The Wii U is going to launch soon. Where are the advocates?
Every console launch has their advocates. The PS3 had their bunch, the Xbox 360 had their group, and the Wii had a ton of advocacy. Every Nintendo console has had a group of advocates from the SNES, N64, and Gamecube. Where are the advocates for the Wii U?
Perhaps I’m not looking in the right place, but I do not see any Wii U advocacy. Then again, it may not need ‘advocacy’ as there is no competing console today or on the horizon.
“But what about the NES?”
NES had advocacy. It had Nintendo Power and what came before it: the Nintendo Funclub Newsletter.
My impression of the Wii U is that it was designed for the Game Industry. The only advocacy I see for the Wii U is coming from the Game Industry who are anxious to sell us $60 ports of old 7th Generation games. I don’t see ‘immense excitement’ from consumers or gamers. There is excitement over NSMB U… but not that much seeing how ambition-less the game is and that it takes nearly $400 to get access to get to the game.
The lack of any Virtual Console is really killing any excitement for the console with people like myself and my circle of friends. There appears to be debate over the Virtual Console inside Nintendo.
My problem with Nintendo goes back to the Super Nintendo. I see consoles as a low turnover device. In other words, I don’t sell my console. I keep it around FOR DECADES and keep playing it. But Nintendo thinks the console business should be high turnover, that we should throw away our consoles every six years just because. I don’t mean throw away as in ‘buy a new version of console’, but throw away meaning the controllers, the games, everything… gone. I feel burned investing in the Wii as I felt burned investing in the NES because everything gets tossed ahead, and I have to buy everything all over again. Oh, and the game library won’t work on the new console. If you’ve invested in a large Virtual Console library, you feel really burned with the Wii U.
“But we have backwards compatibility,” says Nintendo. No, you don’t. What you have is ‘Reduce Risk to Transition Phase compatibility’. This is the only reason why Nintendo spends money for the backwards compatibility is to reduce problem with the transition phase.
“What do you suggest, then?” asks the Nintendo. What bothers me to hell and back is my game collection going straight to zero whenever a new console comes out. The ‘backwards compatibility’ is just temporary and is gone with the later revisions of the console. This is why I don’t buy consoles. It is just throwing money away. If you buy a console at the start of a console cycle, it might be worth it. You have to go through the crappy launch games at the start though and there are so many pitfalls of buying bad games due to hype. If you wait until the middle of the end of the console cycle, you’ll have some good games awaiting you, but you have little to nothing of quality coming because everything is going to be chucked aside with the next console cycle.
When you buy a new iPod, you don’t have to replace your music collection. When you buy a new Apple TV, you don’t have to replace your movie collection. When you buy a new PC, you don’t have to replace your PC games. What’s funny about that is due to the changes of DOS to Windows and due to the incredible varied amount of configurations a PC can take, GoG can make nearly every PC game playable. Consoles have identical hardware. Why can’t our digital game collection be playable on every Nintendo console? There is not much that needs to be changed for something like the NES or SNES emulators for going from Wii to Wii U. Maybe the playing of Virtual Console games to Wii U Pad wouldn’t be ready for launch, but it would be added in due to a simple software update. Why is Nintendo putting all this money into something like TViiiiii but not in the gaming? Where is the priority?
The moment when the Wii U hype evaporated was when Nintendo said the Virtual Console games could not be played on the Wii U or on the U Pad, they could only be played in the ‘Wii backwards compatibility mode’. In other words, Nintendo is saying: “You have to buy all your Virtual Console games again. We don’t believe in a permanent game collection,” despite the games being digital in nature.
“But what if people just buy a few Virtual Console games or play the ones they’ve got and don’t play what’s on the retail shelf?” Then that is a sign to you that your retail games blow donkey chunks and your decade old Virtual Console games are better games than your retail games. If 8-bit and 16-bit or N64 games are beating your modern games, then your modern games are really, really bad. (Which, of course, has been the theme of this website that modern games are crap.)
“But some people could just buy those games and only play them.” So what? At least they are buying your console and are included in the install base. The alternative to someone just buying the console and playing some Virtual Console games is the person not buying your console at all. And even then, with the Wii, I bought a few big games when they came out. I bought Metroid Prime Trilogy (be jealous, reader), NSMB Wii, Donkey Kong Country Returns, Smash Brothers Brawl, Mario Kart Wii, and many third party games as well. I would not have bothered if the Wii didn’t have a Virtual Console. The Virtual Console is my insurance that when we get something crappy like Metroid: Other M, I can just turn on Super Metroid to remind myself how Metroid is supposed to be.
I feel like Nintendo doesn’t like the Virtual Console and doesn’t want to serve the people who do like the Virtual Console (such as myself). What I want is the Virtual Console to be a Virtual Collection where I buy games digitally and can play them on future Nintendo consoles forever. Nintendo is trying to force the Virtual Console to be the equivalent of soups served with the retail game as the main dish. Therefore, only a few Virtual Console games are ever released at a time. Can’t have the consumer fill up on soup. Oh no. But does Nintendo not realize that such consumers would just not bother buying their console altogether?
While I am no fan of the free games or $1 games on the smartphones, what I do like is how infinite is the soup. With Nintendo consoles, they hold back on the soup. And when you buy the soup, Nintendo won’t let you take your soup to the next generation. Nintendo, why are you so against the soup?
Above: The soup. Why is Nintendo against you?
I don’t see the Virtual Console as a ‘sub-restaurant’ or a ‘bar-within-the-restaurant’ or the ‘appetizer menu’. I see it as a full restaurant. If I want to buy a Wii U just to buy and play Genesis games, why does this bother Nintendo?
In height of hypocrisy, Nintendo puts out TVii which has people use the Wii U for television shows, movies, and youtube. But heavens no! Don’t dare allow people to use the Wii U for the Virtual Console of games they already bought. Why, that would be AWFUL. Yet, it is not awful having the Wii U stream Amazon or Netflix content on the Gamepad based on the services that the consumer was already paying to Amazon or Netflix. But playing 8-bit and 16-bit on the Gamepad based on games you already bought? HORRIBLE.
Why is the Wii U more friendly to non-gaming services like with the TVii but not to actual gaming services like the Virtual Console? Why is money and work put on the TVii but not on the Virtual Console? Why are games not being the focus?
“Because we’ve been hanging out in San Fransisco too long and think consumers are idiots who find more value in a game console for Netflix/Amazon/Youtube streaming and Facebook/Twitter than in accessing games for the past thirty years.”
Yes because why else would we buy a games console if not for the games? There are TONS of devices that can do the video streaming, even TVs. Every other device out there, including our phones, can do the Facebook and Twitter. Yet, games are not the focus.
And this is why the Wii U is a low value game console.