Tagged:  Countdown to Wii U

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Wii U Won’t Repeat Wii’s Massive Success, But that’s Okay

By Alex Plant, November 17, 2012 12

Countdown to Wii U:
- 12 Hours Remain -

Wii’s going to be a hard act to follow for Nintendo. I’m not talking about the games so much – thanks to Wii U’s full backward compatibility, Nintendo can make a slew of new games that are more or less HD Wii games. No, I’m talking about Wii’s widespread mainstream popularity. It seems like everybody knows about Wii.

Wii U? Not so much. The dedicated Nintendo fanbase knows about it. The games industry knows about it. Does the mainstream know about it? The system is now appearing in TV and online advertisements, retail and specialty stores, and even a dedicated mall tour that’s set to kick off on Monday, but we still hear – pretty frequently, I might add – that the mainstream consumer, if he or she has even heard of Wii U, still tends to think it’s a new Wii controller.

In the face of such an environment, it doesn’t look like Wii U is going to really be a big hit with the mainstream population – at least, not in the way that Wii was. Don’t take that to be a death sentence for the system, however. In fact, the mainstream population getting “left behind” in a way with the jump to next-gen reminds me of another of Nintendo’s generational leaps: the leap from NES to the Super NES.

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Wii U: Could Asymmetric Multiplayer Work for Zelda?

By Alex Plant, November 16, 2012 1

Countdown to Wii U:
- 48 Hours Remain -

When we were first introduced to the Wii U GamePad, I remember a lot of Zelda fans wondering whether the controller’s built-in screen would lead to some kind of Four Swords redemption that wouldn’t require a bunch of sold-separately handheld and extra connection cables for cooperative questing.

While I’m totally down for using the GamePad for co-op Zelda, I’ve just got to say… why do they have to use it to make a new Four Swords? Why not leverage the GamePad to offer an asymmetric cooperative experience?

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Wii U: What We Think and What We’ll be Playing

By GenGAME Staff, November 15, 2012 5

Countdown to Wii U:
- 72 Hours Remain -

With just three days to go until Wii U, we’re scrambling to make sure our lives are in place in time for the big launch – and that means figuring out just what the heck we’re going to play. We’ll be on the ball in terms of providing you with prompt and in-depth reviews of all the biggest must-have Wii U games, including verdicts on the first round of multi-platform ports… but for now, we’re just gathering our final thoughts, impressions, hopes, and dreams in anticipation of launch day.

Want to know what the GenGAME staff will be playing for Wii U, as well as some of our final thoughts on the system pre-release? Read on to see!

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10 Zelda Franchise Features That Should Return on Wii U

By Alex Plant, November 14, 2012 7

Countdown to Wii U:
- 4 Days Remain -

With Wii U, Nintendo has the chance to show off the best of what Zelda can be – so I think it’d be suitable to review their previous games and update some of the series’ most enduring game mechanics for the next generation. While I certainly wouldn’t want these tried-and-true features to get in the way of innovation, it’s probably best not to try too hard to re-invent the wheel. Instead, Nintendo should just focus on taking the core features and making them better than ever before.

A couple days back I made the case that “Wii U Was Made for The Legend of Zelda,” but now I think it’s time to backpedal a bit and take a look at which of those existing core features should carry over to the next console Zelda adventure.

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Wii U is Literally Two Systems in One

By Alex Plant, November 13, 2012 11

Countdown to Wii U:
- 5 Days Remain -

One thing I don’t think Nintendo’s making clear enough is that Wii U is 100% backward compatible with Wii. I mean, sure, they’ve said a few times that you’ll be able to play Wii games on Wii U or use all your Wii Remotes, Nunchuks, and Classic Controllers – but what they’ve been leaving out is that for Wii U, backward compatibility means that Wii U literally comes with a Wii inside it.

The system’s “Wii Mode,” which you’ll need to boot up to play all your old Wii, WiiWare, and Virtual Console games, actually runs an emulated version of the Wii Home Menu operating system, complete with the original channel-style setup, Mii Maker, Wii Shop Channel, and so on. This puts it a step ahead of Nintendo’s other emulation modes, which don’t actually do anything except run games – not that there would have been much else to do anyway.

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Wii U Was Made for The Legend of Zelda

By Alex Plant, November 12, 2012 9

Countdown to Wii U:
- 6 Days Remain -

The more time I spend with Wii U, the more I realize that there’s one Nintendo franchise in particular for which it’s a match made in heaven: The Legend of Zelda.

I’m not just talking the GamePad’s touch input, which already proved its worth in Ocarina of Time 3D – Wii U will also be compatible with Wii Remotes, which many fans who enjoyed the series’ Wii installments will already be intimately familiar with. Sprinkle some HD visuals on par with those from the Zelda HD Experience demo from E3 2011, and it’s clear that Wii U offers many of the essential tools for building on the best The Legend of Zelda has offered so far.

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Everything We Know About Nintendo Land

By Alex Plant, November 11, 2012 1

Countdown to Wii U:
- 7 Days Remain -

Since most Wii U buyers seem to have gone for the Wii U Deluxe Set, Nintendo Land is likely to be one of the most-owned Wii U games. Nintendo is banking on Wii U to bridge the casual and core audiences and get people playing together just as Wii Sports did for Wii – and from what we’ve played so far, we think it could possibly succeed in that mission.

If you’ve been curious to check out any of the twelve Nintendo Land attractions in detail, we’ve set up a one-stop shop for you to get caught up on Everything We Know about Wii U’s flagship title.

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Wii U: Nintendo’s Digital Strategy Isn’t Convincing Enough

By Alex Plant, November 10, 2012 7

Countdown to Wii U:
- 8 Days Remain -

Though I’ve always been a stalwart defender of the boxed retail model, lately I’ve come face-to-face with some of its limitations. For one, I only have so much shelf space. My entertainment center is already crammed with Wii and PlayStation games, DVDs, and the like – I’d have to retire some of my less-played, less-loved games in order to fit the slew of new titles I’m sure to go after in the upcoming generation. Then, there’s of course the backward compatibility problem. It’s very rare for a game system to support full compatibility with physical games from its predecessor – meaning that if (more likely when) my old systems go kaput, I either have to buy new ones or deal with a bunch of unplayable games.

Given these two constraints, I was really pulling for Nintendo to convince me to go digital with Wii U. I laid out a bunch of proposals in one of my previous Countdown to Wii U articles, “Essentials for a Competitive eShop,” including a strong account system that ensures we’ll never have to re-buy content, a competitive pricing model for digital games, and a wider embrace of legacy titles.

Based on what Nintendo’s confirmed about the eShop in recent weeks, however, the company’s strategy is so far 0-for-3.

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Wii U is the Most Controller-Neutral Game Console Ever Made

By Alex Plant, November 9, 2012 0

Countdown to Wii U:
- 9 Days Remain -

Most game consoles tend to offer a single core controller type. Sure, you get the occasional arcade stick or steering wheel peripheral, but those are narrowly designed for very specific audiences and genres. Last generation changed all that: Wii came out the gate with tons of possible controller configurations, including the Wii Remote, Nunchuk, Classic Controller, and GameCube controller. In the end, however, few games took full advantage of the possibilities.

PlayStation eventually introduced Move, and Xbox debuted kinect… but these devices have never quite risen to “primary controller” status – they’ve achieved more widespread use than the arcade sticks and racing wheels, to be sure, but never quite “clicked” with the mainstream audience.

Wii U, however, seems to take unique advantage of all its possible controller options at launch. Nintendo is pointing all eyes at the Wii U GamePad, of course, but since only one GamePad controller can be supported at one time – at least at present – they’re going to need to bank on all those other options to have a truly successful console. And so far, Wii U seems to have embraced that strategy with open arms.

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Does the Wii U Have Enough Power?

By Ben Lamoreux, November 8, 2012 17

Countdown to Wii U:
- 10 Days Remain -

Despite its undeniable sales numbers, the Wii was a console that just wasn’t taken seriously by a lot of people in the gaming community. There are several factors that contributed to the Wii receiving a lot of disrespect from gamers, but the biggest reason was that, compared to the competition, it was severely underpowered. It was immediately apparent to anyone who compared consoles that the Wii simply wasn’t on the same level graphically as the Xbox 360 or PS3.

Graphics alone don’t make or break a game, and the Wii still had plenty of extremely successful titles. The real damage came in the form of Nintendo missing out on a lot of key multiplatform games. A lot of major titles simply couldn’t be ported to the Wii, while others were downgraded so significantly that they were practically a different game altogether.

As Nintendo’s first HD system, the Wii U is a vast improvement over the Wii, but is it enough? Sony and Microsoft will launch their consoles after the Wii U, which means that they will undoubtedly be more powerful. Will the playing field be a bit more level this time, or will Nintendo once again find themselves unable to compete graphically? Jump inside to join the discussion.

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How to Make Wii U Appealing In 2013 and Beyond

By Ben Lamoreux, November 7, 2012 1

Countdown to Wii U:
- 11 Days Remain -

As its near complete sellout of pre-orders indicates, the Wii U is off to a fast start. Whether it’s diehard Nintendo fans, casual fans who loved the Wii and want the next step up, or gamers looking to get their hands on some next gen hardware as soon as possible, the Wii U is going to be in high demand for a while. Combine the interest in the system with Nintendo’s currently limited supply, and you can safely assume that Nintendo will be moving exactly as many Wii U units as they want for several months.

That said, eventually Nintendo’s going to have to increase production and make the system widely available. When this happens, can they successfully continue to move the system? Initial excitement over a console can only last so long and attract so many people before before momentum slows down. When 2013 rolls around, Nintendo will have to find ways to make the Wii U appealing to the masses. Read on to see how they can do that.

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Wii U Marks the End of Nintendo’s Era of Disruption

By Alex Plant, November 6, 2012 5

Countdown to Wii U:
- 12 Days Remain -

As technology advances, we’ve seen games become more and more sophisticated – but there’s a caveat: as things become more and more sophisticated, they start to cater to a crowd that becomes more and more specialized. We saw this with the progression of the first few generations of super-popular game consoles. NES got off to a great start, but as the graphics and technology improved with SNES, N64, and GameCube, fewer and fewer people came along for the ride.

What’s going on? Surely “bigger and better” should be the formula for even greater success, right? That’s what Sony and Microsoft thought when they came up with their PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 models in the mid-2000s. Higher power, better graphics, higher-capacity storage media, what amounts to basically a nearly-complete computer and media center built into the system. Among game consoles, they were practically super-computers.

At the end of the day, though, it was Wii that pulled ahead to sell almost 100 million units over the course of its lifetime. How? Through a strategy known as “disruptive innovation.”

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