By Furious Francis editor-in-chief of Playeressence.com
The Wii was Nintendo’s most successful home console ever. Its nearing 100 million units sold worldwide and pioneered motion control technology for the mainstream consumer. Despite Nintendo’s success, a majority of 3rd Party developers did not enjoy the same success Nintendo had selling their games to the fanbase. There is concern that, that trend will continue with Wii U, but like Lee Corso would say “Not so fast my friend”. The Wii U is a whole different beast than the Nintendo 64, Gamecube, and Wii. To relegate the Wii U to suffer the same fate is not only premature but an uneducated statement. The Wii U will have many developers developing games for the system, especially Japanese developers. The Wii U could end up being the PS1 of its time.
The Economics of the Game Industry Play a Massive Part to a consoles success
If your system isn’t affordable for publishers and developers its hard to beat the competition. The N64 suffered this fate, and the underpowered PlayStation 1 destroyed the N64 in game selection. You can have a weaker system on the market and still be highly successful. Developers & Publishers loved the cheap cost of development on the PlayStation 1 along with increased disc storage space. The Wii U could be in the same situation the PS1 was in all those years ago, when Microsoft and Sony release their next generation systems. Epic’s Tim Sweeney has voiced his concern about the cost of developing next generation games like Samaritan tech demo saying:
“If we extrapolate that into creating an entire game, we were worried that the cost would go up by a factor of three or four or even five in the next generation. And of course, we felt that was not acceptable.”
Yes, studios like EA, Epic, Crytek, and Activision can afford to make huge games on super powerful hardware, but what about Japanese developers? They do not have the funds to develop on expensive hardware. They will put all of their games on the Wii U. Michel Ancel, creator of Rayman and Beyond Good and Evil has said that the Wii U is a “Good fit” for Beyond Good and Evil 2. These are the type of games you will slowly but surely see Wii U nab up this generation.
Now I know what some of you are saying, ‘The Wii was cheaper for developers, what makes this situation different with the Wii U?’
The Wii U is not in the same situation as past Nintendo Consoles
There are so many things that are different now with Wii U compared to Wii. First, the Wii U is HD. High Definition is a bench mark that can’t be ignored. Now that the Wii U is HD, Nintendo’s games can handle modern engines that have been used or modified since the PS3 and 360 launches, plus Epic has stated that Unreal Engine 4 will run on the Wii U. Second, Nintendo’s Online infrastructure was so bad on Wii some developers just didn’t want to use it. This has been fixed with the Wii U. Nintendo has done a tremendous job creating a exceptional online service with Wii U were developers can take full advantage of features they didn’t have on Wii. Selling your game is much easier when there are no Friend codes to worry about and a solid online community to rally behind those games via MiiVerse. Nintendo’s applications like MiiVerse, the eShop, and Internet browser are fantastic and prove Nintendo is serious about online.
Japanese RPGs will play a big role in the Wii U’s Library
Last generation officially killed the JRPG, a genre that thrived on the NES, SNES, PS1 and PS2. Many developers just didn’t have to money to create these huge RPG worlds they created on the PS2 in SD. Now that development cost is lowering, the Japanese developers will flock to Wii U. We’ve already seen that with Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate and Dragon Quest X. Not to mention the mysterious rumored grand JRPG for Wii U. The PS1 was a safe haven for JRPGs because of the low cost, ease of development, and install base. The Wii U could also be safe haven for Japanese developers to make their RPGs on. RPGs could play best on Wii U with the touch screen. Being able to see stats, switch weapons, use items, and all the number crunching that goes into a RPG can be handed by the Wii U’s Gamepad with nicely and remove screen clutter.
I’m obviously a huge fan of the Wii U. The system just does lot right and very little wrong. HD -check, no friend codes – check, full retail game downloads – check, better online connectivity to other gamers – MiiVersin’ Check!
What do you guys think about the Wii U? How are the features, launch games, apps, ect. We love it here at Playeressence. Please post your thoughts below.