Does the Wii U feel like the future of gaming? Or at least a step forward? GE's Youtube link got me ponderin'.
Although the graphics don't seem to have advanced very far beyond 360/PS3, I personally think that it does feel 'next-gen', due to Miiverse, the general Gamepad implementation, and fresh, novel games like Luigi's Ghost Mansion. I'm honestly not sure whether a Watch Dogs demo-level presentational enhancement alone would trigger that sensation for me.
I'll admit that it could be possible that I'm conflating novelty and progress here, but who cares, really? Even if the movement ends up somewhat lateral, like with motion control on the Wii, I NEED that movement to stay engaged with gaming. Shooting people in increasingly more realistic environments doesn't do it for me anymore. IMO
Hmm, now I wanna do a roundtable about which games of the last generation felt truly new and interesting...
I basically agree with it. I'm not impressed with most of the stuff out so far which is why I haven't bought it, but there's no way in hell I've written it off. I know I will buy one eventually. Of course the launch games aren't impressive graphically - do you remember Rainbow Six Vegas, or Kameo or PD0? Those games look like shit! The GamePad hasn't exactly proven itself yet either, but it's gonna happen. We just gotta give the system time and wait for Nintendo's big guns to drop.
@GelatinousEncore Honestly, I don't think that the graphics will go too much farther than 360/PS3, but even if they don't, the Wii U will still feel 'next-gen' to me (disregarding the actual meaning of that word, of course). Possibly moreso than the competition, if they focus on incremental hardware improvement.
I'm not sure if I expect the GamePad to go much beyond what we'll see at launch. It's not like devs, or Nintendo for that matter, are new to two screen gaming. I just expect it to be a more convenient way to navigate games but not too much else.
@VofEscaflowne Well, most devs aside from Nintendo are pretty new to it, right? But you have a point with the DS. Still, something about the Gamepad implementation makes it feel fresh to me. Maybe it's the motion control and asymmetrical multiplayer.
I think it's too early to tell, I think by this time 2014 we'll have a more complete picture: Wii U will have had a chance to prove itself with innovative software from Nintendo and 3rd Parties, and Orbis and Durango will have been out for a year so we'll start to see the first generation of truly "next-gen" (in terms of graphics, AI, physics, etc.) games and be able to judge what they bring to the table.
Right now I'd say (completely subjectively) it seems like Nintendo is kind of just catching up to this gen, which is about to end, so it doesn't seem progressive, it seems like they're still way behind the curve in terms of graphics and immersion and more importantly online. Miiverse is cool and all, but the lack of achievements, lack of voice chat, the fact that games are still tied to your machine and that you can't play your VC titles across Wii, 3DS, and Wii U, or use your same Mii and ID/account etc. across platforms shows that Nintendo still doesn't get online, IMO. They still have plenty of time to sort that out though, so like I said, too early to tell.
There is voice chat, and what do you need achievements for? Comparing epenises? The argument I've read in favor of achievements is "well it's not about the gamerscore, it's about being able to see where my friends are at and what they've been doing". The Miiverse outdoes that completely. You can actually read it from them. You can ask them about it.
And the Wii U is "truly next-gen". Generations aren't a measure of graphical power. It's a generation of hardware.
@Guillaume Well then the Wii Mini is "next gen" too.
I kid I kid.
Eh, I don't buy the E-peen argument, achievements/trophies are great on many levels, it's just like the "activity log" on the 3DS, I want more stuff like that, stuff that tracks what you do so you can have a record of your gaming history. After having trophies on PSN for so long it still seems archaic to not have them when playing Nintendo games, so to me (subjectively) it makes the Wii U seem less progressive, actually makes it seems even older than the 360 or PS3 since it lacks those features.
I (surprisingly) had more of a wow moment when first using the Gamepad than I did when first using the Wiimote.
I actually was expecting to be slightly disappointed by Wii U going in; I just can't resist getting systems at launch. So the fact that I am enjoying it so much even with all of the quirks that have to be worked out (and they are stacking up) has made me extremely hopeful for the future of the system.
It seems like a "next step" type of system and I am very, very impressed with the Gamepad this early on. Plus it has had some great launch titles, IMO. The ZombiU experience feels like a step in the right direction and it was a day one game.
But the 360/PS3 games don't feel old for not having the Miiverse or the Pad? That's whack, yo. I know I'll be less tempted to purchase stuff on PS3 since it means not being able to play off the TV or instantly communicating with my friends.
What's your level of experience with the Miiverse? Have you bought your Wii U? Are we friends? I lose track!
I don't get the "record of your gaming history" point. Do you actually forget the games you play? "Oh yeah! I didn't remember I've beaten chapter 3 in this game, but I totally did! Says so right here!".
Achievements aren't like the Activity Log though. The Activity Log requires nothing of the developers, it's just an app that calculates what you've played most automatically. Achievements require developers to waste their time on something that is in my opinion completely worthless. Time that they could be spending on something actually worthwhile.
I feel like Miiverse is a big step forward for online integration, and I'm really interested to check out TVii when it hits. The gamepad is such a great all in one controller, it's a jack of all trades. The last time I said "wow" at a game's graphics was on the Gamecube, so I don't see pushing polygon counts as a "step forward" anymore. I think the Wii U brings a lot of other neat ideas to the table. For example, the assist mode in NSMBU is fresh and allows someone who doesn't feel like running and jumping to have some input. It also allows for the excellent "boost rush" mode where two players play cooperatively with different inputs. ZombiU feels like a fresh experience due to the gamepad integration. Nintendo Land feels like a minigame collection "done right", as in it doesn't really feel like one. Each game stands on its own and has depth to be explored. The asynchronous gameplay is definitely fun in groups.
@GelatinousEncore It's hard to appreciate things like Miiverse and the gamepad itself without playing it in a home environment.
In some ways, yes it does. I'm with @Guillaume about Miiverse. That alone makes the console very intriguing especially for people who are social network addicts. That's what Nintendo needs to start marketing with the Wii U.
It's cool that I can see my friend's thoughts as I'm playing through New Super Mario Bros. U and people pop in and out of my Plaza in Nintendo Land (just this morning, I saw WickedSymphony taunting vids on my way to Captain Falcon's attraction). I can't wait to see where it goes once it arrives on the 3DS (whenever that happens).
With that said, it's a little soon to completely judge the system on how progressive it is in a week and a half's time. The games look on-par (if not a little downgraded in quality) from current-gen software, and that's impressive. I also need to see more original ideas for the Game Pad. Off-TV play is brilliant, and more games need to 100% employ this.
Miiverse is totally awesome, as already mentioned. Even if I don't post messages that often, I like reading other posts and responding to them. It makes me feel like I'm a part of a community, something I never feel on the PS3.
And the asymmetrical multiplayer stuff in Nintendo Land and NSMBU is like nothing I've experienced before. Last night I was doing some of the 2 player boost mode challenges with my brother-in-law. He was controlling Mario and I had the GamePad, and it was so great to work together as a team but with completely different roles. So, so awesome!
Miiverse on 3DS? At a system level? That's an interesting notion. I think it's a long-shot, but it would definitely be cool.
As far as system-level achievements, I was listening to some episode of 8-4 Play, and they were complaining about it, saying more options were always better and there was NO reason to leave them out. Which was a bit frustrating, because there ARE obvious reasons to leave them out. People renting Barbie's Horse Adventure to get 1000 extra Gamer Score might be somewhat good for publishers, but (like DLC, at times) it preys upon consumers' worst, most illogical compulsions.
Now, can achievements be implemented in a way that enhances a game? Yes, and they still can on Wii U. But I respect that Miyamoto & Co. respected the purity of the gaming experience and deliberately excluded a unified achievement system. And it had nothing to do with Japanese pride or being behind the times. While I don't always agree with their decisions, Nintendo is admirably bold in resisting trends, which is alright, because uniformity is boring. (I still kind of wish that they had continued resisting the stick-click, though.)
Wii U absolutely feels progressive to me and a true next-gen console experience. The Gamepad and Miiverse are game-changers. The first time I booted up NintendoLand, I was blown away at how NEW it felt. I couldn't be happier with this system. I was honestly expecting a 360 or PS3 with a bit of Nintendo flavor but it is so much more than that.
Miiverse is wonderful. It feels like you are connected to others even when you're playing a single player game. I hope Nintendo keeps tinkering with it and improves it in various ways, but it's the thing that really impressed me out of all of the Wii U's bells and whistles.
As for achievements, I see no reason why they aren't there. Just because we don't care so much for them (I care depending on the game) doesn't mean that hundreds of thousands of others don't. Are we going to be like that? "This sucks because I personally hate it." Come on, people.
Heck, I'm trying to collect stamps in Nintendo Land. Those are basic achievements!
As I've said before, the Miiverse feels like the future. People who gauge progress solely on graphics are morons.
On the OS, applications, and hardware: I agree 100%. It feels inclusive and like I'm part of a community who likes the same stuff I like. Its the same sentiment as why I joined NW in the first place. The Plaza and NintendoLand's lobby is everything Sony's HOME wished it was. Hell the media center features are everything Sony wished the PS3 was. It has robust, media rich free online integration. HOME had some good ideas but I felt it was executed in a strange and off-putting way. It came across as a cold solo experience in an online world filled with virtual yuppies.
The tablet controller seems like both the logical next step from the Wii, DS and Gamecube/GBA connectivity while being in the now with the current tablet craze. I don't feel like its a gimmick. Its more of thinking outside the box to expand and improve on old ideas to make new experiences rather than pander to a core demographic and increase the user-base like Microsoft/EA/Sony.
As for the game library: Time will tell like any launch system