6 Jun 2012

Nintendo Wii U Detailed [E3 2012]

Nintendo's press conference was, as expected, dominated by the Wii U and whilst their Conferences generally fall behind Microsoft and Sony in terms of consumer response, this conference in general was poorly recieved, Nintendo Land for example received little to no applause which is a strange thing for these type of events, usually everything is cheered in some way. The strangest part of the presentation seems to be that after knowing about the device for a year now there's still no price and still no release date for the Wii U, though it's still being touted as arriving this year. What we can take away however is a spec list, a list of launch games and also a few other details to go along with it, like the fact that it now comes in two flavours, black & white.

We'll start with the specifications for the tech geeks amongst you:
Resolutions: 1080p, 1080i, 720p, 480p and 480i
Connections: HDMI, D-Terminal, Component Video, RGB, S-Video Stereo AV and AV
Tablet Controller has a 6.2 inch, 16:9 ratio Wii U Gamepad screen, IBM Power-Based multi-core CPU, AMD Radeon HD GPU and wireless IEEE 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi support. LAN adapters will be supported via either of the machine’s two USB ports
Nintendo have revealed as well that they are working on a way to transfer save games and settings and downloads from the Wii to the Wii U, much like the one in place for the 3DS.

To sell it way better than i ever could here's the official Nintendo Tour Video complete with smooth American male voice over;

The main negative responses following Nintendo's announcement revolve around the tablet controller, whilst it's been redesigned slightly from the prototype we saw last year and there's now the ability to use two of them at once there are downsides; Firstly the controller itself can only be used for 3-5 hours on a full charge, and then when it does run out it takes a further two hours to fully charge again, however it seems you can use it whilst plugged into an AC adapter, which means that if you do all your Wii U gaming in a long session then you'll be spending most of it tethered to your nearest plug socket.The second issue is a pretty big one, the fact that you can use two of the tablet controllers now is excellent, it means that one of you doesn't to be demoted to the Pad Pro controller (see below), however if you are using two of these then be prepared for some system issues, namely the fact that the frame rate will drop and not just drop a little, it'll be halved. Which means that your potentially lag free HD gaming experience form Nintendo is no longer lag free and will not be running as smoothly anymore, this seems like a pretty big deal in all honesty, most people might not notice it whilst playing Mario or Nintendo land or anything similar that's not that taxing on the hardware, but as soon as you go for a more 'hardcore' multiplayer experience which requires alot of graphical power and processing you will most certainly notice a difference.

Pad Pro:
The 'new' alternative controller for the Wii U, I saw new but I really mean old, borrowed stolen design...lets face it, it's an xbox controller but a thumbstick has been moved to the top. This is Nintendo's offering to those who don't like the idea of playing games like mass effect with a tablet controller and in all honesty it's a pretty good one, for example now i could play the game with a real controller and instead have the tablet controller as a second screen next to me, detailing maps, squad details etc..the only downside for Nintendo when it comes to capturing the 'hardcore market' that they're appealing to is that the same thing can be done on the xbox without the need to buy any new devices. I will be able to play mass effect 3 on my current Xbox 360 console, with my controller without funny thumbsticks and use my already existing Android, iOS or Windows phone or tablet to connect with Smart Glass and have the same experience.

Game Line-Up:
Strangely for a console launch there's only a few showing of Nintendo's own brands, Mario and Pikmin, no sign of a full Zelda, Donkey Kong or much rumoured Smash Bros. game that's in development, any of these would be potential system sellers, instead we were treated to a Mario game that doesn't look as fun as it's 3DS counterpart and then Nintendo land getting minigames featuring Zelda, DK , Animal Crossing and F-Zero but this received a general 'Meh' response from the audience and internet alike. Maybe after this Nintendo will push for that Smash Bros game to become a release title.
Anyway here's the confirmed game list with suspected release dates;
2K Sports
NBA 2K13 - Holiday

Ben 10: Omniverse - Holiday
Family Party: 30 Great Games (working title) -Holiday
Rise of the Guardians: The Video Game - Holiday

Electronic Arts
Mass Effect 3 - Holiday

Maximum Games
Jett Tailfin - Holiday

TANK! TANK! TANK! - Holiday
TEKKEN TAG TOURNAMENT 2 (working title) - Holiday

LEGO City: Undercover - Holiday
New Super Mario Bros. U - Holiday
NINJA GAIDEN 3: Razor’s Edge - Holiday
Nintendo Land - Holiday
SiNG (working title) - Holiday
Wii U Panorama View (working title) - Holiday
Game & Wario (working title) - Launch Window
Pikmin 3 -Launch Window
Project P-100 (working title) - Launch Window
Wii Fit U - Launch Window

Aliens: Colonial Marines - TBA
Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed - Holiday

Darksiders II - Holiday

Assassin’s Creed III - Holiday
Just Dance 4 - Holiday
Marvel Avengers: Battle for Earth - Holiday
Rabbids Land - Holiday
Sports Connection - Holiday
Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2013 - Holiday
ZombiU - Holiday
Rayman Legends - TBA

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Scribblenauts Unlimited - Holiday
Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition - Holiday

Chasing Aurora - Holiday
Trine 2: Director’s Cut - Holiday
Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien - Holiday
Aban Hawkins & the 1,001 Spikes - Holiday
Cloudberry Kingdom - Holiday

Without a firm price point or release date there's not much going for Nintendo at the minute and consumer interest is nowhere near the levels they had when the Wii first launched. All in all it seems like a bunch of great ideas thrown together without ever really developing the hardware properly, then the software on top of that is mediocre at best. There's lots of mini games, sports and dancing and the usual Nintendo launch content from the mario camp but most third party games are one's that have been previously available for other consoles and unless the upcoming titles do something outstandingly different on the Wii U then most gamers will stick with buying them on their current consoles. How many people will really buy Mass Effect or Batman again, just because they have a tablet accessory? Maybe it's a smart move by Nintendo to not give us a price yet, means they can go away after E3 and take on board what other people are doing, improve slightly then price to sell. If they can get it under £200 then they probably stand a chance of selling well.


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