Why the Wii U should sell better than the 3DS
There is a new hope for Nintendo
©2011 Alex Hilton
With all of the doom and gloom around the 3DS people are now writing off the Wii U.
However the Wii U has only just been announced and there have not been many details revealed about it. Yet people are still expecting it to fail because Nintendo seems to be in trouble. Even Nintendo is starting to get worried.
The Wii U is very different from the 3DS situation because the Wii U is unique while the 3DS wasn’t really that much different from the DS. It is basically an upgraded DS with 3D and a bit more functionality.
Nintendo also expected the 3DS to make them a lot of money back from sales so they invested heavily into the development of the Wii U. This means that the Wii U should be a quality well researched product, not something rushed out to stay competitive with others. They knew the Wii’s life cycle was nearly at its end, and looked to the future.
I believe there are five reasons why the Wii U should sell better than the 3DS.
The Wii U is U-nique
With the controller (basically a Wii Pad) having a screen on it, the Wii U is completely different to all the other HD consoles that are available today. The Wii U is mixing console gameplay with handheld gameplay to go out of its way to create a very unique experience.
However with the new innovative technology there are risks as most people don’t just care about hardware, they care about software. This is where the 3DS fell down: a lack of diverse quality games at or near launch.
The Wii U tech demos that have been shown to the public do seem to be interesting and fun but the 3DS’s tech demos were also interesting and fun yet the games released for it weren’t enough.
The Wii U is a new piece of technology that introduces two screens into the console environment. This technology does have potential though as the DS was very successful when it introduced two screens so the Wii U. I believe that if done well, this idea will work in similar fashion and does have what it takes to be as successful as the DS.
Another good feature that has good potential is the separate screen. Some games for the Wii U are supposed to be able to just be displayed on the controller. This means that there won’t be as much fighting for the TV, which, for families, is a very good selling factor.
HD and No Clutter
Another good point for the Wii U is that it is now HD compatible and is just as good, if not better than the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 graphics wise. This means that Wii fans will finally be able to play games like Zelda in HD (the main advertisement for the HD feature is Zelda HD).
The introduction of a screen that is separate to the main display means there is now the ability to reduce the clutter on the screen which could make the games look like they have cleaner more immersive graphics than they actually do.
People hate having clutter like HUDs and health bars on-screen in their gaming screen space (me included) as it detracts from the actual visual experience of playing the game and with games that have a lot of background objects this will help a lot.
3DS Health Scare
The main reasons that the 3DS did not sell was the high price and the health scares. I don’t know what price Nintendo is going to put on the Wii U but if they are learning from the mistake of the 3DS then the price should already be as low as it possibly can be for them to grab a higher market share and at least eventually make a profit.
They don’t want to undergo a price cut shortly after launch and lose the consumer’s trust like they have with the 3DS.
The other reason the 3DS did not sell well was the health scare. The 3D effect was known to induce headaches and dizziness in some gamers, so people were cautious about buying the product.
When it was recommended that a person should only use the 3D for twenty minutes it took away the whole selling point of the console, as a 3DS without 3D is a DS with more power!
However there have been some health scares with the Wii U in that the Wii Pad has a different screen resolution to the TV screen so some people are suggesting that this might cause some eye strain too.
My personal opinion is that if this is the case then the player would only be required to look at one of the screens for the majority of the time and use the other for extra information like map, HUDs, etc. (as is often the case with the DS).
Dual Screen Multiplayer
With the extra screen now available to games the multiplayer will be able to expand from the split-screen. Now one player can hide what they are doing using the controller as it has a separate display.
This was shown in the tech demo ‘Chase Mii’ where four players using Wii Controllers and looking at the TV would chase the fifth person who was using the Wii Pad.
This concept has the potential to make multiplayer on the Wii U very interesting and fun without screen-cheating.
Will Nintendo Strike Back or just strike out?
The overall feeling of the Wii U is just like the 3DS: Will this new concept work well?
The double screened console has a great potential to be the best console that has been released, if the games that are developed for it use the technology to its full potential and are more than tech demos.
The 3DS’s failing was that Nintendo underestimated the bad publicity over the 3D eye strain issue and there weren’t enough games showcasing the 3D effect for a person to want to buy the machine. Nintendo relies way too heavily on their first party franchises.
Overall the Wii U has great potential to be a great hit like the Wii and DS have been and I hope that Nintendo gets this console right and makes sure everything is perfect for its release. Especially the launch games and price.