With recent reports from developers placing Nintendo’s forthcoming console behind both the PS3 and 360 in terms of raw horsepower, I for one am starting to get a little worried about the Wii U’s prospects. While the original Wii’s gargantuan sales and the 3DS’s ever increasing popularity prove that graphics aren’t everything, The Wii was sold largely off the back of, its then, totally unique and excitingly new controller (something that clearly captured the imagination of the much sought after casual crowd) while the 3DS, after suffering somewhat of a slow start, has come on leaps and bounds thanks to Nintendo’s aggressive pricing and influx of AAA first and third party support. The Wii U though, well, I just don’t feel the same kind of excitement surrounding it. The controller is kind of cool, but at the moment, doesn’t really look like the game changer that the Wii remote looked to be back in 2006, and in terms of games, looks like it will soon become largely obsolete from a third party perspective, if not as soon as it is released, then certainly from the moment that Microsoft and Sony make the move to the next generation.
That may sound a tad dramatic, but think about it – third party developers gave up on the Wii a looong time ago and beyond making ports of future 360 and PS3 titles (possibly inferior ones if reports are to be believed), the Wii U might well find itself out in the cold once the PS4 and 720 deliver the inevitable technical upgrade. Unless Nintendo have something spectacular up their sleeve, I can’t imagine for the life of me that the Wii U will be the lead platform on any future multiplatform title. Instead, like the Wii, Nintendo’s console will once again find itself stuck with inferior products thrown together as an afterthought once the graphically superior 720 and PS4 versions have been finished.
Don’t get me wrong – I like the look of the Wii U tablet controller, but do I think it’s going to change the face of gaming? No I do not. The Wii U will definitely find a market and will inevitably enjoy a degree of success thanks to the all but unquestionable quality of Nintendo’s first party products, but in terms of repeating the Wii’s success, I simply cannot see the Wii U getting anywhere near those kinds of numbers, and in terms of long term success, could find itself really struggling a few years down the line.
Hey, I hope I’m wrong – I’d love nothing more than to see Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft all enjoy solid market share for the next generation of consoles, but honestly, if there is to be a casualty of the coming war, I fear Nintendo may well suffer the greatest injuries.
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