While some will reserve judgement over the Wii, the system has no doubt been a success. Sales have soared and the motion controls and titles like Wii Sports have become common places at social gatherings of children and adults alike. Nintendo wanted to bring gaming to the mainstream, and largely they have succeeded.
However many longtime fans and hardcore gamers have felt left a little left out in the cold. Most people don’t consider the Wii to be a ‘serious gaming console’ despite the occasional gem such as the fantastic Mario Galaxy games which are amongst the generations best titles.
Seeing the update on the news today about Microsoft developing the successor for the XBOX 360 came as no surprise but it did get me thinking about the next wave of console hardware. Sure Nintendo have mentioned they are in no rush, but surely they remember what happened when they let the original PlayStation have a head start? For me at least, Nintendo’s new hardware has always been the most exciting and sometimes the most surprising to watch out of the big three. The design of both the GameCube and the naming of the Wii both turned a lot of heads. Were Nintendo serious? Yes, yes they were.
What Nintendo has in store for us next, nobody really knows, but it’s fun to guess. Will the controller be an evolution of the current Wii controller, or something completely out of left field? Going away from motion controls would be admitting they were wrong, but were they? The sales figures, XBOX Kinect and Move would suggest Nintendo knew what they were doing all along. Although it would be hilarious if Nintendo stripped down and went back to a conventional controller while the competition tried to perfect what Nintendo did right this generation.
My biggest hope would be that Nintendo see what they did right and also listen to criticism. As much as you can expect any mega corporation too at least. Processing grunt was possibly the best and worst thing about the Wii. Having less powerful hardware made the system cheap, cheap enough to be a popular Christmas present without taking out a mortgage. But the system seems a lot more aged than the competition. While the PlayStation 3 and 360 are still outputting games that look better and better each year, the Wii is looking old hat with low resolutions and simplistic graphics. Sure Mario Galaxy 2 looked fantastic because of the art style, it would have looked even better with a higher screen resolution and a few more polygons flying around. It’s all about the Game play sure, but an extra slick coat of paint would sure make the over world in the next Zelda even more of a delight to explore.
Hopefully the next Nintendo will be a mix of the Nintendo 64’s approach to pure processing power and jointly make it not too far out of reach for the casual gamer.We don’t need Nintendo consoles to be able to surf the internet, play video’s or record TV, but we would like something that doesn’t make or PlayStation playing buddies turn their noses up and laugh at your de-limbed Mii either. The Nintendo 64 was built around the game development of Mario 64, custom made to deliver a game world that had never been possible before, imagine if the next Nintendo was designed in the same way around a new Mario or Zelda universe...
But most importantly, will it be known as the Wii II?
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