Nintendo failed to impress

Some of you may know I quit console gaming back in October last year when Battlefield 3 came out. Then Star Wars: The Old Republic came out and then I received an invitation to Dota 2 closed beta and haven’t looked back at the console world since. In fact, one could even say that I quit in 2010 as that was when I last bought and played a console game, with Halo: Reach. Since then my Xbox collected dust for a year until it “officially” got retired.

Despite this, I decided to follow Nintendo’s E3 conference as they were announcing new information about their upcoming console the Wii U. I entered it with an open mind. If Nintendo were indeed to “pow-wow” me and impress with their presentation, I might actually buy it and casually return to console gaming from time to time. So did they?

Immediately at first glance of the new Wii U console Nintendo are stuck in the past. Their ugly low pixel and low resolution Mii:s made their appearance and I was repulsed. I thought “OK, maybe the Mii:s are there because some people find them ‘cute’ in some bizarre way?” but the sadness continued beyond the Mii:s. The displayed games look old, in the sense that they look identical to Xbox 360 and PS3. They showed off Batman: Arkham City, a year old game almost and bragged that it has some “specific features based on the Wii U remote” and that was just sad to hear. Really? That’s the best you got? Seven year old hardware and one year old games?

Then the classic Super Mario Bros. came on and I was all zzzz. And then Pikmin 3 came out and I was even more zzzzz. I never did like the first ones. And Nintendo Network didn’t cut it for me as it looked like a primitive version of Facebook. Will it be as deep as  Xbox LIVE? I doubt it. But it certainly looks better than what they’ve had in the past, although it didn’t look enough. Sure, I’ll admit the video voice chat was a nice addition as it comes built-in with the controller and whatnot so it saves the extra time and money of buying additional accessories like it’s required on PS3/Xbox.

To sum it up, the Wii U will not be a next generation system in terms of hardware and performance. It will be slightly more powerful than the Xbox 360, barely visible and will use the same ugly Mii theme and primitive mechanics to attract the casual mass while offering almost nothing new to the core gamers. Zelda, Mario, Pikmin, Star Fox? Come on, Nintendo, that was fun 10+ years ago. Give us new stuff. I am confident that when the Xbox 720 and Playstation 4 are announced next year, they’ll blow the Wii U out of the planet with superior hardware and online capabilities.

What are your thoughts on the Wii U? Will you be buying it or are you waiting for a real next generation system such as the 720 or PS4?

From a design point of view the Wii U looks OK, but unfortunately it fails precisely everywhere else.

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