I’m really worried about the Wii U.
Why? Because so much is focused around the hardware and not the games.
Here’s a note: as long as the hardware is good enough, it doesn’t matter. It’s about the games!
Once a game company starts touting how great their hardware is, they’ve lost. Look at every piece of marketing from every game company in the history of this industry. The ones that tout the hardware versus the games lose. Do The Math.
Here’s what I want from Wii U (and it’s not what I’m currently seeing):
Games games games games. And not bullshit AAA ones like Batman anything. Just keep them, thanks. Don’t even bother printing the DVDs. No “Transformers” or movie games. I know they make money, especially around Christmas. And, everyone loves money. The only problem with games like that is that they suck. Hard.
Let me go through the list of games I’ve seen announced for this system and decide whether or not I’d like to play them.
- Bullshit: Assassin’s Creed 3
- Bullshit: Batman: Arkham City: Armored Edition
- Bullshit: Black Ops 2
- Might Be OK/A Rental: Darksiders 2
- Might Be OK/A Rental: Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two
- Bullshit: ESPN Sports Connection
- Bullshit: Game Party Champions
- Bullshit: Just Dance 4
- Bullshit: Madden NFL 13
- Bullshit: Marvel Avengers: Battle for Earth
- Bullshit: Mass Effect 3: Special Edition
- Bullshit: NBA 2K13
- Probably Be Good, But It’s Not Worth Buying a Wii U For: New Supr Mario Bros. U
- Might Be OK: Nintendo Land
- Bullshit: Rabbids Land
- Probably Be Good, But It’s Not Worth Buying a Wii U For: Rayman Legends
- Probably Be Good, But It’s Not Worth Buying a Wii U For: Scribblenauts Unlimited
- Bullshit: Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed
- Bullshit: Tekken Tag Tournament 2
- Bullshit: Transformers Prime
- Bullshit: Your Shape Fitness Evolved 2013
- Probably Be Good, But It’s Not Worth Buying a Wii U For: ZombiU
Where are the good games? Where are the fun games? It’s all sequels from big AAA parties. Where’s the innovation? Where’s the risk? I’ve become disillusioned with the AAA games industry because I am no longer their customer. Investors are. Just watch any press event (E3 especially) to see that the presenters are speaking not to gamers, but to investors who will decide whether or not the company in question succeeds.
Here are two ideas for games I thought of in 10 minutes that I’d like to see on Wii U. It’s this kind of stuff that I’m worried we’ll never see because it’s not Just Dance or Batman.
Animal Crossing Universe
It’s Animal Crossing, except the towns you live in are the towns you live in in real life. You can travel to other people’s towns, maintained by the people who actually live in those towns.
Think of the music sequencer from Mario Paint except you build a platformer instead of a song. Hundreds of assets are included (and some sold in DLC packs on the Wii U store) including the ability to place classic Mario characters and items in your levels. Share said levels with your friends and everyone online.
Okay, the hardware. It’s awesome that you’ve got high definition graphics and can compete with the big boys on the look and feel of your games. It’s neat that you’ve got a portable controller thingie to play games away from the TV when someone else is watching it. No argument there.
One question: how does that make the games better?
Right now I’m not seeing it. It wouldn’t be any different if you released a regular system with 4 controllers and made these games for it.
Let’s see some indies on your platform. Let’s see some risk. Let’s see you allow PS3 gamers compete online with Wii U owners in the same game. Let’s see an embargo on any game based on a movie. Let’s see an embargo on any third-party game that’s a direct sequel to any other.