Handheld Addict

PS VitaPSPPSPgoWii3DSDS LiteXboxGame Boy Micromp3 playersMobileGadgetsgeneral

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Wii 2 is Wii U

So... the "Wii HD" or "Wii 2" has finally been revealed & named... Wii U.

Wii U? Like Wii University?? At this point, I don't even ask anymore. "Playstation Vita"? "Wii U"? Ok whatever, know what I'm saying? I guess they're just names.

I'm still trying to get up to speed on the details, but Engadget has a nice hands-on with the Wii U Controller, and Gamespot has a word-heavy but concise quick overview of the Wii U console. Not a lot of real info about the console at this time, looks like they will save that for the Tokyo Game Show.

The controller is very strange & interesting. It looks huge! Like a tablet but with traditional dual-stick controls. Isn't that what all of us who've had to make do with touchscreen d-pads always complained about-- lack of physical controls? But this is not the perfect solution to that problem as it may look.

The Wii U controller doesn't operate independently of the console. It doesn't have its own GPU and doesn't look like it has any onboard storage. Rather, it streams content from the console, and the touchscreen can display gaming while your main TV is occupied with showing Chuck or whatever. That's actually a nice feature for me; I like to play games during commercial breaks while watching TV so I'll switch back & forth. So something like this appeals to my ADD/short attention span & constant need to be fed interactive media...

But I'm not completely sold on it. It looks odd to have this huge tablet controller with basically a dualshock/Xbox controller crammed into it-- WITHOUT the curved, hand-fitting ergonomics of the Xbox controller S-- also, the analogue sticks are "slide pads" or analogue nubs, much like the 3DS/PSP. That's ok for a handheld gaming console but we kinda expect full analogue sticks on our home consoles, don't we? Even the NGP/PSVita looks to have full analogue sticks on it. And the touchscreen is a resistive one, complete with a DS-styled stylus that tucks into the back. I am not a fan of resistive touch screens, and I'm a bit disappointed with the touchscreen on the 3DS.

So the 2 analogue "sticks" and traditional control layout looks like it's meant to lure the "hardcore gamer" back to Nintendo... but will the awkwardness of holding a huge rectangle with analogue nubs really appeal to gamers used to using molded controllers like the Xbox controller? And it's so big that it looks rather child "unfriendly", unlike the Wii remote and nunchuck. But those controls are backwards-compatible... though I can't see most Wii U games being tailored for them. So who is this new Wii U controller really going to satisfy? Maybe my doubts are a failure of my imagination; when the Wii remote/nunchuck was first revealed I was like, "Huh??" but then I saw a lot of potential in them. Right now I'm not sure how the Wii U controller will really improve gameplay in a significant way.

But there's also that the expectations this time 'round are different. Like I said, I saw a huge potential in the motion controls of the Wii remote/nunchuck... but a lot of that potential *still* hasn't been realized. Since 2006 I've seen the balance board come & go, WiiSpeak fail miserably, the Wii Zapper & Wii Wheel make a small splash on the scene & sink like a blip on a lake.... no wonder I am a bit wary of yet ANOTHER Nintendo experiment tossed out into the world.

Timing is everything, and with the 3DS just out (yes, another Nintendo experiment whose long-term outlook is not looking good right now), Playstation Vita & Wii U coming, at this point I'd rather put my $$$ towards the new Playstation handheld. But Wii U might not come out until late 2012 so a lot of things could change by then.



Anonymous said...

In a way, it's a handheld, Mr.Handheld Addict! Are ya getting it Mr.Man?

Don said...

Maybe. I wish that the controller was more "handheld"-like... as in, transfer a game being played on the console to the controller, stuff that in a backpack & beijg able to pick up where you left off while on the bus or whatever.


Blog Archive