|Seems a little cumbersome, right?|
As of last month, around four hundred and fifty thousand Wii U consoles were purchased in the United States, with forty thousand units sold in the United Kingdom during the opening weekend alone. In just one month, and not even a whole month mind you, the newest console by Nintendo has sold almost a quarter of what the PS Vita’s cumulative sales were in October. Just two months ago.
Not only that, but the website MCVUK.com has stated that the software attach rate for the Wii U is 2:1, giving it a higher rate than the PS Vita in another area. The GfK Chart-Track, which monitors the sales of video, music, and software through retailers, states that 60% of sales in the UK are the 32GB console, 30% are the “ZombiU” bundle console, and 10% are the 8GB console. With that being said, one need only look at the reviews of the system from globally recognized sites like Kotaku, IGN and even G4 to see that reviewers and industry buffs are impressed with the system.
While it may still lack certain features that many gamers have come to expect, the hardware itself may take some getting used to and the update download times are almost mind-bogglingly slow, consumers are warming up to the new console.
The tablet-style controller, of course, is the most unique feature and one that most people are curious about working out well enough for them actually play games with. Opinions here vary from “works well,” “takes a while to figure out” and “gosh, I hate this thing.” Thankfully, the system allows for Wii-mote and classic controller peripherals which can be used to adapt to the style of play for the owner. Choosing to use controllers other than the Gamepad means that some of the features in games requiring a touch pad are inaccessible.
One gimmick that has many people singing the Wii U’s praises has been the ability to play full console games on the tablet while another person uses the television. Stories abound on Twitter illustrating ways in which gaming couples are able to share the same space finally and game at the same time in the same room. Kids are able to play while their parents watch TV and families are no longer divided to gaming rooms and living rooms.
If the Wii U did one thing right, it was this feature. Changing the entire atmosphere of the gaming room not only changes the way gaming is viewed, but it changes gaming to a more social enterprise without having to include many other people in the experience. In the past, a social experience was a party game or multiplayer. Now a gamer can lounge on the couch with their significant other as they watch their favorite show or play their own system, Wii U still plugging away.
Now, mobile and handheld gaming systems have been able to provide this experience for years. However, the quality of game has often not been on par with console gaming experiences, contrary to the PS Vita’s tagline and sales. Gamers don’t want to play “on-the-go” games at home unless, it seems, it’s “Pokemon” or “Final Fantasy.” Other than that, if they are at home, they’d rather play a title like “Mass Effect” or “Call of Duty.”
|You can’t go wrong with basic black, it seems.|
What does this mean for Nintendo? Well, they have continued their trend of creating a system or technology that raises the bar for their competition. I expect we’ll see more streamlined, complex and sophisticated versions of the Wii U gaming pad in the future. But by that time I expect Nintendo will have announced another new technology like they always do when their competition catches up to their latest innovation.