Friday, January 27, 2012

VIDEO GAMES: Nintendo is Preparing the Wii U for Success

I remember the first day I got my Wii. I camped outside of Wal-Mart for 14 hours to get one of the store's 23 systems it had available on release day. I rushed home with my friends, fired up the system and played Wii Sports and Twilight Princess. The whole day I marveled at the system and the motion controls. The implications of what could be done with the system were astounding and I couldn't wait for the really great games to inevitably come that would make the Wii Nintendo's best system to date. Roughly 5 years later I sold my Wii to Gamestop for $40 because it had become nothing but a dust collector. Nintendo had struck out big with their inventive system and there are a million people and companies to blame for the Wii's weak life cycle. I promised myself I wouldn't get Nintendo's next system until it proved its worth...but now we keep hearing updates about the Wii U.

All within the span of the past few days we've heard some great things about the upcoming Wii U. Recent rumors state that the next generation of Xbox will be only twice as powerful as the Wii U and six times as powerful as the current generation Xbox 360. Now what exactly "powerful" means is a different story but this means the Wii U will be three times more powerful than the Xbox 360...imagine a Zelda game with better graphics than Skyrim!

We also just heard about Nintendo's desire to focus on their Online play with the Nintendo Network. This will hopefully give Nintendo a comparable online service to what Microsoft and Sony have created. Players will be able to create their own personal account, direct download packaged products, patch games after release and basically do everything that makes the online features of Xbox 360 and PS3 so great. A competitive online system that will exist on both the Wii U and 3DS could go a long way in making the Wii U a much more appealing offer.

Yesterday Nintendo also announced a new functionality for their controller called "NFC Functionality". This stands for "Near Field Communication" and it basically allows the controller to access wireless distribution of information. Nintendo president Satoru Iwata stated:
         "By installing this functionality, it will become possible to create cards and figurines that can electronically read and write data via noncontact NFC and to expand the new play format in the video game world. Adoption of this functionality will enable various other possibilities such as using it as a means of making micropayments."

All of this new information comes on the heels of the announcement that we will see a fully functional Wii U at E3 this year and a worldwide release before the end of 2012 is guaranteed. For me it's going to come down to the games. It took the Wii 5 years to get a Zelda game worth playing and that is something that cannot happen again. I don't think I'll be purchasing a Wii U on release date like I did with the Wii, but my interest has certainly been spiked over the past few weeks. It seems like Nintendo has done the best thing they possibly could with the Wii, and that is to learn. Oh and Nintendo has said that the system "may" cost more than $250. Which means even if it does it's likely the price point won't be much more than $300 on release date which would be incredible! With proper third party support, a strong online community, updated graphics to bring Nintendo into the current generation and many other features, it seems like the Wii U could once again prove Nintendo naysayers wrong.

So check out Jessica Chobot showing off what the Wii U can do! Courtesy G4TV!

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