We’re just days away from the highly anticipated launch of the Nintendo Wii U, and we here at GotGame sat down with a few of our writers to discuss what’s to come from Nintendo’s latest console.
In this latest roundtable preview, we have Chris Wyche, Rod Oracheski, Justin Weinblatt and myself as your host, all eager to see what the Wii U will bring to the table.
Based on everything we’ve heard about the Wii U, what are you most excited about?
Rod: The idea of playing on the small screen seemed fairly silly at first, but it’s grown on me. I still wouldn’t say I’m excited about it, but it’s getting there.
Chris: The Wii U gamepad is one of the most risky style of controls I’ve seen since the original Wii and from what I have seen so far from it its paying off quite well with games like Nintendo Land and ZombiU. I am getting excited over the possibility the controller will bring out in the years to come.
Justin: Well, naturally, I’m excited about the tablet. I think it has huge potential for multiplayer gaming. The tablet will allow gamers of different skill levels to enjoy the same games at the same time. A great example of this is Rayman Legends. One player is playing a hardcore challenging platformer and the other is messing around in a little touch controlled playground. I’m also really excited about the Miiverse. I love online gaming, but I hate online gaming communities. It looks like Nintendo is trying to build a community where I don’t have to hear people yelling fag at each other every two seconds. Hopefully, they’ll succeed. Oh, and Bayonetta 2.
Is there anything you’re still wary about; in other words, something you still have questions about that makes you uneasy?
Rod: The online system. It’s days before launch and there are still so many questions on how things will work, or information that things we thought would be in either aren’t or aren’t yet. Voice chat at the OS level, some sort of achievement/trophy system – things that are standard in ‘last-gen’ systems and somehow not included in a ‘next-gen’ one?
Chris: The lack of internal storage. Even with the Wii U deluxe version having 32 gigs, your still gonna run out of space soon if your big into DLC. It is good though that you can expand storage spaces with either an SD card or an external hard drive.
Justin: Nintendo’s still been very coy about their plans for the future. How is the Gamepad going to improve games like Mario Galaxy, Metroid, and Zelda? The Gamepad has a lot of potential to really make a meaningful impact on how we play games, but I need to see that Nintendo is going to make good on that promise. Third party support is also still a big concern. It’s not necessarily a Wii U concern, but a concern that I’ll have about every Nintendo product until they’ve shown that they can get strong third party support for their consoles.
Looking at the launch line-up, which game are you looking forward to playing the most?
Rod: ZombiU, I guess. It will be interesting to see how much it’s changed since early video. The integration of friends as zombies and permadeath concept piques my interest as well.
Chris: New Super Mario WiiU is definitely gonna be one of the first game I’m picking up for the Wii U, and lucking getting Nintendo Land as an extra for pre-ordering the Deluxe version. I am also looking forward to ZombiU.
Justin: Of the day one launch lineup? Nintendo Land is the most promising out of the launch titles, because it’s the game that will make the best use of the Gamepad. It also happens to be a total blast. Zombi U could turn out to be amazing. It’s the Wii U’s great hardcore hope, but I’m concerned that it will be lacking in polish. Looking past the day one launch to the broader launch window, I’m most excited for The Wonderful 101. Platinum Games has been consistently making some of the best and most innovative games in the world since their days as Clover Studios. The idea of Nintendo and Platinum Games working together is a dream team made in fanboy heaven.
Is the timing of Nintendo’s new console right?
Rod: That’s going to depend what Microsoft and Sony do in the near future. If, as some rumours have indicated, Microsoft unveils their next console in the spring, then Nintendo’s console could be in trouble – doubly so if the ‘720’ is a big step up from the Xbox 360 in terms of power. The Wii U isn’t that console.
Chris: With the Wii losing sales the past few years as well as Sony’s and Microsoft’s next gen consoles coming within a years or two I say this is the perfect time to release a brand new, and with HD capabilities this time around, gaming console.
Justin: I think the the Wii U is coming a bit later than it should have. Nintendo should have been riding a wave of Wii-based momentum into the launch of the Wii U. Instead, the Wii has been dying for the past year, which makes it seem like the Wii U is limping out of the gate. Nintendo should have either released the Wii U a year earlier, or kept the Wii aloft with a better release schedule.
If you’re getting a Wii U, are you planning on picking up the Wii U Pro Controller? Why or why not?
Rod: Day one. Outside of pointer control, the Wii controller was a bust for me. If I never play another game with a stupid “shake the Wiimote” mechanic, I’ll be happy.
Chris: Not right away. The regular Wii U Gamepad already feels good in my hands and I still have my Classic controller pro from my old Wii. If I do have more wants wanting to play the Wii U though I will pick up a few Pro controller for the Wii U.
Justin: I’m not planning on picking up the Wii U Pro Controller right now. The games I’m planning on picking up, New Super Mario Bros U, Scribblenauts Unlimited, Zombi U, and Nintendo Land, seem to be best enjoyed with the Gamepad or a good ol’ Wiimote. Besides, I have my Classic Controller Pro from the Wii. Right now, the Pro Controller doesn’t seem worth it as I’d rather put the money towards games.
Looking back at previous Nintendo consoles, which has been your favorite launch and why?
Rod: I’d have to say SNES. Super Mario World showed what that gen could do for both visuals and sound, and F-Zero, Pilotwings, Gradius III, and SimCity really provided a well-rounded backup through those first months.
Chris: THE VIRTUAL BOY!!!!! Nah just kidding, though Teleroboxer 100% totally justifies the system’s existence. In all honesty I’ll have to go with the Gameboy Advance. It had a strong line up of 1st and 3rd party games, plus it was the first time we saw the Gameboy really advance itself with brand new hardware (yeah the Gameboy color did add color but it was not as big of a jump the GBA was.)
Justin: The Wii was my favorite launch of any system ever, Nintendo or otherwise. Most console launches involved me sitting in my room playing video games for hours with an occasional visit from a mildly interested friend. The Wii launch involved pretty much every one of my friends and family eagerly joining me in my favorite past time. The Wii brought gaming to the masses, and it was awesome.
How well do you expect the Wii U to do as it kicks off a new generation on consoles?
Rod: I think there’s no doubt it’s going to sell out. I wonder how many of those are going to speculators looking to flip them closer to Christmas and how many are to actual fans, but regardless – they’ll sell. It’ll be interesting to see if gamers support third party efforts on the Wii U better than they did on the Wii when it launched. If they don’t, and the competing systems have significantly more power to play with, third party support could dry up on the Wii U faster than it did on the Wii.
Chris: Considering that the pre-orders for the Wii U has already exceeded the numbers of pre-orders the original Wii had I say the Wii U will be a success this generation. Granted I don’t expected to get the numbers the Wii had in the long run but it will still be a success like every other Nintendo consoles has been.
Justin: It’s hard to say. The Wii U has all the tools to be as successful as the Wii. I really love the control scheme, it has a good launch lineup, and it has some really innovative features. Miiverse has the potential to engage gamers like nothing before by intertwining the Wii experience with the social aspects that have enthralled our society. The question is marketing, and I don’t think Nintendo has done a great job of selling the console to the public. Nintendo is counting on strong word of mouth from the inevitable early adopters. Will Wii U owners invite their friends over to check out Nintendo Land? Will passers by just have to fiddle around with the Gamepad? I gotta be honest here. There are some moments where I’m absolutely positive that the Wii U will be even bigger than the Wii. Then, there are moments where I can’t fathom how the Wii U is going to branch out past the hardest of hardcore Nintendo fans. I guess we’ll find out soon.
Alright folks, well that about wraps things up; the Wii U’s launch is upon us and GotGame will have you covered with full reviews of the console, the launch titles and we’ll have a post-launch roundtable in the weeks to follow!
Enjoy the Wii U!