Should Nintendo plan for a WII-U Two?
* Editors note* The opinions reflected in this editorial do not necessarily reflect the views of OmniGamer
While Microsoft and Sony debate whose teraflops are bigger, I wonder where Nintendo falls in the race for gamers’ hearts and minds. With all the shiny graphics: complex AI, mo-cap, and physics we have this generation; Nintendo’s next generation console is still fighting for market shares with previous generation’s consoles almost one year in. How can Nintendo compete with a PS4 and Xbox 1 whose graphical and computational abilities outpace their system by a significant margin?
Nintendo fans are loyal. When a Zelda, Mario, and Smash Bros. Game come out Nintendo will move units, but can the Wii-U survive on the occasional blockbuster? As a gamer I crave beautiful expansive worlds; can the Wii-U hardware run next gen games designed for the Xbox 1 and the PS4? If the Wii-U isn’t able to run games built from the ground up for next gen consoles; what happens to multi-platform games for the Wii-U? The question for Nintendo now is whether or not to have a four year console life and release a new system more capable than the Xbox 1 and PS4.
Microsoft has proven that changes can be made when public perception is negative; the features and policies that have been modified since the Xbox 1 was first announced are substantial. They’ve also shown that amending a poor decision doesn’t make a company weak, and can actually prove fruitful as evidenced by the jump in Xbox 1 pre-orders after the removal of DRM. Changing a policy pre-launch is significantly less costly than retiring a console early, but can the Wii-U cycle span more than five years? And if so, can the Wii-U keep up with the graphic horse power of its competitors coming out this year? It might be wise for Nintendo to get what they invested in the Wii-U and release a console within the next 3 years. After all, Nintendo has stated that the Wii-U is profitable after just one game sale and if Bayonetta 2 is the best we can expect from the Wii-U’s visuals in the coming future, it will be quickly outpaced come November and December.
As a gamer, I want the big three: Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo. Competition breeds quality, innovation, and overall bang for my buck. I want a Nintendo console every five or six years. I think if Nintendo decides to stick with the Wii-U for seven or eight years like the Xbox 360 and the PS3, then the Wii-U will be the last game console that Nintendo makes. Building a new console three years from now is a gamble, but so is waiting for the PS4 and the Xbox 1 to shore up the market.
For all gamers: whether you’re a fan of Sony, Microsoft or Nintendo; competition is needed to keep these companies producing the best they have to offer. The reason Microsoft had to change the Xbox 1 is because consumers were pre-ordering the PS4 in higher numbers than their system, and making it known why. Nintendo has a chance to compete because of an iconic gaming catalog. Consumers will always buy a Nintendo console because it’s the only way to see beloved characters in new worlds, but in a changing market geared towards taking over the living room it might be smart to get a plan in place. One that allows for the creation of a more capable console with a strong online structure and graphics that can actually keep up with the competition
–By Rickey Gibson and Tyler Zdenek