Nintendo launched its Wii U gaming console just last week. Yet the release, which saw many and more camping outside stores, has been far from “smooth sailing”. Just yesterday we reported Wii U sales are a staggering 50% lower than Nintendo’s original Wii. You can make your rounds about the interweb and see most journalist are echoing exactly what we noted yesterday, few of the systems 23 launch titles are, as we in-the-know call, “killer apps”. These are system sellers–games so good they virtually force you to spend your coin on the hardware just to get a taste. The reviews for the Wii U launch titles are still trickling in. But so far there is not a single killer app among the lot. Now, further taking the spice out of Mario’s gaming marinara…
The New York Times has a three page editorial outlining the surmounting challenge future console systems are facing when competing against today’s lucrative and quick fix casual gaming phenomenon that has taken root in the mobile sector. It’s a very interesting piece that touches on the Ice-Skating-Up-Hill battle that all console purveyors are begrudgingly addressing. Even the original Pong creator Nolan Bushnell, is a skeptic. The NYT quotes him stating, “I actually am baffled by it,” and he continues, “I don’t think it’s going to be a big success.” They go on to point out Bushnell’s reasoning, which is again, based around the current climate of gaming and the major dent mobile devices have made in the formerly stagnant status quo.
I highly recommend you take a peek. It’s interesting stuff. Reverberating the same sentiment, I think the traditional console is dead and even the console-is-your-media center idea is looking a bit pale in the face too. Nielsen Wire published a telling infographic last week. It highlights the iPad as the most sought-after new tech toy among folks aged 6-12. Moreover, the clouds are here and they are taking everything. Cloud storage presents an elegant way of eliminating bulky expensive tech. But what does this mean for gaming? Well, it nearly ended Onlive. While their cloud gaming tech is sound, the expenditure to “make it so” for the consumer setting, plummeted the company into incredible debt.
Nintendo is no OnLive, not by any stretch, yet I have my doubts on the longevity of the new Wii U. With mobile to the left of them and Free-2-Play downloadable PC titles to the right… What’s Mario gonna do? I know a big expensive tablet sized controller is the last thing I want my hyper and impulsive daughter of nine fumbling with. What about you?
“VS” image sourced from MoarPowah.com
Shawn loves gadgets, literature, history and games. For 10yrs+ he's straddled both the comic book & video game industries, as a writer, editor, marketing officer & producer. Shawn got his start in tech & games as an editor & Hardware Director for GameRevolution.com. More notable accomplishments include Executive Producer on mobile games Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved & The Shroud.