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That's an interesting take on things. The whole thing felt very scattergun to me but your rationale is very plausible. I'm sceptical it'll work mind :)

I think the biggest problem with the Wii is that Nintendo lost interest (exhausted the potential of?) in making Wii Games. Wii Music was a bit of a flop and after that, there was nothing else along the same lines of Wii Sports, Wii Fit etc.

If you buy into the disruption angle on what they were doing with the Wii, the next step would be to make "bridge games", essentially gently bringing along the muggles upstream to games with more depth. Mario Kart is a good example of this but similarly, they seemed to leave it there.

What confuses me still is that having spent the best part of the last half decade breaking down the controller barrier, they're now opting to launch a machine with an even more complex one. Perhaps the above gives me an idea of where they want to end up, but I struggle to think of how they'll get the muggles to follow them.

Or how they'll get the non-muggles to leave their existing platforms for an incremental upgrade in power and an unproven (if any!) online service.

Difficult one to call until we seem some actual games I guess but I think Wii Sports is a difficult trick to pull off twice :)

Emmeline Dobson

To follow-on from Deftangel's comment and to air some of my thoughts since yesterday pm, the "asymmetric gameplay" schtick is how Nintendo may encourage some muggle gamers to move upstream. The New Controller would allow someone like me to play Dungeon Master or "it" or whatever special role the tablet-wielder takes, while playing social living-room games with gramps, mum dad and young cousins. But after a few rounds the cousins will want a go with the New Controller. You never know, then they may nag gramps to be "it" next time around and maybe even Dad after New Year will find himself making levels on the WiiU for his kids after they've gone to bed, having become accustomed to the interactions?

I'm thinking that some areas for designers to explore with WiiU may be more akin to designing board games than any console in the past. How many publishers and studios are going to take those risks, tho', especially with the need to author HD graphics? Perhaps Nintendo could ease the overhead of art production by allowing 3rd parties access to Miis (correct me if this can be done already on Wii) and other useful things like the "pie health" meter seen in the videos.

Simon Strange

@Emmeline Dobson - for what it's worth, 3rd party developer have had access to playable Miis since at least 2008. I personally assisted in integrating them into Tony Hawk:RIDE during that year.

I have my own take on Wii-U, going up tomorrow morning at 9am on my blog: http://strangedesign.typepad.com/strange_design/2011/06/considering-wii-u.html

Tuantrung Tran

Wii U is not that attractive as a rival of NGP, let alone a mobile tablet that can rival iPad. This design version is clunky; great for (extreme) gaming, but not meant to be taken along and listen to music on metro, study at school, or work at a cafeteria. On the other hand, PlaySation Vita is more compact and great as a portable console game, while iPhone and iPad offers a lot casual game besides virtually any other functionality.

Otherwise, I think this would work as an ultimate platform for games.


Firemint doing something similar to Wii U with Real Racing 2: http://bit.ly/jedSDN

Nintendo have a habit (in recent history at least) of getting this sort of thing right. I have a feeling that bandwagons are going to be jumped left, right and centre.

Given that there's a long time left to launch (and that Nintendo might've rushed this announcement to market due to leaks), could they have something else up its sleeve? Something that copycats haven't seen coming, and that maintain a competitive advantage?

Harold Pichol

Only big publishers will be able to do something on it. That's the huge difference with PCs and smartphones. Because risk is high, we'll see -as they're already rolling them out- the same IPs and same games with a Wii U twist.

Nintendo will do great stuff as usual. But my point is that the days of only thinking about the platform are really over. Developers have the power. They make platforms successful and like you said, PCs and phones and tablets are flowing. Developers can do what they want on it and push toward interactivity between devices (both MS and Sony showed things going this way). Wii's advantage was instant. Wii U's advantage? Not so much.

I think Kinect by being for both consoles and computers is a good move. Traditional publishers do their 60$ sequels -they can't take risks, not at these costs- and enthusiasts and indie people can experiment.

It will never happen with the Wii U and I think that today in a world of fast development, it's a deadly mistake...


Hi Harold,

I also think it's a challenge for these big platforms to remember the smaller developers. The various digital platforms that are available for consoles these days are extremely limited in a world of app stores.


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