On November 18, Nintendo unleashes its strangely provocative, uncertainty-ridden Wii U to the world. Following the now trendy nature of the company’s consoles, the Wii U is completely unique; however, with that comes Nintendo’s less-than-stellar job of portraying that uniqueness. It will come to a head this Sunday — and here at Holygrenade, to blatantly capitalize on the furore, I have complied some interesting facts about Nintendo’s newest. Grab a coffee (or whatever you drink) and enjoy!
1. It’s not another Wii peripheral. One of the greatest challenges for Nintendo this holiday season is emphasizing that the Wii U is entirely new. It’s not among the league of additional toys offered to enhance interaction, but a brand spankin’ new console.
2. The console is innovative. Nintendo has this ethereal reputation of pushing the industry’s limits, and the Wii U is no different. Simply, it is unlike anything ever produced by a gaming company — and shows how inevitably, consoles must converge with mobile in some form.
3. Nintendo enters the DLC era. Other than a few games on 3DS, Nintendo will finally embrace digital content on a console. How this plays out, especially against competitors, reflects either poorly or promisingly on the company’s notable pro-consumer stance.
4. The versatility in how to play. The tablet-like GamePad controller features a touchscreen which, among other things, can act as a full game screen. Someone can watch TV while another person plays. It is the melding of Nintendo’s long handheld and console histories.
5. Game discs are dramatically different. Engadget pointed out the Wii U’s game discs are rounded and they were impressed. To compete with Sony, the discs hold 25GB worth of data, similar to the PS3′s single blu-ray discs.
6. No more friend codes. One particularly annoyance with the Wii’s online system was using friend codes, which in comparison to Xbox Live or PSN, was clumsy. The Nintendo Network and Miiverse offer enough ways for players to easily connect on Wii U. Needless to say, there was a collective sigh of relief from multiplayer fans.
7. Publishers have mixed opinions. Since the Wii U is inventive (at least in the gaming space), many publishers have expressed certainty or doubt on the console’s viability. THQ and Ubisoft embraced it fully while Bethesda were hesitant.
8. Additional controller options. Because of Nintendo’s extensive advertising featuring the tablet controller, they are undermining the other option available at launch. The Wii U Pro Controller will appeal to the hardcore fans out there unwilling to try the tablet.
9. Bayonetta 2 is a Wii U exclusive. What caused some buzz around the announcement, Sega purportedly dropped development only to be picked up by Nintendo. Bayonetta won’t be a massive console seller, but it should convincingly convey the tablet’s capabilities.
10. Third-party support. Among the many firsts for Nintendo, the Wii U sports many third-party, released titles with additional content. Among them: Mass Effect 3, Batman: Arkham City and Assassin’s Creed 3. However, it’s unclear if support from outside sources will drive console sales.
11. Backwards compatibility for Wii titles. It’s important for Nintendo to recapture the Wii’s audience and one way is to offer backwards play. Despite the Wii’s Nunchuck controller, every game is still fully playable. However, Gamecube titles won’t receive the same treatment.
12. Memory sizes are quite tiny. Noticeably smaller than competitors, the memory sizes offered at launch are 8GB and the deluxe model at 32GB. In marketing for a broader audience smaller smaller sizes make sense — the target audience won’t use as much space as hardcore gamers.
13. Ubisoft’s sequel. Ubisoft’s first title is getting the sequel treatment in ZombiU, a game artfully using the Wii U’s controller. Its original, Zombi, was published in 1986.
14. Massive pre-release success. Despite the uncertainty from writers, the Wii U has doubled original pre-order numbers from the Wii. Over 1.2 million people have already ordered, with many midnight promotions expected around North America.
15. Sony and Microsoft lay in waiting. There’s no question both companies eagerly wait to see how the Wii U performs. Undoubtedly, both work diligently on their own offerings, expected sometime in the next two years. Nintendo’s console may very well influence how production goes.
To the readers: Are you excited for the Wii U? Also, if I missed anything else interesting, share in the comments below!
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