Bearing in mind that anything demonstrated currently is NOT going to be operating at peak graphical level either, given that the tools are still evolving and being optimised, as well as the developers learning the capabilities and how to push them, it does look like the Wii U might just be able to have a decent horse to run for the duration of this generation.
The second screen on the tablet controller does seem to hamper its abilities, though - so the best looking games will inevitably feature very little use of that screen. What that means for when you're -just- using that screen, who knows. It may look just as it would on the TV in that instance - but that will likely be something we won't know until launch. Running two tablet controllers reportedly cuts the framerate of the game in half - but as you'll note in the article, the Wii U is designed to run at 60FPS - double the standard we currently enjoy on most games anyway. It would seem that all those extra frames per second are actually there defensively, rather than a key visual bonus point. Ultimately, that won't be a problem in comparison to its current competition. Expect a lot of developers to either abandon using a second gamepad, or abandon their pretty visuals, by the time the next Xbox and PS3 start rolling in, though...
As for the game pad, it really depends on the game itself. I think it's probably safe to say that the majority of (good) games (read: third party core titles) will relegate it almost exclusively to being a menu/map in basically the same way the 3/DS' second screen ends up as. The reason for that, though, is that putting too much on the second screen appears to apply a significant performance hit on the game itself. If you glance through the article above, you'll notice that Nintendo Land's visuals are really not pushing the hardware - apparently because of the major focus on using the second screen.
Definitely worth checking the videos and stuff that Nintendo has uploaded here: e3.nintendo.com/ - there are a few good looks at what the games on show do with the tablet controller. Also, Nintendo inists that (almost) all of the games on show this E3 will be released within the first 4-5 months of the system's release.
The system's release, incidentally, would appear to be at some point before the end of October (in America), given that Ubisoft is launching ACIII on the system on that date - and they don't refer to it as a launch title as they do with their others.
Are there any minigame-not-connected-to-the-console-and-can-play-it-in-bed-for-example abilities you think? Like a delux Dreamcast MU? I could imagine something like the Mass Effect 3 iPhone app working well in that regard.
I've been thinking about the WiiU, and then my 3DS. I've had the latter for almost a year now, and I've only just bought my second game for it. In truth, I bought it on a whim because of the Zelda game and wanting to test out this 3D marlarky.
I'm just getting through Mario 3Ds and I hate it; although I'm a few levels away from 100% the game (having to go through it again as Luigi isn't fun), I'm going to keep at it.
My point being, that with this particular console, I'll either not bother, or pick it up EOL when their a few Zelda games to power through.
Still, the technical aspects of it in terms of what it's trying to achieve with the pad and local multiplayer, but at the moment it's one of those cool things to look at and discuss rather than shell out on.
Cant wait for the Wii U XL Pro with the pack in sensor bar plus.
£200 is pretty cheap I'd say. Especially since the difference is really mostly cosmetic between it and the more expensive version (though that lack of space will come back to bite you in the ass for that financial saving sooner or later).
Sensor bar shouldn't be necessary for the vast army of Wii owners and given how ridiculously simple a piece of hardware it is, I'd doubt you'll have a hard job finding third party ones for more than a couple of quid if you don't already have one.
Launch day software so far seems a bit weak - though fair play to Nintendo for getting a Mario game of some description out for launch.
In all, I really can't complain about what Nintendo are offering here in terms of price and options. I just hope the 'launch window' titles come in quicker succession than the 3DS ones...
Ok, so the £200 I referenced yesterday was an early conversion. Sorry about that.
The problem with the price offers right now is that they aren't going to be what they launch at. For certain. Sure, GAME will stick to selling the premium at the £300 mark, but Tesco et al will begin a race to the bottom that most online retailers will then follow and undercut even further. In reality, it probably will end up at £199/£249 if you are sensible about buying it.
I'm planning on getting the ZombiU Premium bundle, which ShopTo are currently offering at £325. Considering what you get in that, it's pretty good value.
In terms of the price in general, though, it's worth considering that the Gamepad itself is valued by Nintendo at £100 (converted from Yen, so if it were to actually retail here at launch, which it won't, it'd be closer to £150 with taxes and [censored]). When you consider what you're paying for the rest of the actual console, it's a pretty fair deal - especially in terms of what's inside it. Honestly, you'd find it basically impossible to put together a similarly spec'd PC for £100-£150, let alone have money left over at the end (although Nintendo, of course, are hardly paying consumer rates for the insides).
The 3DS was stupidly overpriced, but I really do feel that the Wii U is closer to the bone for Nintendo. When you take away VAT from the basic bundle cost, that's as near as makes no difference £200. Bear in mind that the cost to the retailer has to be less than that for THEM to make any profit, so whack at least £20 off that again. Between the cost of the controller AND the system, as well as harder to visualise costs such as shipping and marketing, Nintendo can't be making much more than £20-£30 net profit on each sale. There's really not much more room for a price cut, as opposed to the £60+ Nintendo were making on each 3DS originally.
They were able to put the system out here this year (before Japan) and keep at least one version of it below £250. That's pretty good stuff. To claim that it should be cheaper is to basically not be realistic about how this business works. It really doesn't matter how relatively old the components in the Wii U are, a brand new system cannot be compared in costs to one that's been on the market (and gone through several cost-cutting component changes) for over 6 years.
If you want a genuine gripe for the launch, it should be the rather poor game lineup. The 'launch window' up to March is very promising and has more titles on it alone than interest me on basically any other platform for the rest of this year, but unless third parties are going to be releasing games weekly up until Christmas, it's going to be a relatively weak selection available this year. Rayman Legends and ZombiU are basically must-haves, though. Nintendo Land is a good Wii Sports-like freebie (so don't buy it if you get the basic pack, or you may as well just go for the premium anyway) and despite not really caring for the NSMB series, having Mario leading the way on the console's launch is still a very good thing either way.
The real strength of the system will be over the next year, when multi-platform titles will effectively run the best on the Wii U over the 360 and PS3. Things will become less clear after the likely release of a new Xbox at the end of the year, but at the very least it stands to reason that without the limitations of the hardware holding them back, Nintendo themselves should at least be able to put out some really top-quality games again. The Wii U delivers on the promises that the Wii failed to keep, so to me that makes it a worthwhile purchase for the sake of continuing to play some of Nintendo's finest.
Not to say that doesn't change the reality that with Nintendo, every good idea is usually piled on top of with two pretty bad ones, but I'm not even going to be entertaining the thought that I'd stick with the Wii U alone and skip the next Xbox or Playstation, so it's really just more important to me to be able to enjoy the good, while the bad (inevitably going to be centred around networking, I'd say) can likely be ignored with what the others offer.
Dare I say it, the system's even managed to get that little twinkle of Nintendo excitement back for me.
Dems LCDs are pricey. Be glad it's a cheap resistive touch screen and not a good capacitive OLED screen like in most phones. Consider that the vast majority of the £500 price of something like the Samsung Galaxy SIII is taken up by the cost of the screen alone...
Still, we won't actually be getting the Gamepad on sale separately until games supporting more than one begin to be released (which may not even be by March), so it's more likely that when that time comes we get deals where the game is bundled with the controller for about cost price hardware-wise. Expect a Skylanders-esque game from Nintendo to do this sooner rather than later, too. It'd be the best way to ensure a continued revenue after the sale to practically give the hardware away.
I'm just a little sick of the UK getting fist-[censored]ed on gaming prices.
Don't forget that the American dollar prices don't take into account taxes because over there the taxes vary by town, let alone state, and are added on at the till. We still pay more as a result of taxes and extra duty costs, but short of appealing to the Government to change that, we can't really place the blame at anyone else's door...
All of this said, the game prices will be artificially inflated for the first few months. Remember [censored] like Red Steel selling for £60? For this reason alone, a launch purchase should really be avoided unless you've got the money to burn. Even online retailers will take some time to start selling the games at more reasonable prices. The reason for this is more stockflow than greed... but anyone involved would be lying if they didn't say they were being at least a little opportunistically greedy in keeping these prices so high to begin with...
Basically, Zavvi is looking like a good idea in terms of price, but you may get stung by the delivery speed. ShopTo is one of the more expensive online retailers (though they tend to undercut their competitors closer to launch, so don't count them out of the price wars yet), but I've never had any delivery from them that wasn't either early or delivered the morning after I ordered.