The Problem With The Wii U
Ever since Nintendo officially announced their next generation console at E3 2011 people have been sceptical. Stocks immediately dropped, rumors spread that it's underpowered, and people saw a new Dreamcast coming. But this is why I think that while there is clearly something wrong with the Wii U it will be okay.
It's underpowered. There's nothing else to even say about it. We don't need to be told it's just kind of a given. Even if Nintendo makes a system more powerful than the PS3 or Xbox 360 the next iterations of those systems will be even more powerful. And while Nintendo may think it doesn't matter, it does. Nintendo has pretty much shown that they need the Hardcore back. The majority of what they've shown for Wii U and 3DS is going after gamers. But the problem is, if the Wii U isn't more powerful than their PS3 then they aren't buying it. To fix this it needs to be at least a little more powerful to act as a bridge system for that specific audience waiting for the PS4 or Xbox 720. The casual market either is on board with Apple or won't buy a Wii U until two years after launch. So once the competitors' systems come out and that audience leaves they still have customers. And then on top of that the Nintendo loyal will stay with them throughout the system's entire life. But this is still a bit of a stretch. The bottom line is it needs power and lots of it.
But with power you need more. Gaming isn't just graphics it's the expirience. But Nintendo seeks to differentiate themselves once more. Touch screen, microphone, NFC, and connectivity between two screens. But they need to convince us more. First off let us know exactly how many controllers we can use with a screen and it better not be one. And if they can't all use a screen they need to make a new remote that replaces the Wii remote with Wii U branding and a fresh look. Relying on old consoles controllers looks dumb and makes you feel like you're playing a Wii HD. It needs to be a little more than that. In fact any Wii accessory that is going to be used in a Wii U game needs to be redesigned for the Wii U like the zapper. The classic controller, balance board, and whatever else they use. But come E3 this needs to happen.
On top of that what people are after today is online connectivity. The PlayStation Network and Xbox Live have been providing this since '06 while Nintendo's Wi-Fi Connection has not. Nintendo wishes to fix this with the Nintendo Network but people are sceptical that it will be able to compete. With years to perfect PSN and XBL the Nintendo Network won't be up to speed. But that's not true. Nintendo has already been working on it with the 3DS. Nintendo Video, Swapnote, and the eShop are great examples of better attempts at an online service. And once the 3DS becomes fully compatible with the Nintendo Network, Nintendo would have had the time to experiment and perfect it's service too. That fixes that whole problem.
While I agree with the majority that Nintendo might lose ground with the Wii U they won't fall out of the race but get a wakeup call that not all systems print money unless you know exactly what you need to do.