Saturday, March 16, 2013

Wii-U Should Have Been Virtual Boy 2

So, Nintendo's having a tad of trouble selling their new game console, the Wii-U. IGN has a post about it here.I like Nintendo, and I don't want see their console fail. In the worst case scenario, it could lead to the dreaded Nintendocalypse in which we have to buy Nintendo games on PS4. :P

So the thing had a crappy launch title lineup. Most of the games were games that were already available on PS3 and Xbox 360. The Wii-U exclusive ZombiU is apparently terrible, and that puts an awful lot of pressure on Super Mario Bros. U.

Anyway, so there aren't a lot of compelling reasons for "hardcore" gamers or even Nintendo fans to get the thing as of yet. A Zelda or a Super Smash Bros. game would help 'em a little, I'm sure. But where are the casual gamers who bought the Wii in the first place? Why didn't they flock to this device? I have a theory. Behold!

Back in 2005 or whenever, what was the main draw of the Wii? Motion controls. When you bought the launch title Twilight Princess with your new Wii, you expected to be able to swing your sword and make Link do as much on screen. While Twilight Princess didn't meet that hope -- and it took six years to get a Zelda game that would -- the Wii's main crowd of gamers did get what they wanted. You swing the remote and it hits a tennis ball. It was pretty cool, almost as if you were really swinging a tennis racket.

What would be the next logical step from the motion-controlled Wii? I don't really know whether it's financially feasible or not, but I would think virtual reality. Where the Wii got people moving, the Wii-U should have gotten people into the game.

Googling reveals that most virtual reality helmets are prohibitively expensive. However, a company as large as Nintendo probably could strip the stuff down and economize it. Playing console games via tablet is a nice idea, but it would have been badass if could have fed that same stream into some VR goggles. And hey: It could have still had assymetrical multiplayer.

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