Nintendo Wii U is Nintendo’s eighth generation home console, and the third system being released as a part of the eighth generation of video games, after the PlayStation Vita and Nintendo’s own 3DS handheld. With every new console comes innovation and changes, and Nintendo is trying to revolutionize the video game industry once again with its new tablet-based controller, the GamePad.
More information about the Wii U is right around the corner, with a special event scheduled to take place on September 13th, with rumors pointing to Nintendo hosting a full unveiling of the system on this day, in terms of announcing the price and release date. This is what Cheat Masters wants from this new system, from expected/wanted price, to the launch titles, to what kind of bundles we want to see.
1. Nintendo Land must be packaged in
Nintendo Land is being touted as the game that will really show off the Wii U’s capabilities. Essentially, it is the Wii U version of Wii Sports. Nintendo has not announced concrete plans to package Nintendo Land with the Wii U, but I think not doing so could be a fatal mistake.
Nintendo Land is the kind of game that would help push at least a few systems off the shelf. People like to think that they’re getting a deal, and when the system is bundled with a game, more people are likely to lay down the cash for the system. Furthermore, this could potentially be the breakthrough game that Nintendo needs to really showcase the Wii U.
Imagine if Nintendo hadn’t packaged Wii Sports with the Wii. If they didn’t do this, much less people would’ve experienced Wii Sports, and the Wii wouldn’t have become the phenomenon that it did.
So, what is Nintendo Land? Nintendo Land is a series of mini-games under the guise of an interactive theme park. As the name states, Nintendo Land is based on Nintendo, and each of the mini-game is based on a Nintendo franchise. To date, there have been eight mini-games revealed, with a Metroid mini-game and an F-Zero mini-game most recently revealed. Other represented series include Animal Crossing, Luigi’s Mansion, and The Legend of Zelda.
2. $299 maximum price
A major reason that the Wii was able to sell so much more than the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 during the seventh generation was because it was priced much lower than its competitors. Since Nintendo decided to keep the Wii underpowered, being only slightly more powerful than a GameCube, they were able to keep the price low, using the motion control gimmick to heavily push their new system.
The result was a very attractive $249.99 price point for the Wii. And the rest, as they say, was history. People became obsessed with the Wii, and the system became out of stock everywhere as Nintendo had not anticipated such incredible demand. Wii Sports become a phenomenon and then Wii sales skyrocketed. What did every kid want for Christmas? A Wii. What did every adult want for Christmas, for that matter? A Wii. Definitely a Wii.
Back in the day, Nintendo launched the Wii alongside the PlayStation 3 in 2006, and Microsoft had a year head-start with the Xbox 360 launching in 2005. This year, the roles have shifted. Nintendo’s Wii U will launch in 2012, while the Xbox 720 and PlayStation 4 are presumably going to launch in fall of 2014. Because of this, and the fact that the system is graphically only slightly more powerful than the 360 and the PS3, the Wii U’s price is going to be compared with seventh generation systems in the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
How much does a 360 or PS3 cost nowadays? Well, a 250GB Xbox 360 is $299.99. There are other casual-oriented 360 bundles that are less, like the $199.99 bundle that only has 4GB of memory and comes with a Kinect sensor. A PlayStation 3 is priced at $249.99. The PlayStation Vita is $249.99, and Nintendo’s own 3DS is $179.99, with an XL version for $199.99.
Ideally, the best launch price for the Wii U would be $249.99. But this is only wishful thinking. I think such a price would give Nintendo a stupendous competitive edge. However, even if $249.99 doesn’t happen, $299.99 would be the most I would personally pay for the system. Compared to its competition, only above the $299.99 would be crazy.
3. Multiple bundles?
There are a lot of rumors going around that Nintendo is planning three bundles for the system. While three SKUs could be overkill, I could see it potentially working out. Right now, the rumored bundles are as follows:
The lowest price point could acceptably contain the Wii U console and the GamePad controller. At $299.99, I could see them packaging in Nintendo Land along with the system and the controller. At $349.99, I’d expect Nintendo to bundle in the package the Wii U console, the GamePad, Nintendo Land, the Wii U Pro Controller, and maybe another game.
4. Activity Log
This may seem like a strange wish, but I very much want to see the Activity Log from the 3DS return on the Wii U. What is the Activity Log, you ask? Well, the Activity Log keeps track of all the games you play, how many times you’ve played them, how long you’ve played one game in one sitting, and how long you’ve played the game total. It then ranks all the different games, apps, and whatever other software you’ve used.
This is just nifty information. I know people that are neurotic about this kind of stuff, refusing to pause a game as it would mess up their recorded time. I’d really like to see Activity Log return for Wii U because it’s a great idea and it belongs on more than just the 3DS.
5. Strong launch line-up
Surprisingly for a new console, there is already a lot of information available for many Wii U games, ones that are on their imminent way, and ones that won’t be released for quite a while. Here are a complete list of games that are going to launch with the Wii U this fall:
Assassin’s Creed III
Just Dance 4
Mass Effect 3
Tank! Tank! Tank!
Madden NFL 13
Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge
These confirmed games are comprised of very top quality third-party games, as well as a few first-party games, and Wii U exclusives. Out of the confirmed list, I am very excited for ZombiU and Nintendo Land, if the latter is packed in with the system at launch, or available for a budget of some sort.
What else should be a launch title for the Wii U? Well, there are other games that have already been out for other systems that would be perfect to bolster the launch line-up for Wii U. Batman: Arkham City – Armored Edition would be a perfect fit at launch. Call of Duty: Black Ops II will presumably already have been out for a week or two before Wii U launches, and it would also be a great addition to the early library of the system. Lego Lord of the Rings could be another launch title.
These are all the games that either should be a day one launch title, or release within the “launch window” of the Wii U:
Tekken Tag Tournament 2
New Super Mario Bros. U
Sonic & All-Stars Racing: Transformed
Injustice: Gods Among Us
Wii Fit U
Wii U has the potential to have the best launch line-up in history, and depending on the overall quality of games like ZombiU, Nintendo Land, and Pikmin 3, could definitely reach such a lofty goal.
6. Improved online functionality
It’s no secret that Nintendo has virtually shunned online with the Wii. The Wii did support online multiplayer for games, but the online has relatively shabby and was nothing compared to the online provided by its competitors. Nintendo has announced the Nintendo Network, a new online service that comes with a new social media package called the Miiverse that will allow players to interact in a Facebook-like manner using their Miis as avatars.
Of course, this is not enough. Nintendo Network needs to offer the functionality that the current systems do and more. There needs to be a form of party chat, so that players playing different games can communicate with each other. Friends’ lists need to be dynamic and easier to add and delete friends, without all that annoying Friend Code nonsense. Players should be able to create their own Nintendo Network identity.
It’s been confirmed that Wii U will have a form of achievements, but it will be optional for the developers and publishers to implement the system. It is rumored that these achievements will be called Accomplishments. While achievements aren’t exclusive to online, it would be nice to unlock these Accomplishments and then share and compare them with your friends through the online Nintendo Network functionality.
All the games available on Wii’s digital download services should be available on Wii U. I want all the WiiWare games available for download, and all the Virtual Console games that are available on Wii to be downloaded for Wii U. When the 3DS’s eShop launched, nearly all DSiWare games were available to download day one. Let’s hope Nintendo repeats themselves with the launch of Wii U.
7. GameCube Virtual Console Games
Wii had Virtual Console games all the way up to the Nintendo 64, since the Wii was unable to directly play those games on the system. Since the Wii U is not backwards-compatible with the GameCube, I sincerely hope Nintendo adds Virtual Console service for the GameCube on Wii U, since the GameCube has such a stellar library of games, and it’d be a shame to be denied those games.
The GameCube is one of the most under-rated gaming systems of all time, with one of the strongest libraries there has ever been. While day one VC service for GameCube is probably going to be a pipe dream, there are a lot of games I’d eventually like to see added to the service. Here are just a few that I feel definitely should be included on the Wii U VC service sooner rather than later:
Super Mario Sunshine
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
Star Fox Adventures
Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem
Mario is a no-brainer. Mario games push systems, even older Mario games. Not only that, but due to the low install-base of the GameCube, there were a lot of gamers that did not get a chance to play it. Wind Waker is one of the best Zelda games, and would see a ton of downloads for sure. Luigi’s Mansion, Metroid Prime, and Star Fox Adventures would be icing on the cake. I gave Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem the title of scariest video game ever…it would give the GameCube VC the spooky edge it deserves.
8. Wii on Demand
Xbox 360 has an interesting feature that allows users to download select Original Xbox games as “games on demand”. I’d like to see Wii U have a similar functionality, with original Wii games available to download on demand. While this seems similar to a Wii VC, it’s not entirely Wii VC, since Wii U is backwards-compatible with the Wii anyway. I want this to extend to retail titles of the Wii U as well.
Whether you like it or not, digital downloads are becoming more popular every day. There are many people that do not care about digital downloads and would rather just own a physical copy of their games. I am one of those people, but I can recognize that there are some that just want to download the game. Perhaps this will allow rarer Wii games to be made available to those that failed to purchase it while it was still hot.
Of course, all the big Wii titles should be a part of this, as well as the smaller, yet good ones.
These are just a few of the aspects we’d like to see implemented when the Wii U launches later this year. In the meantime, stay tuned on Cheat Masters for September 13th when Nintendo will most likely announce the pricing and release date for their eighth generation console.