As you no doubt may have heard, Nintendo announced their next console: Wii U.
The short of it is this… pretty much a Wii on steroids. Better processors, better memory, better graphics, embraces HD, wiimotes and the balance board are supported as are all Wii games. The early word is that it will beat out the 360 and PS3 for power, but don’t expect that to matter too long as Microsoft and Sony will probably launch their new consoles a year after this and put it to shame… unless the market decided to go sideways instead. I mean, it’s very possible that the next Xbox will be the same as the 360 but with better processors, memory and graphics (and maybe 3D) with an integrated Kinect over a separate peripheral. Sony could do that as well. Iteration over innovation.
But then you get to the other part of the Wii U: the controller.
Aren't you a little big for a game controller?
Yes, that is a screen on the controller. The obvious bits are that you can use it like a tablet and surf the web, and you can also use it as a main display (freeing up the big TV for other activities if needed), it even has a stylus for drawing, but it can also be used as a secondary screen. Immediately many people pointed out it could be used for maps or inventory or other bits of a normal game that could be shuffled off to this second mini screen. I started trying to think of other things…
How about an Aliens game where the pad if your motion sensor? Even just as a large controller with extra touchscreen buttons and virtual keyboard, MMOs become much more possible. A flight or driving simulator where one player controls the action while another player with the pad navigates, does damage control and performs other duties.
So many lost hours...
My best idea yet? Dungeon Keeper.
In the original game, you play the overlord of a dungeon. You set up traps and other things to run your dungeon and protect your treasure room from the heroes who come seeking to steal your loot. It was great fun. But with a setup like this, you could have one player being the hero on the main screen, hacking his way to fortune and glory. On the tablet you have the second player, the overlord, playing the RTS similar to the old game, laying traps and scrambling to react to what the other player is doing.
Really, any game that requires one person to have hidden information from the other players would work beautifully. The only shame here is that thus far word is that only a single new controller will be supported and so card games and board games played local multi-player may be out.
I’m excited for the possibilities… now I just need some people out there to make games like these. Just in case, I’m going to start putting away a couple bucks per paycheck so that I can afford this when it comes out. For once, I actually might want to be an early adopter.
This is an interesting article about how Nintendo and the Wii “invented” the casual game market (spoiler: they didn’t). It is a long but good read, and while it is a couple years old and not every prediction toward the end has come to pass, it does paint an excellent picture.
One thing is certain. The Wii came in and got millions of people who never would have bought a 360 or PS3 to buy a console entirely based on casual “silly” games, and this year both Microsoft and Sony are chasing that market with the Kinect and Move respectively.
One of the hardest things for me about getting fit is just keeping at it. Over the last year I forced myself into the habit of exercising every day, my push-ups and sit-ups plan has worked fairly well, but I know I need to incorporate more exercises in order to work the whole body and not leave things out. Back when I bought a Wii, I was excited about Wii Sports and the coming Wii Fit. Wii Fit turned out to be a disappointment because you couldn’t build a real workout, you had to do everything one exercise at a time and the constant stopping and starting was annoying. That single feature is why I’ve pre-ordered and am eagerly awaiting Wii Fit Plus.
But as much as I like it, I do have to admit the Balance Board is kinda retarded. I suppose that is why I saw Your Shape with its camera and was immediately intrigued.
I am tempted, but really want to see some honest reviews of the product before I buy in. An exercise game without a board or hand held controllers would be awesome if it works.
I finally got around to setting up our Wii. So, if you read this and you have one, here is my Wii Number:
If you decide to add me, please post your number here or email me (jason at this domain) with your number so I can add you back, since apparently you can’t talk to each other or anything until both sides have added each other.
So, yesterday morning, after breakfast at IHOP, before getting gas for the car, the wife and I swung through Target to see what was what.
The new Xbox 360 Elite was due out, and they happened to have one. Just one. They also had eight Nintendo Wii’s (left from the 20 they’d had just an hour before). In full financial abandon, we bought both.
I was a console kid growing up. We had a PC, and I loved the Sierra games: King’s Quest, Space Quest, Police Quest, and the rest. But I still longed for the days of my Atari and marathon sessions of Yar’s Revenge and Pitfall. The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) changed all that. I finally got one and spent endless days playing Super Mario Bros. and Pro Wrestling, Duck Hunt, and every other game I could get my hands on.
After the NES, well, I never got into the Sega Genesis or any of the other systems, and by the time my NES broke, the PC had finally caught up, and in my opinion, surpassed the consoles. It was computers all the way after that.
A couple years back, I was gifted with a Nintendo GameCube for my birthday, and I enjoyed a number of the games I got, but I was really still a PC guy, so I never got too far into it. And while I thought the PlayStation, PlayStation 2 and Xbox were cool systems… I was still a PC guy.
These days, my career is computers, steeped in programming, and frankly, many days I get home and don’t really want to sit in front of the keyboard. My PC at home has fallen behind… and I think that perhaps gaming technology, video cards and processor needs, are excalating too quickly. I really don’t have the desire or the extra cash to keep up any more. So, my eyes have turned back towards consoles.
Thanks to this article at the New York Times, I definately think I’m going to hold off on the PS3. I’m hearing good things about the Xbox 360, except that whole thing where lots of people have to return theirs due to hardware and firmware issues. I am, however, extremely interested in the Nintendo Wii. First off, I’ve always loved the Mario and Zelda games, then there is the fact that people are already confirming that it is 100% backward compatible with GameCube games, but the most interesting feature is the ability to download old NES, Super NES and N64 games from the past. That’s just awesome.
Now, I didn’t go camp out and pick one up this weekend, but I figure in the next month or so I’ll be able to snag one. So, I guess the answer to the question is… To Wii.