More Information On The WiiU, And Other Thoughts

8 Jun 2011

We know the basics. We know the specs. What about the controller itself? The games?

Wii-U. Not only will “we” enjoy it as a group, but it is also tailor made for “you.”

The new controller integrates the console with, well, the controller itself – Making for a new platform where the console isn’t the only part of the experience. While the WiiU remote is not at all a portable, it is a hybrid of sorts – An at-home device that interacts with your WiiU even when you cannot play with the WiiU.

We already know that you can play games on it using it’s screen, or that it’s screen can double as a touch pad for DS-like functionality. (Menu’s, items, in-game commands…) But at the same time it seems to be designed specifically to add AR elements to your gaming, where the remote becomes an object inside of the game rather than just being your remote.

It seems to be implied that the way you play your games is, indeed, now entirely up to you. Wiimote, classic controller, the WiiU controller – Even the way you use the WiiU controller itself is supposed to be left to the user! I would speculate that Gamecube controller support will be more universal now. Of course, as I said, this is mostly implied speculation due to the impression of the conference.. Or perhaps wishful thinking. Backwards compatibility with the Gamecube has been confirmed as absent in the WiiU via Reggie himself. So that would mean new Gamecube style controllers would have to be produced for compatibility. (Or at least a first-party adapter of sorts.)

The WiiU controller, despite it’s design, packs a heavy amount of specs that most people are familiar with. From rumble, to iPad style cameras and mics, even a gyroscope is included for immersion.

My question is, what are we missing? Nintendo is holding back on us. Considering how deliberately they’re pushing the “hardcore” aspect, and even proving it by listing a ton of “hardcore” games, does this mean there is going to be another controller other than the WiiU one we saw at E3? Perhaps something more… Classic? An even further improved “classic controller” beyond even what the “pro” offers? Are we getting improved Wii Remote Pluses? There’s plenty to complain about with the originals Wiimotes, after all… (Battery drain issue, anyone?)

It’s all speculation at this point, but what I can do for you now is list but a few of the ‘hardcore’ games that are being promised for the WiiU.

Darksiders 2 (Launch Title)

Assassins Creed

A new Tekken

Ghost Recon Online

Batman: Arkham City

Metro: Last Night

and Battlefield 3

Even more interesting is the fact that almost every game listed has online play. Now, I am personally not a fan of the friends code system, nor Nintendo’s idea of social networking. Without user names and streamlined connectivity it is really tough to get immersed into an online world. However, seeing the small lineup which is presumably just a sneak peak into the future of the WiiU, I am absolutely excited to hear about the netcode and user interface they are designing for the WiiU itself. As other developers have proven, the way you connect with other players is a game changer. While Nintendo does indeed seem focused on this, one has to wonder if their push for privacy will ultimately hinder the WiiU, like it has with past consoles?

Only time will tell, but I’m looking forward to seeing more out of the WiiU, especially the user interface. Once we see that, it will likely reveal a lot of the consoles secrets. I have a feeling there’s still a lot we do not know. I also have a feeling that the gap between the WiiU and the 3DS is even more narrow than we think.