10 Things We Hate About Wii U
Well, not really, but here are a few concerns Nintendo needs to address before Wii U can be considered essential.
30-Minute approval process
Imagine having to wait 30 minutes before your Tweets appear online. That’s the reality currently facing Miiverse users, as Nintendo has said that all user comments will have to be approved, to eliminate offensive material and spoilers, before they are visible. If Miiverse is to take off then Nintendo needs to make it a seamless, instant environment.
Enough with the maps
The current batch of multiformat games heading to Wii U is strong enough in terms of IP but the way they take advantage of Wii U leaves much to be desired.
So many fall back on the predictable crutch of using the GamePad as a map screen and sprinkle in other perfunctory ideas that do little to convince us that games like Batman: Arkham City will be significantly better on Wii U, several months after they’ve appeared on other systems.
Where is the third-party use of Miiverse, for example?
Nintendo isn’t exactly popular with the core gaming crowd these days.
No big FPS
If Wii U is really to attract the hardcore crowd then it needs its own big FPS, and one that really shows off what a difference the GamePad can make to the genre.
ZombiU takes a fair stab at this, but Nintendo really needs its own Call Of Duty or, better still, a Metroid Prime 4. With Retro Studios’ newest title still unannounced, we live in hope that the team has something special lined up.
Where is the killer app?
Wii had Wii Sports, Game Boy had Tetris. Nintendo 64 had Super Mario 64. Nintendo hardware does best when it has a killer piece of software so well suited to showing off that system’s strengths that it becomes synonymous with the console.
Does Wii U have that yet? Nintendo Land is intended to be that, but we remain unconvinced that it can sell the system as compellingly as previous Nintendo titles.
Pikmin 3 does look to be the Wii U’s major launch title.
An over-reliance on Wii Remotes
So many of the Wii U games shown at E3 relied on the use of separately sold Wii Remotes, that Wii U may prove to be a more expensive console than first thought.
New Super Mario Bros. U is best enjoyed with four Remotes, plus the GamePad, while Miyamoto’s demo of Pikmin 3 suggested that a Wii Remote with MotionPlus add-on would be the definitive way to play the game. Does Nintendo assume that all Wii U users will be upgrading from Wii?
3DS caused a bit of a stir when it became the first Nintendo handheld to region lock its games, making loads of great Japanese and American releases unavailable to European gamers.
With Wii U, Nintendo has the opportunity to break down these barriers, truly making all games available to the masses. Will it do this? We wouldn’t bet on it.
With the existence of Miiverse, especially, Nintendo will look to control the experience, ensuring that its casual audience isn’t confused by unfamiliar content.
Excellent graphics, clever ideas and that weird Platinum Games charm. More like this please, Nintendo.
Very little new IP
We would like to see Nintendo rely less on its existing franchises and carve out fresh IP. We have seen what it can do with hardware and now we would like some bold and daring games that don’t include familiar names. Platinum Games’ P-100, for example, is the sort of original but oh-so-Nintendo experience Wii U needs more of.
Nintendo never did get the marketing of WiiWare or the Virtual Console right, and so many of the millions of users barely know it exists and care far less.
Better promotion of these services will ensure that low-cost, innovative games will surface in greater numbers for the masses that own Nintendo consoles. A competent digital marketplace is so vital nowadays.
All consoles have bad games but Wii seems to have had more than its fair share of them, with some devs catering for the lowest common denominator casual crowd.
These cheap games put buyers off from further purchases, so Nintendo arguably needs to resurrect its Seal Of Quality from the NES days, preventing publishers from flooding the system with shovelware.
Nintendo Land doesn’t look to offer much but remakes or classic gaming ideas.
No 1080p in all games
News that many of Wii U’s launch titles will only run in 720p resolution casts doubt over the true performance capability of the hardware. The system is technically capable of outputting 1080p but many games will not.
Is this a sign that the hardware isn’t really that much more powerful than Xbox 360, or is it another case of development teams unable or unwilling to maximise the performance of their own games?