Some of the new announcements of the Wii U make sense (video streaming), some are a bit odd (Yes, Bayonetta 2, because hey my Mom would love it), some are cool (I am digging the pseudo-tablet) and putting it all together paints a heady picture as the folks at Kotaku found out.
I look at the Wii U strategy and it seems to be focused on:
- Being a media device much like the X-box has become.
- Signing a lot of diverse and odd gaming titles.
- Making up for lost time by having better internet integration.
- Seriously pushing it’s unusual (and costly) controller.
That’s when I realized that Nintendo has become Sony and is throwing everything at the wall and seeing what sticks. However they’re doing it in a more . . . precise . . . manner than Sony.
The Wii U is going to be a media box – and a media box with an interesting peripheral. The latter may not be the only sales point but considering the Wii’s rep this may be the media box that less-hardcore gamers purchase. My mother was practically ready to buy a Wii, the Wii U is even more promising.
The Wii U introduces an odd extra control structure with the Pad – one reminiscent of iPad integration and Android Phone integration with other devices. Nintendo is making a tighter device integration play, and if you don’t think the future DS is going to tie into this or evolve from this, you’re not paying attention.
Nintendo is making up for lost time with assorted internet and social media integration. This plays well with the Nintendo reputation for accessibility, and connects with the media options. They just took making up for lost time and took it farther.
So the Wii U is a giant load of everything – but a precise one at that. I think it gives Nintendo a good market since it’s got a date, it’s got things people want, and it’s got a decent price range ($299-$350).
And it has the usual Nintendo trademark of Being Talked about. Because I and others are doing it – they got our attention. Again.
Sure, this will face competition in time, but for now I think Nintendo caught the news cycle, and they caught it with a nice piece of technology. So game developers pay attention, and see what they do here because if they’re playing catch-up you might have a chance to be caught up . . .
Steven Savage is a Geek 2.0 writer, speaker, blogger, and job coach. He blogs on careers at http://www.fantopro.com/, nerd and geek culture at http://www.nerdcaliber.com/, and does a site of creative tools at http://www.seventhsanctum.com/. He can be reached at http://www.stevensavage.com/.