One of my friends on another web site, cjizzle, posted his commentary about what is wrong with how Nintendo has handled the Wii U, which is along the same lines as what I’ve been saying since Wii U’s introduction at E3 2011. With his permission, I’ll post it after the jump. At least you will then understand why the above image was used.
My fascination with video games started when I was 3. My dad had a Pong console. It was so cool how I could control those little white bars on a black screen with that slider control. Then came my purchase of an Atari 2600 with all of my allowance money I saved up (and a little help from my grandparents). Then I became obsessed. Next was the Atari 7800 (of which I took apart to see how it worked. I never quite got it back together, so it ended up sitting on the floor in pieces. Still playable, but in pieces nonetheless.) That was my first introduction to Mario, and I played the crap out of that game!
Then one day I was in a Pizza Hut getting my free pizza for reading a certain amount of books in a set amount of time. As I was waiting for my pizza to be cooked, I saw a new video game sitting by the door. It wasn’t one of those normal box type video games. It had a flat screen (looked like a desk almost) and a chair to sit in while you were playing. On the side it said Nintendo. Hmmm…never heard of it. So I bummed a quarter from my mom and gave it a shot. The game was called Super Mario Brothers. I begged and begged for more quarters, but alas, my mom cut me off. So I doubled the amount of books that I read, just so that I could get that free pizza and go in to play that video game a few more times. It was the absolute coolest thing I had ever played!
Fast forward 25 years… Now Im buying video games and consoles for MY kids (and for me, but I always claim its for the kids so I don’t get yelled at by my wife lol). When the Wii came along, at first I was hesitant. Stand up while playing a game? WTF? And you have to move?!?! Not to mention the name of the console… I had a PS1, PS2, Nintendo, N64, SNES, all of those made sense. A Wii?… But after playing at a friend’s house I was hooked. It was totally unique, something I had never seen or done before. And it reminded me of that time when I was a kid in Pizza Hut when I played a game that was like no other game I had ever played before. And I got hooked, and so did MY kids.
The point of me relating the above experiences is this: Nintendo has always come up with a really cool idea and ran with it. Things like this is how they got their user base. I have loved N since the very beginning, and likely will to the end. The Wii U came out about 10 months ago, and as soon as I had the funds I was all over buying one. The whole idea of a gamepad with a touchscreen that displays different stuff than your TV, that is new and cool as can be! A lot of folks have griped about how the next gen consoles will have better graphics, or more powerful processors. To be honest, I dont give a crap. Its all about the fun, and and Nintendo has always delivered that.
But there is something wrong. Doom and gloom has spread everywhere about the Wii U. Games delayed, developers backing out, whats going on here? I have read a ton of articles speculating as to why this is. Next gen consoles coming? Maybe…but I dont think so. The Wii wasn’t cutting edge on graphics or processing at all. I think it has everything to do with the name of the console and how it is being marketed, and it became apparent to me just yesterday…
Yesterday I went out and bought Pikmin 3 from Gamestop. It really is an awesome game btw. But as I was buying it, the Gamestop salesperson said, “I hate to ask you this, but you do have a Wii U right? As in Wii U?” I just laughed and told her that I knew the difference between Wii and Wii U. She promptly told me that not many people coming into the store do, and they have a lot of returns for games because of that. Hmmm…. In a small town in Ohio I can see how some redneck folk dont quite get the difference. Same as PS2 vs PS3 maybe? I dunno. Then my parents from a bigger city came by. My 5 year old daughter was begging her grandma to play Pikmin. So my mom got the gamepad and started playing. She said “I never Wii’d before”, of which my 5 yr old promptly corrected her: “Its a Wii U grandma”. Her response was, “Whats the difference?”.
Well, I cant expect my mother to keep up with the terminology, so she gets a free pass. But the point is there. All the articles I have seen saying that Wii U was poorly named and isn’t marketed correctly have hit home for a guy in a small town in southeast Ohio. No wonder the Wii U sales aren’t so great, and no wonder third party publishers are pulling out. They are scared. People still think it is the same console as the Wii. So, the damage is done. Obviously they cant go rename the console, so what’s left?
It seems to me the only option now in order to keep the console alive is to push out a bunch of really cool 1st party titles as quickly as possible. There are also a few third party publishers that have hung in there, and have openly stated that they will remain with N and support them. The fact of the matter is that it will take time for these titles to come around, and waiting is something that us gamers absolutely abhor. So the elephant in the room is if gamers will wait while N sorts out the mess they have created.
I for one will wait it out. I truly hope you guys will too. Some of the strongest N supporters have said that the Wii U is junk, and even some of my closest friends have said the same. I refuse to believe that. We have a console in our hands that is capable of things like we have never seen before in the world of gaming. So lets sit back and be patient, because I think the best is yet to come. N has a ton of money to invest, and a ton to lose if the Wii U doesn’t take off. So before you start bashing the Wii U or selling your consoles, think about all the great times that N has given you. I have no doubt that they will come through in the long run, and we need to give them our support in the process.
Now, back to playing Pikmin 3 (did I mention this game is AWESOME?) LOL