Wii U: The Power of 2
I bought a Wii U.
The console is sitting comfortably in my cupboard, still unopened with a copy of Super Mario 3D World, while I feverishly try to clear my backlog of PS3 games. Once I'm over and done with my PS3 (Dark Souls II being the exception) I can finally well and truly say I am ready to join Next-Gen with the Wii U and the PS4.
So let's talk about the Wii U, shall we?
The Wii U is interesting piece of our history, our videogame history that is, and I suspect historians won't know what to make it of it except save for a short description that doesn't touch upon its unique circumstances. The poor thing is a victim of a perfect storm created by Nintendo's stubbornness, EA's evil policies, poor timing and the broken AAA-model...all of which has served to place the Wii U in a vicious cycle of no-games-equal-no-consoles sold. In short, like Tom Hanks in The Terminal, the Wii U finds itself in a void outside our realm of logic. It's neither here nor there, neither next-gen or current-gen, neither an upgrade nor a downgrade...
And THAT, my friends, is the real problem. The Wii U is not an upgrade, it's a 'side-grade', if you will--
Let me take you back a few years...I was studying in Manchester, walking home after a particularly awful tussle with one of my tutors, wherein I decided to take a detour and go inside a Virgin Megastore. As the store's warm interior siphoned the cold from my bones, I stopped across an old man in his seventies who had been looking up at a giant screen. The screen showed a Japanese family, happily playing with their Wiimotes, laughing as tidbits of Wii Sports and Wii Music flashed across the screen. At that moment both young and old, foreigner and local, hardcore and casual had stood together in awe at the marvelous new technology. We were both smitten by the Wii.
The Wii seemed like the evolution of gaming, it was only logical. We have been dreaming about this sort of technology for years. Realistic lightsabre battles, immersive fighting games, everything seemed possible and it was Nintendo that was about to take our hands and gently guide us into this wonderful future--
Then the Wii U happened.
The Wii U is not the Wii-2, both in name AND philosophy. That's my only and biggest problem with this console. Of course the Wii-2 is a stupid name. OF COURSE, it opens itself to an endless slew of jokes at its expenses. But it has a '2' in its name. Never underestimate the power of 2. The number '2' implies many things. First off, 2 is bigger than 1. That's just simple math. By that logic, if 2 > 1, then '2' would have to be 'better' than '1'...ergo, all the 'problems' that I have will be fixed if I simply upgrade to the next model.
We've seen evidence in this all around us. People hurriedly discard their current model IPhones when the new one arrives hoping that, with each upgrade, the battery life will be extended only to be tricked over and over again. Nevertheless, they've been psychologically conditioned to hungrily chase after the bigger number.
The Wii U didn't sound like an upgrade and Iwata did the console no favors by simply showing the tablet, making people think it was an add-on. All of this stupid confusion could have been easily avoided with addition of a '2'.
Secondly, the Wii U completely disregarded the motion revolution that's been spearheaded by the Wii. Oh sure, you can still use the Wiimote on the Wii but that's about it. No Wiimote 2 that comes with an improved gyro. Why? It makes no frigging sense! You still have to buy the Motionplus attachment in this day and age? That's just stagnation.
Technology is meant to evolve, that's just the way it works. The DS felt like a brilliant evolution from the Gameboy Advance (I liken it to the Gyarados from a Magikarp) and the 3DS was the next logical step. The Dualshock keeps getting better with each iteration and whilst the Xbox One's new controller comes with new features with its own. But the Wiimote? It's all but been abandoned, replaced by a weird 'side project' that seems more like a detour than an evolution.
I give a lot of flak to Microsoft and, indeed, they are a cancer upon gaming but I do find it agreeable that they've refined the Kinect. Sure it's gimmicky and will never replace controllers but at least it's a step forward (rather than ten steps forward as the brainwashers would have you believe).
What the Wii-2 should have been was an adequate HD-console with new Wiimotes, more intuitive, more refined and more comfortable to the human grip. I have no doubt that I will enjoy the Wii U and, indeed, if they give me a gem like Baiten Kaitos or Pandora's Tower, this console WILL be worth it...for me, at least. But it's such a shame because if anyone could have made what Microsoft is trying to sell a reality, it would have been Nintendo...and all of that because they didn't use the power of 2.
Don't wanna call it the Wii-2? I got a better name then...
Disclaimer: MightnoX has been designated as Mighty no.17327 by Comcept. He likes to believe his stage theme would be a coffee shop and his boss theme is Caffeineman