By Furious Francis, editor-in-chief of Playeressence.com
Leading up to the Wii U’s launch, and even post launch, there has been some concern with a number of gamers, that the Wii U will not have the graphical power to compete with the next systems from Sony and Microsoft. While the PS4 and Xbox 720 will have better graphics than the Wii U, don’t expect the gap we saw this generation. Some of the biggest concerns or complaints I’ve heard with the Wii U are: Its graphics for the long term, the ‘gimmicky’ gamepad, and launch game selection. Not only will the Wii U be just fine, but I’ll also address all of the major concerns I’ve seen from gamers online.
The graphics are ‘on par’ or barely better than PS3 and 360
The first problem I have with people saying this is the notion that the PS3 and 360 are on par with each other graphically. Every PS3 fan I know, would always say the PS3 is a superior machine to the 360, and can produce better visuals. In my interview with Shane Satterfield, the editor-in-chief of Gametrailers.com, he echoes this saying, the PS3 is graphically superior to the 360. Now the same people online who said the PS3 is so superior to the 360, are now saying the Wii U is barely better than the PS3 and 360, or ‘on par’. How can the Wii U be ‘barely’ better than the PS3 and 360, when the PS3 was supposed to be graphically superior to the 360? So is the Wii U a ‘little’ better than the PS3 and ‘kinda’ better than the 360? Gamers, get your facts straight, The Wii U is graphically superior to the PS3 and 360, not just a little bit, or kinda, it is by a decent amount. And multiple developers have said this. Manfred Linzner, Randy Pitchford, and Jeremiah Slaczka.
“[Wii U is] definitely more powerful than Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3,” he told Game Informer. “It’s kind of frustrating to see the rumours and speculation of people going back and forth saying it’s weaker or more powerful. It’s definitely more powerful.” – Jeremiah Slaczka – 5th Cell CEO
Anybody who disagrees with this quote, is just being a troll or doesn’t want to believe Nintendo can make a powerful system after six years of the Wii. If you hit the links you can see what the other developers have said about the Wii U’s power. A counter point I’ve heard online is
‘If the Wii U is more powerful how come the games look just like the PS3 and 360 counter parts’
This is a easy one to answer. It’s a new console. Developers don’t have the time to use all of the Wii U’s power. It’s similar to when the PS3 launched. A lot of developers didn’t have the time to harness the PS3’s power. But even a game like ZombiU beats most of the PS3 and 360 launch games in terms of graphics. Plus the Zelda demo we saw at E3 had better graphics than a large majority of PS3 and 360 games, and it wasn’t even a real game. Reggie Fils Aime also confirmed the real time Zelda Demo ran at 1080p 60FPS! Gamers, don’t let ports fool you into thinking the Wii U is not powerful.
If anything watch this video and it clears up everything.
The Gamepad is a Gimmick and is too big
The Gamepad is not a gimmick. It has all the standard buttons the PS3 and 360 have and a touchscreen like the DS or Vita. Where is the gimmick? Cause of the touchscreen? Is the Vita a gimmick? Labeling the Wii U Gamepad a gimmick because it doesn’t look like the Dualshock or Xbox 360 controller is a flawed statement. Now that I have got to spend a few hours with the Wii U in the comfort of my own home, the Gamepad adds to the experience in ways the PS3 and 360 currently can not do. Some other complaints about the Wii U Gamepad is the size. While it does look big to the naked eye, it’s actually light and comfortable. I played ZombiU for 5 hours today and it felt just fine. The gameplay in Nintendo Land, New Super Mario Bros U, ZombiU, Ninja Gaiden 3 Razor’s Edge and other titles are enhanced with the gamepad. Nintendo Land would not be fun at all without the gamepad. New Super Mario Bros U has boost rush mode and never forces you to do ‘gimmicky’ things with the Gamepad. You can even play the whole game on the Gamepad screen if you like. ZombiU’s gamepad integration makes it an experience you can’t get on other systems. The Gamepad is used in a way that puts you in the mists of a Zombie takeover. The Gamepad is used to solve puzzles, snipe enemies, and change your equipment. Nothing screams gimmick to me. It’s pure innovation if anything. How many Zombie games come out that all look the same? ZombiU has a gameplay style, games just don’t come close too. The true survival horror, the difficulty. ZombiU is a great game because of the Gamepad. Ninja Gaiden 3 Razor’s Edge uses the Wii U Gamepad as extra buttons to select nimpo, see combos, and quick swap your weapons. Nothing gimmicky there. The only game that looks to be gimmicky in its gameplay is Batman Arkham City. But that’s one game out of many.
The Launch games are all ports
Just like any new system that comes out, there are bound to be ports. The Xbox 360, PS3, and Vita all shared many ports on their launches. However, the Wii U has enough new features in these ports and original games to debunk the notion that the Wii U’s launch lineup is full of straight ports. Scribblenauts Unlimited, New Super Mario Bros U, Nintendo Land, and ZombiU are all original games. Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge might as well be a new game because of all the features added that were not present in the PS3 & 360 versions of the game. Ninja Gaiden 3 Razor’s Edge adds online co-op, challenge missions, ditches the quick time events, dismemberments, tougher enemies, and more. The Wii U does have its share of ports, but there is plenty of quality content to play that aren’t ports. And the games that are ported over like Assassin’s Creed 3, Darksiders 2, and Sonic All Stars Racing all have features that enhance the game over the PS3 and 360 versions. Darksiders 2, for example, has a map on the Gamepad and a quick swap inventory system. In a open world action games like Darksiders and Assassin’s Creed having a nice sized map available at all times does enhance the gameplay. This feature will be gold for RPGs.
My overall impressions of the Wii U are very positive. I think the technology is powerful enough, the Gamepad enhances games, and the launch line-up has quality games in a variety of genre’s. Hopefully this article changed the minds of some of you guys. If anything, watch the YouTube links. The guy knows what he’s talking about.
What do you guys think of the Wii U’s power and features? Will it be toast when the PS4 & Xbox 720 come out? Put them in the comments below. Also make sure check the site Wednesday for my final score of the Wii U Hardware.
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