The Wii U: Doomed to Fail?

The Wii U: Doomed to Fail?

If you’re a longtime fan of video games, then you’ve doubtlessly said, “Oh God, what is Nintendo doing?” at least once through your gaming career. When it comes to unveiling seemingly crazy ideas, Nintendo is king–and the company has surprised us once again with the introduction of the Wii U at E3 2011.

Though Nintendo could have engineered an HD follow up to the Wii that snuggled into a safe crevice by implementing a traditional control scheme with tacked-on motion controls (instead of making motion controls the first and foremost option, as it has with the Wii), it has instead gone in the opposite direction and built tablet controls on top of its already-controversial motion control system. And again we’re forced to wonder, “What’s Nintendo up to?” Will the company’s drive to distinguish itself eventually cause its ruination?

For the answer to that question, you only have to look at Nintendo’s track record. In most instances where it has tried to do something different from the competition, it has succeeded in big ways. We all balked at the Nintendo DS’s two screens, but Nintendo proved the idea could work. None of us had any idea how much alcohol had been consumed prior to the creation of the Wii’s motion-based control scheme, but here we are nearly five years later and we can safely say the Wii is not only one of the best-selling consoles of all time: It has also widened the gaming landscape to allow room for casual gamers and families.

Even in instances where Nintendo’s consoles were not the best-selling systems on the market, innovation germinated with the company regardless. The pedigree of most modern 3D adventure games can be traced back to games like Super Mario 64 and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, titles that chugged away on antiquated cartridges while the rest of the industry had long since adopted the CD format.

The Wii U will undoubtedly have some problems, many of which have plagued Nintendo in the past: For instance, will third-party developers learn to make good use of the Wii U’s technology, or will Nintendo’s first-party offerings again garner the most praise, money, and attention? Will the company continue to board itself up while its competitors take gameplay online?

We don’t know the answers until the Wii U hits the market in 2012. In the meantime, whatever you may think of Nintendo and its often-weird ideas, there’s a reason why the company’s name is not synonymous with “failure.”

About Nadia Oxford
Nadia is a freelance writer living in Toronto. She played her first game at four, decided games were awesome, and has maintained her position since. She writes for 1UP.com, Slide to Play, GamePro and other publications, and is About.com’s Guide to the Nintendo DS.

4 Comments

  1. Nintendo has caused a lot of questions for me and answered so few it seems.

    I want to know where the Wii U market is?

    Will Wii owners want to pay $399 for a new console just to reuse the Wiimotes they have? (Only one new controller is supported at a time)

    Will 360 or PS3 games want to spend that much to play a library of games that seems to be heavily dependent on multiplatform games that they already can play on their console?

    Will the new styles of play be too complicated for the casual audience? Too gimmicky for the traditional gamer?

    Will developers be willing to invest in the Wii U without the install base that the PS3 and 360 have?

  2. Wii U doomed to fail?

    More like: Why U so skeptical?

  3. I think one of the bigger questions is: How will it not make core gamers mad?

  4. It wont flop, not even close to a flop. But, it wont beat Wii, not by a long shot. Nintendo is stepping into uncharted territory, a market they havent been in since 2001. The hardcore, cutting edge market. IMO, Wii U will come in second to Xbox 720, but probably beat PS4. Wii was a tremendous success, more than quadrupling the sales of Gamecube. That popularity wont just go away. However, Wii has had a lackluster lineup since early 2011, and with 360/PS3 getting popular, Wii U will slowly but surely become a popular console. 360 was very well recieved, nd definitely sell the best next gen. As for PS4…

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