So last week we saw the release of Nintendo's new edition to the family; The Wii U.
On the face of it, the console looks quite entertaining and I suppose the main focus is around the new Wii U GamePad.
It's about a 10 inch long, tablet shaped controller, featuring a 6.2 inch screen in the center. It also has joysticks on either side of the pad, with a D-Pad and what appears to be Xbox style buttons (but completely inverted) on either side of the controller. It also features a motion sensor and an accelerometer for a more physical aspect towards gaming.
With a controller like this, you would like to think Nintendo are mounting a serious challenge to it's Microsoft and Sony counterparts.
But are they?
In my personal opinion, the Wii did nothing for me. The Wii, for me, was a disaster in terms of gaming. Now, that may sound a little harsh, but I'm from the bread and butter gaming background, where a game was played sitting on your arse, requiring no physical input whatsoever, aside from your fingers and thumbs. The Wii, was no more than a 5 minute gimmick. Yes, it was enjoyable seeing your character on screen, mimic what you are doing in real life. Yes, it was enjoyable with a group of friends, pretending you are at a bowling alley. But after a few months, that same Wii console would have gathered dust and you start to consider selling it.
Now, Nintendo seemed to have tried to incorporate their user-friendly gaming, with old school back to basics game play.
But I don't think it has worked as well as Nintendo would have hoped it had. Again, the touchscreen on the game pad feels no more than a gimmick. Albeit, the novelty of having the choice to precisely pick the spot on the goal where you wish to score on FIFA is quite fun, but I can't see myself ever changing my style of play to incorporate this and would probably only use it once or twice to "try it out".
Maybe I'm wrong and maybe it'll be a slow start for the Wii U and things might pick up eventually. But I can't see past their market being families who are not educated in gaming, and that strikes me as a real risk for Nintendo as I'm sure that's not the market they're after as it's not a safe one.