Wii U launch: Reactions mixed, software already discounted

Reviewers are cautiously optimistic, while some retailers have actually discounted Wii U software

The launch of a new console provides a moment of clarity and reality after months of pre-release hype and speculation. The future of the Wii U is still wide open, with much depending on Nintendo's ability to improve the system's software, release compelling games, and convince third party publishers to support the console with impressive software. Some things are already happening, though, which may give some indication of the Wii U's future prospects.

First of all, the Wii U is already sold out at retailers across North America, according to reports. Over 2500 units have appeared on eBay already, though, at prices from $400 to $500 as some early buyers attempt to cash in. This sounds like there's solid demand, yet it's not as fevered as the demand for the Wii after its launch in 2006. The (then) $250 Wii console was selling for well over $1,000 on eBay well into 2007, and it was many months before supplies caught up with demand for the Wii.

Something unprecedented has occurred during this new console launch: Two major retail chains are offering discounts on Wii U software. This has never happened before at the launch of a new console, according to industry veterans. Toys R Us is running a sale: Buy one Wii U title, get the next at 40 percent off. Target is running a similar sale: Buy two Wii U titles, get the third at 50 percent off. Those prices mean the retailer is essentially giving up all profits on the software it is selling. Does this mean these retailers are trying to attract hardware buyers for the Wii U? Or are the retailers just concerned that Wii U software isn't going to sell all that well, and worry about being stuck with hard-to-sell inventory?

“It's going to be a tough retail season, and given the increasing Black-Friday driven shopping culture, this is a tactic designed to ensure that the store in question is the primary shopping source for the Wii U,” said Scott Steinberg of TechSavvy Global. “If they get you in the door to buy Wii U software at a discount, chances are you're going to do all your Wii U shopping at that specific retailer.”

"If they get you in the door to buy Wii U software at a discount, chances are you're going to do all your Wii U shopping at that specific retailer"

Scott Steinberg

The retail struggle in a soft game market is more intense this year than ever before. “This is certainly a first in history, and it points to the state of the retail and set-top console market,” said Steinberg. “In the past you would never see retailers discounting premium launch software for a console system. In most cases it's an opportunity to mark prices up. But I struggle to remember the last time a console launch had so much software available.”

Michael Pachter, senior analyst with Wedbush Securities, agrees that this promotion is being driven by the needs of retailers rather than any perceived weakness in the Wii U. “Keep in mind that they don't have many Wii U hardware units, and that the total shipped to the US is probably well under 1 million for the launch, so their risk is that they sell 100,000 or so titles at no profit,” Pachter said. “It's a loss leader to drive traffic. I don't think it's a signal about the health of console sales at all.”


The Wii U may be sold out for the moment, but the early buzz on the console is mixed. Some reviewers gave the console an Incomplete, since many of the Wii U's features were unavailable until a last-minute firmware patch was delivered just before launch (too late for reviewers). Others liked the Wii U, but almost all reviewers agreed that the full potential of the Wii U remains to be unlocked. None of the launch titles seemed to be destined for classic, console-defining status similar to Super Mario Bros. or Super Mario 64.

The Wii U is in limited supply for the moment, but the true test of its selling power will come when you find it easy to walk into a store and buy one. The competition looks daunting; both the PS3 and the Xbox 360 will be available this weekend for $199, which includes a 250 GB hard drive and several games. That's an advantage of hundreds of dollars over a Wii U (counting the cost of software) that's roughly equivalent in graphics power; the PS3 and the Xbox 360 have robust libraries of software (many at lower prices for classics or used software) and proven online communities and extensive arrays of entertainment, low-cost downloadable games, and other features.

The Wii had two distinct advantages at launch; it was half the price of competing consoles (though it lacked the processing power and HD output), and it had a unique, easy-to-grasp interface with the Wiimote motion control. The Wii was readily understandable by anyone in the family, regardless of prior game experience. Grandma could grab a Wiimote and bowl or play tennis readily.

"Nintendo has set up the Wii U for failure"

Dan Hsu, GamesBeat

The Wii U, by contrast, lacks both of the Wii's advantages. The Wii U is more expensive than the PS3 or the Xbox 360, yet it offers no clear graphics advantage. The GamePad has a daunting array of buttons and sticks as well as a touchscreen interface; Grandma will not pick this up as easily as a Wiimote. The interesting possibilities of two-screen gaming require time and explanation or demonstration, and it's not clear yet that two-screen gaming alone is a reason to spend over $100 extra on the Wii U versus competing consoles.

Those who already own a PS3 or an Xbox 360 may not feel compelled to buy a Wii U unless they are huge Nintendo fans. Right now the Wii U's advantages are more potential than actual. When an amazing Zelda game comes along, or a Donkey Kong Country, or some other title that takes amazing advantage of the GamePad, then you'll see the hardcore gamers line up to get a Wii U.

For those who don't already own a console system, or perhaps only own a Wii, the situation is more complicated. The Wii U is much more capable than a Wii, but also more complicated. Families with a limited budget will probably also look at the possibility of getting a tablet like the Kindle Fire HD, the Nexus 7 or an iPad Mini - all of which can be had for less than a Wii U. Tablets may not offer the same immersive gaming experiences as consoles, but casual gamers won't know or care about that. What they will see is that tablets can do many useful things for the family, and are completely portable, and have thousands of free games and other apps. That's a powerful indirect competitor for often limited family budgets.

The story of the Wii U won't necessarily be told this year, as Nintendo may well be able to sell all the Wii U systems it can supply to retailers. The picture will get clearer next year as availability of the hardware increases and additional games become available.

"Wii U has major potential and if Nintendo plays their cards right, the system can become a major player, especially once the media capabilities and game options are fully stocked"

Dan Milano, ABC News

The following Wii U review roundup provides a summary of what both mainstream media and gaming media are saying about the Wii U:

New York Times: “I have no idea what the Wii U augurs, or whether it will permanently alter how we play, alone or together.”

USA Today: 3 out of 4 stars. “Until we see Nintendo Network fully functioning with the TVii service and additional games that take advantage of the GamePad, it's hard to say whether Wii U recaptures the console magic.”

ABC: “Wii U has major potential and if Nintendo plays their cards right, the system can become a major player, especially once the media capabilities and game options are fully stocked.”


Time: “The Wii U already feels like a much more robust and fascinating idea, one that shows even more promise, in my opinion, than the Wii did in 2006.”

Polygon: 6.5 out of 10. “We are cautious and indeed, somewhat pessimistic, about what the future holds for Nintendo's new system. The Wii U is poised to deliver the same thing Nintendo always has, but we're still waiting to see if it can deliver more.”

1UP: “All in all, Wii U won't blow anyone's mind with its hardware capabilities, and it will definitely annoy hardcore A/V fanatics with its lack of output options. The system's horsepower puts it on par with current consoles, which will be true for... a year, probably.”

GamesBeat: Editor Dan Hsu feels that “Nintendo has set up the Wii U for failure.” He cites the initial price, the fact that the hardcore content is all old, there's no killer app, and the Pro controller buttons aren't properly placed for hardcore gamers.

CNET: No rating yet. “Despite its unique dual-screen presentation, innovative GamePad controller, and ambitious Nintendo TVii service, the Wii U still has a lot to prove.”

Engadget: “Without Nintendo Network, Miiverse, Nintendo TVii, or any streaming / on-demand video content -- not to mention promised backwards compatibility -- the Wii U doesn't compete at all with even last-gen consoles (Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 just became last-gen, in case that isn't clear).”

Kotaku: “Give it a month or three. Wait until the "launch window" closes at the end of March and the likes of Pikmin 3, Lego City Undercover and a slew of interesting download-only games are available.”

The Verge: 7.0 “I don't know which future awaits the Wii U. But until it's obvious, I'm not buying one.”

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Latest comments (23)

Nuttachai Tipprasert Programmer 7 years ago
This is the reason why I've stopped being early adopter for 2 console generations already. There are less and less, if not none, gaming devices these days that work perfectly on day one. Wii U still has some potential, though. But I will start setting my eye on the device only when all of the services are mature enough and most of the problems are gone.
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Peter Dwyer Games Designer/Developer 7 years ago
I have to say Wii U was the first console I didn't have any compulsion to get on day one. Zombie U (plays at a nintendo day event) was frustrating (something reviews seem not to mention) in that you died more often through no fault of your own. Such a game was supposed to be a console seller but, I'm betting word of mouth will let most people know that it's not all it's cracked up to be. It's not Dark Souls hard but, it is unfair hard which is much worse in a gamers eyes.

At this stage things look less than promising for the Wii U and if truth be told I'd be advocating getting little Franky a PS3 or 360 for christmas. Just as muc media content and better online for almost half the price. Heck if you really need a dual screen then download glass or something!
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Rolf Moren Freelance Marketing Consultant 7 years ago
In all honesty I can not understand where you are coming from? This game forces you to think, to keep cool and to be patient. Granted it is challenging but I've never died from anything else than me being stupid or loosing my cool! Choose your battles, choose them well and execute fast!
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Daniel Hughes Studying PhD Literary Modernism, Bangor University7 years ago
Discounted software at launch is a new thing?? Buying 360 I was offered a third launch title (from a set selection, I chose Call of Duty 2) for half price if I bought two other titles with the machine. With Wii I was offered a choice of either Wii Play or Excite Trucks with 33% off when I bought the system in Game. Or are we seeing a more widespread case in the US?

As it is, I'm not surprised people aren't jumping around for joy just yet. The console just got its foot in the door; are we really going to expect perfection, or even excellence, from day one? Are we forgetting all recent console launches and how underwhelming, or even problematic (hullo, 33% failure rate!) they were? There have been three system defining titles (Mario 64, Wii Sports and Halo) at console launches since the N64 in 1996: should we expect a defining title when every system hits the shelves? If that's the case, weren't Vita, 3DS, DS, PSP, GBA, GC, PS2, PS3 and 360 all sorely lacking a killer app at launch? Do we have higher expectations with Wii U because Nintendo provided Wii Sports and Mario 64? The concerns about online are entirely natural, of course, this being the roll-out of several new online services from the least online experienced console manufacturer, but the rest of the concerns, mainly price, software and long-term viability, are issues that raise their head every time a system launches, and they are issues that we quite rightly bring to the fore and examine. I just wonder why some sections of the press and some forums are lighting up in shocked indignation.

For many early adopters, who made their minds up months in advance, I'm sure Wii U is excellent. For the rest of us, we naturally need more convincing, which is no bad thing: Nintendo should work for our money. Some of us will require more persuasion than others, because I feel I'll be ready to jump in by the end of March. At that point, there should be up to ten retail games and six digital titles that I want, the online services will be more thoroughly tested and reviewed, any hardware issues should become clear, and competition at retail should have driven the price down. For those who are jumping in right now, best of luck and I hope you enjoy your new console.
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The Wii-U may be the first console release that is impacted more by word of mouth than from any of the media hype.

The games media has been in the doldrums for the last few years - a mixture of concern from the readers towards 'advertorial' coverage, and an inability to report honestly on the products reviewed. The Wii-U a perfect case in point - where honest reviews of the game system are few are far between as the influence of the extensive deep pockets of Nintendo Marketing loom in all coverage. Questions going unanswered as they may make Nintendo 'uncomfortable' (second Gamepad, slowdown at launch, Wii-U TV issues, etc.,)

The 'Zombiu' game another example of the disenfranchisement of credibility by the reader in the media - the game though strong has serious issues, and is hindered by the very console it is meant to launch - the vastly disparate review scores for the game (ranging from 40% to 70%) underlining the issues. Some media given 'exclusive peeks' at the game had been clearly 'managed' to review the game by Nintendo - while others that played the release game with no marketing influence seemed to give a honest opinion far to late.

The playing audience is no fool - they have been let down too many times by advertorial coverage learning to read between the lies - and the collapse of the magazine sector reflects a sweeping sea-change as the audience turns to word of mouth through social networking for honest reviews of new systems and games and abandons the compromised game media. It is impossible for the journos to admit "hey this is a paid for reviews, everyone is doing it!", so they have just taken the money and hoped no one noticed (though the recent closures of magazines and departures of staff to take up new marketing roles in the very publishers that paid them has been all too obvious).

Nintendo has decided to go for a launch of a machine that is dependent on constant online connection, and so will be a running update system - as with some of the recent AAA software releases (Assassins Creed a case in point), built on the need to have 'update packs' on a near constant basis to elevate flaws and add features - so building a dependency on the player to need to have a subscription - moving the revenue model from purchased game to subscription and micro-payments. This too will impact how reviews and reportage are compiled on the system and allow Nintendo and other to 'manage the message'.

Time the rest of the media woke up and was honest with themselves and their audience!
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Daniel Hughes Studying PhD Literary Modernism, Bangor University7 years ago
"The 'Zombiu' game another example of the disenfranchisement of credibility by the reader in the media - the game though strong has serious issues, and is hindered by the very console it is meant to launch - the vastly disparate review scores for the game (ranging from 40% to 70%) underlining the issues. Some media given 'exclusive peeks' at the game had been clearly 'managed' to review the game by Nintendo - while others that played the release game with no marketing influence seemed to give a honest opinion far to late."

A game getting divisive reviews is an example of media corruption, or is it an example of honestly diverging opinions, unhindered or unaided by marketing and PR spend? All major films have disparate review scores, why can't games? I'd also point out that the best review for Zombie U, 9/10 on Eurogamer, was conducted without any hospitality on the part of Ubisoft or Nintendo: something that Eurogamer's new editorial guidelines demand be specified in reviews. I'd be more suspicious of marketing money being funnelled into Zombie U reviews if the reviews were more stable despite the issues clearly evident with the game: as it is, the game seems to be a case of "mileage may vary" from gamer to gamer, which should honestly being expected with an experimental launch title. Some of the disagreement also seems to stem from the simple fact that Zombie U is more old-school survival horror than zombie, horror-based action game: some American reviewers criticise the qualities (limited running ability, reliance on melee combat, claustrophobic environments, lack of quick gunplay) that European publications such as Edge and Eurogamer praise. This isn't indicative of effective media manipulation, it's indicative of the game being left to speak for itself, and provoking a diverse array of opinions, which is both possible and more likely than the universal adoration we normally see meted out to every major release.

I'd also point out that the general consensus on Wii U is very, very mixed, and very very hesitant. Not exactly a productive use of money on Nintendo's part, if the best they can accomplish is the vast majority of journalists recommending that consumers wait and see. If Nintendo are managing the message to ensure positive buzz surrounds Wii U, then they are doing an extremely poor job of it. The Wii U seems to be the most hesitantly reviewed console this decade, because no-one can quite get their head around it yet. GI also point out that some reviewers are refusing to 'score' the system, because online functionality isn't available. Surely if Nintendo were managing the message, reviewers would be scoring the system despite the lack of functionality, and finding the system excellent regardless?

Finally, I'd point out Nintendo don't yet need to manage the message. The system will sell in the next six weeks on the back of launch hype and Christmas sales power. If Nintendo want to manipulate the media or spend money attempting to do so, they are better off waiting until Wii U sales stall, and possible long-term issues arise, which Nintendo's media message then need to over-ride. Like IO said, if Nintendo ARE managing the message, they've really dropped the ball: we've heard the negative news about ID's being linked to one system, long patch install times, possible bricking issues, possible build quality issues, concerns over the long-term viability of the machine to run multi-format games (Digital Foundry), questions over the security of Miiverse, the lack of a single killer app piece of software, Nintendo's inability to produce another Wii Sports, and no single game earning universal praise.

Kevin, I honestly think in this case you are looking for problems that aren't there.

Also, it would be Ubisoft's money being thrown around in Zombie U's case, I'm sure. ;-)
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Dan Howdle Head of Content, Existent7 years ago
All of your comments on the games media are uninformed guesswork and very, very far from the mark, Kevin, but don't let that slow you down.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Dan Howdle on 20th November 2012 12:30pm

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@Daniel - thanks for the comments, very interesting - just for the record I never used the word conspiracy, just the plain fact that advertorials had been brought! I agree that what Nintendo has got for their money is a very mixed bag - there must have been a lot of angry calls from executives too journos saying "...hey we wined and dined you guys and now you bite our hand!", but still the journos took the money (be that freebies, hospitality or adverts).

I also agree that any traditional media would see a disparate mix of reviews normally - but you have to understand that the games media has been a bit of a pack based reviewing group - with not that many sweeping variants in reviews - but recently as the fall-out of the 'advertorial' took hold and magazines started to fall by the way side (how long has X360 got?) then we have seen the 'counter' review style (if your competitor gives it a good review, you give it a bad one).

>"...something that Eurogamer's new editorial guidelines demand "
- the reason they needed NEW editorial guidelines was because of the comments I talked about above (well done Eurogamer on doing this by the way)

@Dan - how can it be both Conjecture (a proposition that is unproven), and also Uninformed (not using knowledge of actuality) - look I know that I pull the tail of the game media / publishing guys by these comments, but luckily I do not need to pander to them. However it would be nice to have see a competent counter to my points with examples of how I was "far from the mark", rather than just throwing out the peeved " don't know what your talking about" sulk?

Obviously with the fall out of the current magazine changes and 're-addressing' guidelines, you will look for someone to blame, so please don't worry about "...let that slow you down..." - whatever that was meant to allude too? Oh just a quick question - have you had to change your editorial guidelines at Imagine Publishing?

EDIT - Oh it hard to keep up - for those reading this, the above comment was changed from Conjecture to Guesswork - okay, no not guesswork, as you may know I do write for some of the trade and consumer publications - but now under my own terms! any more revisions to your original accusation?

Edited 3 times. Last edit by kevin williams on 20th November 2012 1:04pm

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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 7 years ago
Hmmm. The mixed ZombiU reviews recall the old adage I've heard since the Atari 2600 days: Just because you're bad at a game doesn't necessarily make the game bad". I have a copy coming, but from earlier impressions, it's very much like an old rogue-like where you can be killed at any second by a few factors and you keep hacking away until you get it right. I'd say a lot of casual users will hate this while those used to games with constant hand-holding and auto-solving puzzles will be hating it even more.

I'm old, so i have a lot more tolerance. As usual, we shall see...
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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.7 years ago
Two major retail chains are offering discounts on Wii U software. This has never happened before at the launch of a new console, according to industry veterans.
Those industry veterans must be getting old and their memories are going on vacation. Day 1 game sales and discounts have been pretty common for quite a long time now. Vita lunched earlier this year and they are already forgetting the software discounts it had? Retailers used the 5 free Blu-ray movies as well as games to drive PS3 business at launch.

And it's definitely a factor of simply gaining your business rather than an indicator that they don't have faith in the software to sell. You don't hear reports of a console sellout starting from the day pre-orders started and then lose faith in the ability to sell software.
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Dan Howdle Head of Content, Existent7 years ago
Kevin, I don't to tit-for-tat, and so I'm not going to list out or come back to specific points. It's not a good use of my time. Instead, come work here for a couple of weeks, then go back to your original statements and have a good, long laugh at yourself.

Sorry I can't be more specific, but if you spend your time disparaging a profession – and by proxy all those who work within it – based on whatever shit is being slung by equally ill-informed finger-pointers, what do you expect?
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Andy Samson QA Supervisor, Digital Media Exchange7 years ago
Don't they realize that the Wii U launched so close to the Holidays that retailers are taking advantage of the sales surge by giving these purchase promos?

One shining example of journalists sensationalizing the so called laundry list of issues can be seen on Kotaku. It's like they're being paid by Nintendo's competition and smart phone/tablet investors to spread fear, uncertainty and doubt with the system. What kind of review is "NOT YET"? Wait until Nintendo pays up or until others give you more money for the "NO" verdict? So disgusting.
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Dwayne Wright Studying Physics, University of Manchester7 years ago
The title really sums it up from my experience as well, that reactions have been "mixed". On one hand, some gamers have actually been pleasantly surprised by simply having a second screen and the subtle but positive effect it has on the gameplay experience, for example in Call of Duty. Likewise they have been impressed with Miiverse and the multitasking capabilities.

What isn't convincing however is the need to own one aside from this. There isn't even a grand core first party title, nor have there been any properly announced outside of Pikmin 3. There are no games that truly showcase any significant graphical improvement over the competitors (although comparing footage it is sometimes noticeable), and the primary thing Nintendo are able to bring that we haven't yet seen, are their first party titles in true jaw dropping HD! The marketing and communication has been poor, and we do not even know what Nintendo first party titles are upcoming, Nintendo often leaving it far too late to announce a title before launching it. Compounded with the update bricking problems and slow interface and transitions for certain applications, and not everything being available at launch, it signals a very poor start. At least the Gamecube had an excitement at launch of it's graphical power, and a few firsty party titles in the launch window, such as Luigi's Mansion, Smash Bros Melee and Mario Sunshine, Starfox not long after. Wii had Zelda at launch along with the novelty of integrated motion control which was easily communicated. The Wii U's gamepad however is a harder message to get across, and the branding and appearance of the console itself is initially confusing and fails to properly distinguish itself from the Wii.

I feel that Nintendo would have been better at marketing the console as the ultimate HD console experience that's there to finally fuse the foundations of motion control captured on the Wii, with the core gaming HD experiences that were present on the other consoles. They have not communicated the control options well, or indeed that it's even possible to use Wii Remote and Nunchuks with the new games! Core gamers are generally aware enough to realise the GamePad = upgrade of traditional gaming controls. The casual/family audience however will not connect the appearance of the GamePad with the enjoyment they're used to using the Wii Remote.

The fact that it's the first console that can really make use of a variety of control options, due to the high installation of Wii remotes across homes, and the new GamePad and controller Pro is a key strength. It's now more possible for a 'hardcore' gamer and a 'casual' gamer to play together using their preferred control option. For example, I didn't even know the Wiimote and Nunchuk could be used in Black Ops II. It's a message that's been overlooked in favour of adverts going 'sping sping spispispising while frantically rubbing a touchscreen.
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Paul Johnson Managing Director / Lead code monkey, Rubicon Development7 years ago
I've "discounted" this entire thing tbh. The Wii only got as popular as it did through certain games offering a new experience via the new controller. I bought the thing /just/ to play Wii bowling and think I've had my money's worth.

But most of the Wii games were rubbish "wank to win" mini-games or driving games where you bash from one wall to the other like an upended toboggan.

This time around I expect sales to be seriously well down, even given the lack of new competition. Waggling and moving your hands is old now and what else does this thing really bring?

One star.

EDIT: Is it just me that's sick of hearing the word "mario" now?

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Paul Johnson on 20th November 2012 8:27pm

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Paul Jace Merchandiser 7 years ago
"Over 2500 units have appeared on eBay already"

No wonder mine hasn't sold yet.
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Nicholas Pantazis Senior Editor, VGChartz Ltd7 years ago
@ Paul Thanks for your informed and insightful review of a product you don't own, don't intend to own, and admittedly discounted with little knowledge of its functionality or useage.

Just a few comments on things the Wii U "brings:"
-Universal remote for TV and cable box built into your game controller, making the first seamless console play experience.
-Social network built into every game by default, letting people gather, discuss, and seek help for games as they play them without rushing off to forums.
-Eventually a total unification of all video services, live TV, and recorded TV via TVii, again making your game system your primary entertainment device.
-Asymmetric local multiplayer for those of us who have friends who we like to spend time with in the real world, making for an experience truly unique to the system and indescribably fun in large groups.
-Multi-screen multiplayer, letting people play splitscreen without actually splitting the screen, again a big deal for those of us who still like to go play games with our friends.
-Sending games to the remote, allowing play away from the TV.
-Dual-screen gameplay in general, removing clutter from the main screen and HUD, adding immersion, and allowing for augmented displays and augmented reality on a home console for the first time.

It's obviously far from perfect and there are many updates to come, but can we stop pretending that there's no reason at all to like the Wii U? Maybe talk about why it's just not for you, instead of making sweeping comments about its features and utility....

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Nicholas Pantazis on 21st November 2012 12:44am

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@Dan - thank you for taking the moral high ground on this - and avoiding any specific issues.

Just for the record, you did not confirm if the editorial guidelines had changed at Imagine?

I will avoid your bad language in my reply, nor the generalization or insults - I don't know you, and obviously you don't know me - though as Editor of a publication I am surprised by your insulting retort, though you may have proven my point?

Anyway as you say to avoid the "tit-for-tat' - I will address my criticism in a manner you may understand better - my concern with a 'certain' segment (not all as you claim) of the games media scene is that like in the 80's they have become too cozy with the publisher/manufacturers to the point of undertaking advertorials. If this was pressured by the need for advertising, keeping up with increased online coverage, or just lazy journalism - the facts are there, and the examples are rife - no denying it - though I will agree that many in the game media did not take the bribe, the tar brushes all no matter how innocent.

This leaves us with a crumbling subscription / purchase rate of those remaining magazines, and the alienation of the core audience to the views of the journalists that remain. I was stating that there was a need for a redressing of the credibility of the genre in order to be better placed to cover Gen-8 releases next year. The toy industry and electronics industry both weathered such storms with professionalism and a redressing of boundaries - why not here?

Let me be clear, when I say 'too close' - I see paid trips to holiday resorts to review games, paid travel / stay expenses to attend conventions, free 'presents' with review copies, excessive advertising with 'made' publications and 'lavish' entertaining - as just some of the 'tricks-of-the-trade' that have been applied - even if you feel you are cleaver enough to not be influenced by them they are still applied. Especially now as we see the pool of journalists being decimated by closures and publisher moves for cost cutting - the new batch of younger writers, with no previous experience, are susceptible to this (the reason for new (reinforced) guidelines by some).

I will leave your skills towards a reply that can be less insulting and more open to another persons opinion.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by kevin williams on 21st November 2012 12:13pm

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Paul Johnson Managing Director / Lead code monkey, Rubicon Development7 years ago
>> @ Paul Thanks for your informed and insightful review of a product you don't own, don't intend to own, and admittedly discounted with little knowledge of its functionality or useage.

Heh, I wondered who jump on first and say exactly that. If I don't know everything I need to know without buying it, then the fault is with their marketing department. I once bought a bog roll without giving it a road test too.

As to your list of USP's, I need only repeat them to make my own point.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Paul Johnson on 21st November 2012 9:29am

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John Bye Lead Designer, Freejam7 years ago
Andy - "One shining example of journalists sensationalizing the so called laundry list of issues can be seen on Kotaku. It's like they're being paid by Nintendo's competition and smart phone/tablet investors to spread fear, uncertainty and doubt with the system. What kind of review is "NOT YET"?"
Actually, I think that's a pretty good summary right now. There's no real must have software at launch, most developers aren't taking full advantage of the Gamepad yet (including some of Nintendo's in-house teams), there are teething issues with the sluggish OS and firmware update process, promised services like TVii aren't present yet, and key services like online play, Miiverse and Wii back compatibility were only added in a day one patch, so they haven't had time to properly test them yet with their review units.
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Sandy Lobban Founder, Noise Me Up7 years ago
Similar comments and chat when the Wii launched. Its doomed, it'll never work, its not HD. While everyone gets caught up in the next big technology style battle, Nintendo will go about their business under that radar quite happily. They bottom line is they cut through the noise to the people who matter to them. Their message is clear and parents and kids understand it. The people in their target demographic aren't like the same early adopters you see with other tech, so no surprises there, and discounted software to get an install base? Oooh, shock horror! I hope it does well.
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Agree with Sandy, slow plodding steps defining what works and building on the opportunities - Nintendo has deep pockets and a lot of time and will falter but eventually carve out the market they want. While the other Gen-8 platforms will depend on glitz and tech, rush around and burn their remaining investment and pay the ultimate price. The XB740 and PS4 may end up being 'also rans' in the console war as a re-insurgence of PC gaming (and free boxes) offer the core audience a better deal - while Nintendo's offering is a unique platform for a diverse audience (not focused on the core only).
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Andy Samson QA Supervisor, Digital Media Exchange7 years ago
@ John
It was a hardware review, it says so in the title "Wii U: The Kotaku Review". My point was it's either you buy it or you don't. Saying "Not yet" is very indecisive. It's like saying no when you're still having second thoughts. Why make a review when you can't even make a verdict? They've created an article that only translates to more F.U.D. about the system:
"The games are good, but there are no instant classics"
- Based on what, their titles? There are 23 launch games not to mention the eShop games. has he even played them all?
"Compared to an Xbox or a PlayStation… It's better on day one...But to say it is the best-debuting HD console would be to ignore the seven and six year gaps between the Wii U and those consoles."
- Wasn't he supposed to be comparing hardware launches and not what happened after or in between?
"A new generation of Xboxes and PlayStations is set to be released next year"
- He's peeked into the future!
"There Are Many Unknowns…"
- oh boy, FUD!
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Curt Sampson Sofware Developer 7 years ago
Andy Samson writes, My point was it's either you buy it or you don't. Saying "Not yet" is very indecisive.

I had no idea that you have to buy it now or never.

At any rate, if we can't look at what the future might offer, I'd say the Wii U is a definite "no"; the software and on-line services as they stand now isn't anywhere near the level of what Sony or MS offers. Does that help dispel the FUD?

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Curt Sampson on 23rd November 2012 11:20am

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