Published on November 28th, 2012 | by G. Bargas, Managing Editor1
Editorial: Hey! Stop Pickin’ on my Wii U
November 17th was bogged down with things to do and places to be. The day was a blur and the only thing on my mind was my big purchase the following morning.
I felt like a little kid again waiting for Christmas morning to roll around and tear open my gifts. Even though, most of the time there were only one, maybe two of them I was excited about.
Don’t get me wrong, I was grateful (Most years. I can admit I was a brat at times), but nowadays I can essentially go out (having checked the funds first) and buy what I really want. The Wii U was one of those wants, and the morning light couldn’t break soon enough.
The 18th finally rolled around and I was up before the sun was out. The morning brought on cold weather and a couple of other locals waiting outside the popular retailer to get our hands on the new console. Although many big players in the industry were able to get their hands on the newest Nintendo console, us Average Joe’s were out with the crowds.
Many of us waiting chatted about what games we were getting and what exactly we were looking forward to most about this new Nintendo. It wasn’t long before the vultures of the grey market started showing up and were ready to buy in bulk. Regardless of those looking to make an extra buck for the Holiday season, there were plenty of consoles and enough for everyone waiting to go home happy.
I wouldn’t necessarily consider myself a Nintendo fanboy by any means, but rather, an impulsive lover of everything video games. I have a considerable amount of retro gaming consoles, many of which I’ve contemplated selling for financial regain.
So, why would a grown man want to pick up a console that is geared towards kids? Better yet, why wait out in the cold on a Sunday morning in the middle of November?
Video games have always been a part of my life. Much like skateboarding, or music and any other hobby that is stress relieving, it provides me with a great sense of enjoyment and fun outside of the real world.
The question still remains, why get the Nintendo Wii U? Having owned both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, what would make me grab the newest Nintendo console?
One of the most obvious things about the Wii U wasn’t so apparent at first. Online marketplaces for games further expanded with the modifications of the Xbox LIVE dashboard and growth of the PlayStation Store. Access to these and other features require an internet connection and at least some sort of subscription fee for content. The Wii U supports the Nintendo Network, but alongside that, it makes the eShop and other content more accessible, including indie games. This access costs you nothing but your current internet connection, or in some cases, the neighbors.
A subscription costs approximately $60 a year, which doesn’t necessarily include additional content down the road. PlayStation Plus members, like myself (tracked down a free card for PlayStation Plus at E3 2012), reap the benefits through discounted and free games while the membership is active. Xbox LIVE provides a slew of features, minus the expensive price tag. Let’s be honest, a recurring charge or $60 annually still comes out to a lot of money in today’s current economic plane. The eShop delivers games for any wallet size, from digital only titles to full retail releases. To me, the Wii U offers something different to open up the console for accessibility vs. profitability.
Don’t get me wrong, the main goal of the company is to sell units and make a profit, but there is a fine line between gouging and generosity. As Nintendo of America President, Reggie Fils-Aime, pointed out in an interview with CNET, the company sold 400,000 Wii U units in the last week. Seems like they might have the right idea when it comes to this console selling biz after all.
Something else that is generous about the Nintendo Wii U is the use of expandable memory. The use of SD cards and USB storage will add space to your console. Lol, wut?
It takes just a “wii” bit of common sense that in a day and age where you are can spend $50 on an external 500GB hard drive that companies are squabbling over 250-300GB consoles at prices higher than $300. What are we really paying for? When you don’t think about it, it doesn’t sound as ridiculous.
I can personally say that I’m on my fourth Xbox 360 console. Sure, plenty of folks have their day-1 console still intact. If you are thinking, “Hi idiot, you should have bought a PS3! Loser! CoD SWAG 4 LIFE!” then you’d be wrong in thought.
I also own the slim model of the PlayStation 3 and have had issues with the console as well. I wanted nothing more than to play exclusives on the platform and the nifty Sony blu-ray compatibility was a plus. After sending the console off to fix the failing blu-ray drive, I was finally back in business. That extended warranty that so many people are sworn enemies of, saved me some dough. It would have been approximately $90 to inspect/fix my console. So, do I simply have horrible luck?
A few months ago when I noticed game discs not being read once again on my Xbox 360 console, I couldn’t help but retrieve my impulsive thought to run out and buy a new Xbox. I simply decided to wait for the launch of the Nintendo Wii U. The motion controllers I currently own are compatible, the GamePad offers new ways to play, and the majority of the games are backwards compatible. Heck, the GamePad has a minimized latency better than most tablets on the market.
If there was one point that I’d like to get across in writing this post it is simply this: take the console for what it is. There were plenty of people who shunned the Nintendo DS for its dual screen design, or shrugged off the Wii with its “gimmicky” controls. The success of both last-gen consoles proved that intuitive and unique gameplay can be balanced with moderate graphics driving successful software.
Games like Super Mario Bros. have mechanics that almost everyone knows or can easily pick up and simply play. The reason the series has transcended generations isn’t due to its elaborate storyline, but rather its mechanics and easily lovable characters. Matching these concepts with updated graphics is only a plus. Now, drop in the use of motion controls, dual screens, and the Nintendo Wii U has more than a fighting chance in today’s market.
Oh yeah, you can chalk expandable storage and free online play on that scorecard as well.