Poor Wii U. Life for the fledgling system has been rough since its release last November and despite some small victories, it’s struggling to keep up in the console game. It might be the fact that the Wii U’s technology is lagging terribly behind its upcoming competition or it could be its minuscule library of games — it could even be the fact that several major franchises have canceled development for the console.
Couple this with a personal recommendation from respected gaming analyst Michael Pachter that Nintendo should stop making consoles and a lost patent infringement case that cost the company $30.2 million, and it’s safe to say that things have been just… just awful for Nintendo.
Is there hope for the console? Perhaps. Though it may just be a mere twinkle in eye of gaming legend Shigeru Miyamoto, who is vehemently positive that things will turn around and is encouraging gamers to stick by the console.
In an interview with CNN, Miyamoto suggests that the play style of the Wii U is mostly to blame for the console’s troubles, citing the GamePad controller and the ability to work with two screens. Are gamers and developers not interested in the Wii U because two screens is just too darn hard a concept to grasp? Miyamoto seems to think so. He refers to early Nintendo DS reception saying:
“There was a period when we first released the Nintendo DS that people would say there’s no way people can look at two screens at once. I almost feel like, as people get more familiar with Wii U and these touchscreen interfaces, that there is going to come a point where they feel like ‘I can’t do everything I want to do if I don’t have a second screen.”
This may be oversimplifying, possibly missing the actual issues of the platform, as interacting with multiple screens at once is nothing new. Mobile devices have been integrating with consoles and other hardware for a while now, such as using an iPhone as a remote and browser for YouTube on the PlayStation 3. The Wii U just takes things a step forward by utilizing their GamePad as an all-in-one touchscreen remote for entertainment applications like Netflix and Hulu, which makes searches and navigation much easier than many other devices. Yet some prefer to stick with what they already have and do not want to invest in another console aspiring to be another entertainment hub.
Miyamoto knows that the first step is to improve the console itself saying, “Our immediate objective over the next few months is to improve the Wii U system and make it a little more stable, a little bit more convenient to use from a system standpoint.” He goes on to explain that Miiverse will be a continuing effort to build a community that is a ”warm and welcoming place for people.”
A lot of his confidence stems from the upcoming Nintendo titles, such as Pikmin 3 and The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker remake that will be released later this year – on top of the vast amounts of flagship titles currently in development. Will popular titles like Super Smash Brothers, Mario Kart and Pokemon be enough to save the struggling console? They’ll help, but some don’t seem to be coming anytime soon. Until then, the console will just continue to collect dust until more games worth playing are released – dust most will see clearly since they were practically forced to purchase the black, deluxe version of the console.
Despite it all, Miyamoto hasn’t lost faith and he genuinely thinks things will get better. The guy’s passion for gaming and Nintendo is so infectious, it’s hard not to believe him.
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