Promises, Promises: The Next Few Months with Wii U

By Steve Anderson January 25, 2013

Anyone who's been gaming for any length of time, especially through the launch of a new system, knows that there are generally some launch hiccups to be overcome. Some launch titles turn into vaporware, while some of the best and brightest find themselves delayed due to wholly unrelated problems at the developer level. But for Wii U, the launch day fervor has turned into a look toward the future, and new Wii U owners don’t like what they're seeing. This drove company president Satoru Iwata to, earlier this week, get out a video effort specifically designed to bolster the patience of the doubting faithful.

Dubbed "Wii U Direct," the first half hour video features Iwata talking about what's coming up for the system in the near future. This is a good thing, as checking on a list of Wii U releases set for the near future reveals a sparse list at best, with only a handful of titles having firm release dates, and most of those release dates are a month or more out. Naturally, this has gamers concerned--why buy a system that has no games?--and gamers' concerns are Nintendo's concerns as well. Not only does Nintendo need a sound user base in place for the games that are coming out, but Nintendo's future as a brand in a three-part console war depends on gamer goodwill, a currency that's rapidly in decline.

Thus, Iwata took to the video circuit to assure gamers that they hadn't just bought a particularly expensive paperweight. One of the things Iwata billed in his video announcement is a set of system upgrades coming to the Wii U this year, one in spring, and another set for summer. One of these fixes involves dialing down the time involved in launching an app or returning to the Wii U Menu, a practice that in some cases can take fully 30 seconds.

Following the spring system update, the Wii U Virtual Console, Nintendo's platform for selling the older games, will make its appearance as well. Iwata's video had a note of bad news for those gamers, though, as it seems those who bought titles on the Wii Virtual Console will need to pay up once again, but will do so at a discount. As a further shot in the chops, Iwata fell on his metaphorical sword regarding game development, apologizing for the fact that January and February would indeed be largely free of new games. He identified several titles coming out by summer, but didn't point out several were supposed to be released by March. Iwata did supply an exciting new point in an Apple-style "one more thing" end to the video, saying that a new game for Wii U was coming from Monolith Soft, who put up Xenoblade Chronicles and thus has RPG fans reasonably excited.

The question is, can Nintendo hold its ground with gamers on a string of promises and a hope for a brighter tomorrow? People buy consoles to play games, and not having games to play means their investment is shot. Still, there was a certain value in Iwata's quiet dignity as he presented the case for a bright Nintendo future, even if that future was at least three months off, and in an environment that's likely about to be crammed full of new games as E3 approaches and other new consoles look to jump in.




Edited by Brooke Neuman

Contributing TechZone360 Writer

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Related Articles

How San Francisco Turned Self Driving Cars into Ugly Ducklings

By: Lindsey Patterson    1/17/2017

The California Department of Motor Vehicles has stopped Uber from operating its self-driving Volvos on San Francisco's roads. Uber had been test-drivi…

Read More

Hybrid Smartwatches Growing Wearables Market

By: Andrew Bindelglass    1/17/2017

While the growth of high end smartwatches is slowing down, cheaper, "hybrid" watches are becoming more popular in the wearable technology market.

Read More

The Race for Faster Broadband Continues Between Telco and Cable

By: Doug Mohney    1/16/2017

Less than a month into 2017, phone and cable companies are determined to crank up broadband speeds to gigabit levels and beyond. Existing technology w…

Read More

Airbus Enters Human Carrying Drone Race: But Where Are Ford and GM?

By: Rob Enderle    1/16/2017

There are now three human carrying drone efforts on top of the half dozen or so flying car efforts currently, or soon to be, undergoing testing around…

Read More

A WebRTC-like Standard for the Internet of Things? It's Complicated

By: Doug Mohney    1/13/2017

Building the connections for the Internet of Things (IoT) is challenging, since applications, services, and devices of all different shapes, sizes, an…

Read More