Nintendo has announced that the Wii U — the first new gaming console released since the PlayStation 3 in 2006 — will be released on Nov. 18. This is significant, in part, because it will have no competition. Consumers won’t have to choose between the Wii U and another console because they can’t afford both.
I think young children will be “oohing” and “aahing” over the Wii U because they were too young to remember the last time a new console came out. It will be the present kids brag about receiving when they get back to school in January.
The Wii U will be sold in a basic set for $299 and a deluxe set for $349. The basic set will feature a white console with 8 GB of internal storage, one white GamePad controller, a sensor bar, HDMI cable and AC adapters for both console and controller.
The deluxe set contains all of the above (with the console and controllers in black) with an increased storage capacity of 32 GB, a console stand, GamePad charging cradle, a stand for placing the GamePad vertically on a table and the game “Nintendo Land.” If you buy the deluxe set, you will also be enrolled in a Deluxe Digital Promotion that allows users to earn extra points for each digital download from the Nintendo eShop until sometime in 2014.
The Wii U will be backwards compatible with Wii games but not Gamecube games. Instead, Gamecube (along with other, older Nintendo titles) will be available for download in Nintendo’s eShop.
Additionally, Nintendo announced a new feature called Nintendo TVii, an extraneously named feature that allows cable and TiVo-integration into the Wii U. It boasts Hulu Plus, Netflix and Amazon Instant Video support. One will be able to use the GamePad to interact with what they are watching, for example: watching football on TV while simultaneously looking up an athlete’s stats on the GamePad.
There are mixed opinions from gamers. On the one hand, the Wii U lineup of 50 games seems promising, with games targeting both hardcore and casual, family friendly gamers. On the other hand, only 22 of those games will be out in November (the rest to be released between then and March 2013), and many of the hardcore games have already been or are being released on other consoles, such as “Batman: Arkham City” and “Call of Duty: Black Ops II.”
One of the most anticipated games is the Wii U exclusive “ZombiU,” a third-party first-person shooter. The game has garnered praise for being unique among a sea of first-person shooter games with similar concepts, focusing strictly on the near impossible task of survival. It has also been praised for its excellent incorporation of the GamePad into the gameplay.
Will the Wii U sell well? After all, it didn’t improve much over the Wii (aside from Blu-ray quality graphics and the new tablet — although whether the tablet is an improvement depends upon who you ask). General opinion seems to be that Nintendo’s appeal to hardcore gamers is laughable at best (with the exception of “ZombiU”).
But really, let’s face it: most of us are slaves to Nintendo. “The Legend of Zelda,” “Super Mario Bros.,” “Pikmin,” “Donkey Kong,” “Star Fox,” “Metroid”—these games have our childhoods by the throat. We were introduced as children, and we are now doomed to be slaves to Nintendo. I do not foresee this cycle ending.
I predict that parents will soon be rushing out and buying the Wii U like it is the only thing that will be able to put a smile on little Johnny’s face. I see little Johnny putting in that copy of “Super Mario Bros. U” and being introduced to a whole new world that will consume his life. I see little Johnny growing up and forever trying to recapture the magic of that nostalgic moment.
I know that I will inevitably have the Wii U console sitting in my living room, staring me in the face. I am and shall always be addicted to “The Legend of Zelda” until the day either me or the console dies a horribly violent, “rated T for Teen” death.
And honestly, I don’t know who is going down first.
Cara Hillstock is a sophomore in English and theatre. Please send comments to [email protected]