Nintendo Versus Everyone

Some of the new announcements of the Wii U make sense (video streaming), some are a bit odd (Yes, Bayonetta 2, because hey my Mom would love it), some are cool (I am digging the pseudo-tablet) and putting it all together paints a heady picture as the folks at Kotaku found out.

I look at the Wii U strategy and it seems to be focused on:

  • Being a media device much like the X-box has become.
  • Signing a lot of diverse and odd gaming titles.
  • Making up for lost time by having better internet integration.
  • Seriously pushing it’s unusual (and costly) controller.

That’s when I realized that Nintendo has become Sony and is throwing everything at the wall and seeing what sticks.  However they’re doing it in a more . . . precise  . . . manner than Sony.

The Wii U is going to be a media box – and a media box with an interesting peripheral.  The latter may not be the only sales point but considering the Wii’s rep this may be the media box that less-hardcore gamers purchase.  My mother was practically ready to buy a Wii, the Wii U is even more promising.

The Wii U introduces an odd extra control structure with the Pad – one reminiscent of iPad integration and Android Phone integration with other devices.  Nintendo is making a tighter device integration play, and if you don’t think the future DS is going to tie into this or evolve from this, you’re not paying attention.

Nintendo is making up for lost time with assorted internet and social media integration.  This plays well with the Nintendo reputation for accessibility, and connects with the media options.  They just took making up for lost time and took it farther.

So the Wii U is a giant load of everything – but a precise one at that.  I think it gives Nintendo a good market since it’s got a date, it’s got things people want, and it’s got a decent price range ($299-$350).

And it has the usual Nintendo trademark of Being Talked about.  Because I and others are doing it – they got our attention.  Again.

Sure, this will face competition in time, but for now I think Nintendo caught the news cycle, and they caught it with a nice piece of technology.  So game developers pay attention, and see what they do here because if they’re playing catch-up you might have a chance to be caught up .  . .

– Steven Savage

Steven Savage is a Geek 2.0 writer, speaker, blogger, and job coach.  He blogs on careers at, nerd and geek culture at, and does a site of creative tools at He can be reached at



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


So Just What Is Nintendo Up To?

So, remember when everyone figured Nintendo was on their last legs?  Constantly recycling things by releasing a new DS every five minutes?  Showing no new ideas and obviously doomed?

If you don't remember, then you've probably blanked it from your mind.  I certainly admit that until not to long ago, I figured Nintendo was lost and aimless.  I know I had company – OK I hope I had company because I feel rather stupid at this point.

All of us who thought Nintendo was lost in a haze remember E3 2011.  We remember the Wii U demo, with the tablet-like controller, and the interesting controls.  We remember the doubt vanishing almost instantly as people were enchanted with this new machine and it's oddball control options.

It was like watching the Wii come out all over again.

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