Wii U: too much money and too many promises?

Look! Shiny…

I know it was last month when this information came out, but it bears discussion. The Wii U’s launch line-up has been announced and so has the price tag.

For $300 you get the Wii U console with an 8 GB hard drive and a gamepad. The $350 Premium Bundle comes with a console, a controller, an HDMI cable, power cradles for your gamepad, a 32 GB HDD and a subscription to Nintendo Network Premium, which offers 10% discounts on downloadable software, according to G4’s article.

Not only that, but the system launch date has also been revealed. November 18th, 2012 will be what I call “The Big Show.” Nintendo will have to put up or shut up at this point, and to be honest, I’m not entirely sure how it’s going to do.

After playing with the Wii U twice, at PAX and E3, I’ve decided that I rather like the system. I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve played on it, and I admit that the novelty of playing on a controller directly is appealing since I live in a home where the TV is used by multiple people.

But, the entire industry isn’t enamored with the system. They might be impressed, but some are still skeptical.

Check out this quote from Adam Sessler that was strung out over several of his tweets during September following the announcements about the Wii U:

“The novelty of playing on the gamepad screen is way too overstated. This ‘assurance’ on the launch line-up is deadly. This is their chance to make the best case for themselves. If they were so willing to show a substance-free trailer for ‘Bayonetta 2’ why not do the same for Zelda? Right now their best angle with the hardcore are promises, they needed more. The pricing makes the casual market much harder. I realize they didn’t price the gamepad stand-alone. But is there any reason to have a second one? To clarify: I have great affection for Nintendo. my observations come from a place of concern. $350 is a fine price for core gamers, but Nintendo isn’t making a strong case.”

To an extent, he’s correct. The price tag is high, even for Nintendo, which flaunted it’s $250 price tag years ago with the Wii. That was part of the selling point and the mass appeal of the system.

If they are going to promise good things for hardcore gamers, they are digging themselves into a hole if they don’t deliver after launch. Take a look at the titles that are slotted for release:

  • 007 Legends
  • Aliens: Colonial Marines
  • Assassin’s Creed 3
  • Batman: Arkham City – Armored Edition
  • Ben 10: Omniverse
  • Cabela’s Dangerous Hunts 2013
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops II
  • Darksiders 2
  • Disney Epic Mickey 2: Power of Two
  • EA Sports FIFA Soccer 13
  • Family Party: 30 Great Games
  • Funky Barn
  • Game & Wario
  • Game Party Champions
  • Jeopardy
  • Jett Tailfin
  • Just Dance 4
  • Lego City Undercover
  • Madden NFL 13
  • Marvel Avengers: Battle for Earth
  • Mass Effect 3
  • Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate
  • Nano Assault Neo
  • NBA 2K13
  • New Super Mario Bros. U
  • Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge
  • Nintendo Land
  • Pikmin 3
  • Rabbids Land
  • Rapala Pro Bass Fishing
  • Rayman Legends
  • Rise of the Guardians: The Video Game
  • Runner 2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien
  • Scribblenauts Unlimited
  • Sing Party
  • Skylanders Giants
  • Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed
  • Sports Connection
  • Tank! Tank! Tank!
  • Tekken Tag Tournament 2
  • Toki Tori 2
  • Transformers Prime
  • Trine 2 Director’s Cut
  • Warrios Orochi 3 Hyper
  • Wheel of Fortune
  • Wii Fit U
  • WipeOut 3
  • The Wonderful 101
  • Your Shape Fitness Evolved
  • ZombiU
  • Zumba Fitness Core 

That’s a lot of games. Even for Nintendo. If you remember the Wii release, there were hardly any games to choose from. It seems like they’re trying to pull out all of the stops to get hype for the system, especially since Sony and Microsoft are still behind on releasing their next-gen consoles.

The speed at which Nintendo is doing this could hurt them in the end. There’s nothing wrong with perfecting things so that they perform well at launch.

What do you think about the launch titles and the price tag? Is this Nintendo’s way of competing against the hardcore market that Sony and Microsoft have taken from them so long ago? Or is this a literal cost-of-living adjustment for Nintendo considering the amount of new tech and work they’ve put into the system and games?

Well those price tags are bright enough, but are they too high?