WiiU – a bright future?

Let’s face it, Nintendo’s WiiU official presentation on September 13th was a master stroke. The words WiiU, Bayonetta 2 and Nintendo are everywhere on the internet, which greatly contributes to alter the «kiddy» image the manufacturer is often associated with. Many of those who had said «never» to WiiU may very well have changed their minds already.

The presentation was all the more powerful that the Kyoto-based firm had some other trump cards under its sleeve. Ninja Gaiden 3 Razor’s Edge, a greatly enhanced version that put the original PS3/360 game to shame, will also be published by Nintendo. This one will feature additional stories with Ayane playable and an online coop, which is extremely sweet. Even more powerful, WiiU will get Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate (in cross-play with the 3DS version) for the Japanese launch, and in West a few months after. Not to mention the already higly-anticipated ZombiU, which will be bundled with the system and many other accessories for 389€.

On pricing too, Nintendo was very clever : the system goes from 300€ to 389€ and there is a 350€ model filled with content. The storage space is pretty pathetic when compared to the competition, as you have the choice only between 8 and 32GB when the new PS3 has… 500! Still, this detail is unlikely to hamper purchases, as WiiU is reported to be sold out in the most recent preorders. That said, it’s just strange to have stocks figures so early in the process…

Despite all those advantages, WiiU will face a tough competition in (slightly) less expensive 360 and PS3. Those two get almost all the upcoming 3rd party games, when WiiU has very few (and those are mainly late ports that have already sold millions on PS360). There are about 40 titles that will hit the current systems without making it to WiiU, like Dishonored, Medal of Honor Warfighter, Tales of Xillia 1&2, Hitman Absolution, Tomb Raider, Ni no Kuni, Remember Me, Dead or Alive 5, Resident Evil 6, Crysis 3, Lightning Returns, Metal Gear Solid Ground Zeroes & Rising Revengeance, etc.

Nintendo also has a pretty bad reputation among PS360 owners now because of years of casual policy. Let’s be clear, a tremendous number of people hates Nintendo, and the whole Bayonetta 2 case is proof enough. Even if the Bayonetta 2 exclusivity convinces some to by WiiU, it’s still a bit like hurling a barrel of oil of a fire. The shock therapy is not always the best option, and it may backfire on both Nintendo and Platinum Games. Of course, it depends on the respective share between rage and praise, but only the sales can tell us about that.

Nintendo has undoubtedly made a first step towards success in the next generation. Sony and Microsoft may be well-advised not to lower their guard on grounds that they «have» the core audience, because their competitor might be quick to steal back market share.

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