It’s 2012 and I post at ZI; that means I think about the Wii U a lot and will continue with increasing frequency as the year goes on.
Lately however, with less than month left until Nintendo’s big presentation at E3, I’ve been thinking about what Nintendo will have to do to make people buy it.
It may seem like forever ago, but when the Wii first launched, a lot of people couldn’t buy it because the demand was so unexpectedly high. I remember that I couldn’t find a Wii available anywhere. By the time I actually could afford to buy one with my petty high school cash and also find one, it was June, several months after its initial launch. The only game I cared about playing on it was The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, and I refrained from buying it for the GameCube because I wanted to play it with the Wii’s control system.
Even though Twilight Princess’ controls are no where near as sophisticated as Skyward Sword‘s, I still was in love with the idea that the Wii’s controls were step closer to that sword-in-hand experience. Not only that, but I thought Twilight Princess looked really cool for a Zelda game, and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it.
Ultimately, it was Zelda that made me buy the console, but the Wii launched with Twilight Princess; a Zelda title isn’t going to appear on the Wii U for some time. While there was some part of me that was also curious about Wii Sports, it wasn’t enough by itself to make me run out and buy the system, like it did so many casual gamers. Part of me wonders if whatever first-party software equivalent Nintendo is planning on packaging with the Wii U, like they did with Wii Sports to show off the Wiimote’s capabilities, will be able to induce the same sort of hysteria that the Wii did.
I’m going to say no. I don’t think they can have two such strikes in a row. However, I’m mainly saying this because I’m inherently pessimistic. I’m sure Nintendo thought about this issue and are developing such software, but I wonder if it will have enough novelty to attract that wider audience. To the public’s eye, Wii Motion Plus was no different than what came before (there’s a huge difference, but they wouldn’t have realized this until after they purchased the upgrade). Because of this, I can’t help but wonder how much harm rather than good reusing the Wii name brand (Wii U) will be.
Yet, as the same time, Nintendo has stated that the Wii U will have a much greater focus on the hard-core gamer. It isn’t going to be a casual-fest like it was last time. So that means they will have to have titles that will make people want to buy the system just to play.
I am infamous when it comes to waiting out hardware. I’ll wait years after something is released to finally purchase it just for the potential good deal. For instance, I plan on purchasing a PlayStation 3 sometime next year to catch up on that past five or six years of gaming, but I’m only doing this on the cusp on the inevitable PlayStation 4 announcement. I’m also severely behind on Wii titles. Sure, I’m up-to-date with Zelda, but I have enough games on the back-burner that I have no need to migrate over to the Wii U any time soon. When the Wii U finally is here, I’ll undoubtedly be the same way. I honestly don’t see myself purchasing a system until two years after launch, unless a Zelda games comes sooner. I’ll be tempted by certain titles (Metroid, Star Fox, etc.), but I’ll have the capacity to wait for those. I’m in no rush, and I only have so much time to play video games as it is.
I know that this is a very particular and personal case, but I can’t help but think there are others who will be willing to wait some time before finally purchasing a Wii U because, right now at least, I don’t see any reason to pick up a Wii U at launch.
So my question for you readers is when are you planning on getting a Wii U, and what will be your tipping point?