Wii U, Wii Me

Well, here it is, the Wii U demoed at E3.  Word is it’s going to launch last quarter of 2012, which of course means we all know what’s gonna get given at Christmas.  It demoed with quite a few titles (a smart move) and of course is doing the usual Nintendo thing of sucking the oxygen out of the room, which Nintendo is pretty damn good at.

Kotaku’s reviewer is slightly underwhelmed, even though they’re exploding with Wii U cover.  Ubisoft, meanwhile, is heavily invested in the Wii.

I’d actually expect more enthusiasm, but honestly, this is weirdly subdued E3 so far.  I see plenty of twitter complaints on FPS overload, etc.  So I’m trying to take this in context.

My take?  In context:

  • This is, as noted, Nintendo stealing everyone’s thunder.  Despite the Wii’s slow slide into irrelevancy, it was very popular in its time, and came out at the perfect time to get people’s attention.  I sense a nostalgia factor.
  • The launch titles are moderate to quite strong.  The Lego City Undercover, in fact, looks like a winner – basically Lego GTA IV.
  • The oddball controller, of course, has everyone’s attention – that’s what Nintendo does.
  • The new platform is going to help get interest and of course rile up the competition, who seem more focused on other issues.
  • There are new services, so it’s hopeful Nintendo isn’t going to botch the “extended” world.

I’d say a solid launch, with a few advantages, but coming during a tired time.  If Nintendo is smart maybe they can get some energy going.

Steven Savage