will need to amend your earlier statement
[11:08] Friend : Bayonetta 2 is a Wii U exclusive
[11:08] Travis: fffffffuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu

*minutes later*
[11:39] Friend: *link to news story of Mistwalker (Xenoblade) making a Wii U game*
[11:39] Friend: aaaaaaaaaand Trav just preordered

Feel free to let us know what your expectations and launch plans may be, for better or for worse.

Nintendo Wii U Console – 32GB Black Deluxe Set


Manufacturer: Nintendo
ESRB Rating: Everyone
Platform: Nintendo Wii U
Genre: Role Playing Games

New From: $516.59 USD In Stock