Nintendo is a name in the videogame industry which we all know about. Chances are that the first videogame console we ever bought was manafactured by Nintendo.
Nintendo has always been an innovator in the gaming industry. Nintendo was responsible for revolutionising handheld gameplay with the introduction of the Gameboy. Later on with the advent of the Nintendo 64, Nintendo brought the joystick to the gaming world, and we all know the role of joysticks in modern gaming.
Flip ahead a couple of years to the “Wii era”.
You all must remeber the time when you first saw the Wii. Many of us were just goggling, while others had declared it dead on arrival. But the Wii shook everybody’s expectations and turned out to be the most selling console of the seventh generation, despite it being almost a genration behind spec wise.
And now, in 2012, the time again has come for Old Ninny to release its new hardware, and again there are sceptics and there are believers.
Nintendo has done another 180° turn and come out to show the successor of the Wii, the Wii U.
Wii was responsible for starting the Motion Gaming phase in the Gaming Industry. After seeing the success of the Wii, Sony as well as Microsoft also came out with there itterations for motion gaming, namely the PS Move, and the Microsoft Kinect. The success of these is another story, but it goes for showing that the daring of Nintendo led to the begining of a new era in gaming.
But will Nintendo’s bold actions be blessed once again by Mother Fate?
The Wii U is a peculiar console. It is just as revolutionary as its predecessor. It features a standard console which we hook upto our televisions, along with a large tablet like controller, featuring a 6 inch display. This screen can be used to play the games directly on it, or they can be used as a secondary display during standard gaming. Nintendo has shown off many innovative ways to make use of the remote. It can serve a screen which will display the maps and inventory. It can serve as a shield using the inbuilt motion sensors. It can be used to be the place where a virtual ball is placed during a golfing game and using the wiimote as a golf club. The options are endless.
On top of this, Nintendo has also decided to include standard face buttons as well as two analog joysticks. Nintendo has done so in the attempt to win back the core audience it lost with the Wii, which was targeted towards casual gamers.
By reading all this, it probably looks like Nintendo has got everything chalked out, and success is ready to embrace them.
But its not that simple.
The hardware specs of the Wii U have not been anounced officially, but developers have said that the specs are comparable to this generation of videogames, or a bit more. This may pose a probelm this time around.
When the Wii was released a couple of years ago, it was done as a souped up Gamecube with an innovative controller. Although it was not even close to the Xbox 360 and Ps3 spec wise, it sold like hotcakes during the initial years. But the novelety soon faded away. The innovate remote had now become a gimic at the hands of 3rd Party Developers. Peoples attention started to waver and our Wii’s began to gain dust. The first-party games kept the Wii alive, but otherwise, the Nintendo had hit a barrier.
Now it is the time for the Wii U to shine. And as of now, there is no Xbox 720 or Ps4 coming either. So it looks like the Wii U will have a upperhand in the graphics department for a year or so. But what will happen when Microsoft and Sony come out with their next brainchilds. It is clear that after a year or so when these 8th generation consoles do come, they will be much more powerful then the Wii U.
The low specs of the Wii worked last-gen because of Nintendo’s shift in attention to the casual gamers.
But the Wii U is opting for a middle-path. It is not going out of its way to make the graphic-junkies happy, nor is it making a console which even your Grandma could play.
Console life cycles are getting longer and longer. The Xbox 360 and PS3 are all going for a 10 year life cycle. Will the Wii U have the raw power to look even half decent 10 years down the lane?
The Wii is supposted to have a multi-core processor by IBM and a graphic card similar in specs to the Raedon R700. Compared to PC’s this already looks quite low.
We are not saying that the specs of the Wii U are such that it is doomed. Time has proved that at the end of the day the game must be fun to play, and it doesnt matter how beautiful the game looks, if it is not fun and it is buggy.
But still in the time where technology is advancing by leaps and bounds, shouldn’t Nintendo have thought it through again?
We personally think that if Nintendo can provide quality games to backup the hardware, then Nintendo will be able to succeed. Nintendo will also need strong third party support, which it lost with the Wii.
For Nintendo, this is going to be a test. If Nintendo can pull it off, it will again be crowned the King again. But if it cant, well only time will tell.