Molyneux Finds Wii U ‘Good’ But ‘Not Great’

Published 2 years ago by

Molyneux Says Wii U Good Not Great

No gaming console has ever been “about” it’s controller as much as Nintendo’s Wii U. Games like New Super Mario Bros. U and Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 can be played right on the GamePad’s screen, leaving the family television free for other purposes. For that matter, the GamePad can be used to control that television, browse the web, watch movies and more. The GamePad is everything that makes the Wii U special – we said as much in our review of the system.

For Peter Molyneux, famed founder of Bullfrog Productions, Lionhead Studios and 22 Cans, Wii U is not quite special enough. According to Molyneux, Nintendo’s new console, with its tablet-influenced controller, fails to measure up to the “amazing technology” of iPad and Kindle Fire.

Speaking about the Wii U and its first-week sales of 400,000+ units, Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime noted that his company’s competitors – namely, Sony and Microsoft – would need to “react to what we’re doing” with their next consoles. Speaking with GamesIndustry International, Molyneux makes a similar argument, but he takes a broader view of the competition.

In Molyneux’s opinion, Wii U isn’t competing solely against other game consoles, but against consumer electronics devices generally. As such, it’s incumbent on Nintendo – on all three console manufacturers, in fact – to react to developments across the consumer electronics landscape, and to deliver technology that can go toe to toe with high-end offerings from companies like Apple. In Molyneux’s opinion, Wii U falls short of that goal.

“…we really need these new pieces of hardware to be great in today’s world, because the competition is not just consoles anymore. The competition is everything, all the technology. When you’re holding a Kindle Fire or an iPad in your hand, it’s just amazing technology. It really is. It’s expensive, but it’s amazing technology. And people like Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft need to match that. They need to match that in my mind, and exceed it. And I’m not sure the Wii U really did that.”

It’s not that Molyneux thinks Wii U is a failure – he doesn’t. Instead, he believes that Wii U is merely a “good” system in an industry where that may no longer be enough.

“I think the Wii U is good, but I don’t feel it’s great. I’ve played the experience, I’ve played Nintendo Land, I’ve played ZombiU, and they’re good. I find holding the device in my hand–looking up at the screen and looking down at the device–slightly confusing as a consumer. It’s good, but it’s not great.”

The difficulty with Molyneux’s critique is that it’s not clear what, in his mind, would have made Wii U “great.” Better graphics? A multi-touch screen? Better build quality or materials?

I agree that new game consoles should deliver “amazing technology,” but that phrase means something different to nearly every player. Nintendo invests in innovation – personally, I value that. If new reports are accurate, Microsoft will release its next-gen Xbox in 2013. Sony’s next console probably won’t be far behind. How will those systems measure up to Molyneux’s “amazing technology” benchmark?

What do you think, Ranters? Is Kindle Fire a better example of “amazing technology” than Wii U? Are game consoles really in competition with “everything”? Let us know in the comments below.

Follow me on Twitter @HakenGaken.

Source: GamesIndustry International

TAGS: Nintendo, Wii U

  • Shalkowski

    I don’t know about the Kindle but Microsoft and Sony are definitely not in competition with Nintendo. Nintendo is still behind. Microsoft and Sony have nothing to worry about with Nintendo or the Wii U. Now Microsoft and Sony on the other hand, that’s where the real battle is.

    • Daniel Carlson

      you ignored the fact they have sold nearly 100million wii’s in its lifetime… ms and sony should be keen on what nintendo is doing

      • Shalkowski

        PS3 and 360 sold nearly 100 million as well. Thats still not my point, my point is that Nintendo is still behind MS and Sony.

        • Daniel Carlson

          do your research. ps3 and xbox have to push another 30million units before theyd hit 100million. wii is about 2.5million away(as of september 2012) no matter which way you look at it nintendo is ahead

          • Moog

            Damn it Daniel, stop bringing numbers into this. If us fan boys say Sony and MS are the best then they’re the best.

  • Frayzure

    if the console is “nothing special” then why did it sell out so fast?

    • Matt

      Everyon wonders the same thing about COD.

    • Red

      New major game consoles and attachments always sell big in the first few days. The Dreamcast did, the the xbox HD-DVD attachment did, heck, even the stupid N-Gage did. There will normally be quick sales for a console on the first days from early adopters, then the sales will drop off as others wait to see ow things flesh out in terms of software.

  • joel

    As I sat and read this, and the linked article, I realized my PS3 and my massive amount of steam games see less and less of me. I am constantly trying to find a game with more depth on my ipad versus booting up my PS3 or going to my computer to achieve that depth. I can see where Molyneux is coming from. I’ll play crappy games in front of my tv but not use my PS3 to play good games. The new systems need to be a leap forward not just in graphics but innovation. I doubt I’ll go buy a simple controller to tv interface. The Wii U controller/pad/screen, Playstation eye, and the Kinect are all a step in the right direction. But, I’ve been doing this soooo long I need a better drug to beat my cheap/quick meth known as my ipad.

    • Daniel Carlson

      ipad isnt a dedicated gaming device and never will be. it shouldnt be compared to something that is.

  • Skyrising Warrior

    As someone who does have the Wii U not just for graphics or next gen, but to play it for fun(like a lot of you out there) it is a great console. Why compare it even when Mr. Iwata said he wasn’t concerned with it? If its fun, play it. If its not, oh well. But don’t believe others, try it for yourself. Then judge it on your own

    • Daniel Carlson

      agreed. you cant make comparisons until youve played something outside of the rayman demo they have at gamestop.

      • Joel

        I’m not claiming that my iPad is superior as a gaming device . I guess my idea got muddied. I doubt I’ll buy a next gen console unless it offers something more I’m not sure what that more needs be. Much like what i think is molyneux’s point the ps4 and the Xbox 360+ need to bring more than just the controller to tv interface.

  • Rickkk

    This is so dumb. 100%, when mirosoft and sony copies nintendo’s idea of assymetry gaming (i think they already have) people are gonna be calling it innovation. Idiots.

  • Icebergg

    Molyneux’s last game was a cube you tapped on the screen to open. I didn’t play it, cause it didn’t sound very exciting. Honestly, I really don’t care what the guys says anymore, Fable 1 was his last good game, after that, it was all down hill. This guy has taken inovation out of his games and replaced inovation with dogs or something, and called the dogs inovative. I never felt a pet was worth a darn in Fable 2 or 3. I never gained any attachment to them, in Fable 2 I sacrificed my dog to bring everyone back to life, that’s how much I cared about it. It’s not that I don’t like dogs, but that thing was annoying…Oh yeah, Molyneux wanting “inovation”. He should look up that word in a dictionary.