Video Games

Oh Hai American WiiU Launch Deets (Updated)

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As a few of you have politely noted and many more of you have screeched incessantly in the comments, I missed a few things in my WiiU launch recap. That’s what I get for trying to post it with Destructoid and Kotaku as opposed to waiting for them to finish (note: this is not a dig at them; as a news aggregator, it’s still totally my fault). So here’s an update: 

The WiiU will be available in America on this November 18th, slightly before Japan. There will be two different sets released, the basic and the deluxe. The basic will come in white, have an 8gb HDD, and run you $299, while the deluxe comes in black, has a 32gb HDD, will cost $349 and comes with a Nintendo-themed minigame collection/party game called Nintendoland, and the WiiI controller stand/charger you see above.
In my previous article (which is posted after the jump, so you can continue raking me over the coals for it), I mentioned that if you wanted to buy a second WiiU controller, it would probably cost an extra $150 (again, my conjecture; Nintendo announced in Japan that the controller itself would cost $172, where the console is higher priced, but remained mysteriously mum on the subject in its North American conference today). Many people replied that only one WiiU controller is needed, and other people can use other, non-tablet-y, non-$150 Wii controllers (well, Wii Plus controllers, at any rate).
I obviously assumed that everyone needed a WiiU controller to play WiiU games. I assumed they were an integral part of gameplay, since the entire system is based around the WiiU’s functionality. It never dawned on me that the WiiU would be designed to be used by one single player. At all.
Now, this certainly means Nintendo is more committed to the hardcore gamer market and the single-player experience than it has been since the N64 days, and that’s great. But how is this not at the expense of the multiplayer — especially the massive multiplayer audience Nintendo built with the Wii? Look, if the WiiU controller is the greatest gaming device in our generation, shouldn’t every player be using one? And if it’s not any better than a regular controller, then why have it at all?
I actually don’t know anyone who still plays the Wii by themselves; it’s either turned on at parties and family reunions, and by kids. I can tell you no family with two or more children will survive when one child gets the big awesome controller and the other kids gets the shit Wii-mote. What was once a blissful way to keep the kids occupied for a cuple of hours will become an instant fight machine.
And it’s not like the same isn’t true of grown-ups. If the WiiU controller is awesome, everybody’s going to be sitting waiting their turn to use it. It’s human nature. The only way it doesn’t become an object of contention during every multiplayer experience is if it’s just mediocre. Do you see that? Either it’s awesome and it sucks for everyone else playing, or it doesn’t matter. It’s one of the two.
Now, if you’re a guy who prefers the single-player experience — like me — the WiiU could be the best thing ever, although I personally am not looking forward to waving that massive tablet around and constantly looking away from my TV to do shit on the WiiU screen (personally! You may be creaming your jeans at the idea! I don’t care!). But Nintendo is still marketing the WiiU as a family/party/friends device, with its Mii stuff and connectibility and things. Hell, the deluxe package comes with a mostly multiplayer game (and don’t tell me Nintendoland can be played one player; certainly some of the minigames can, but no party game is ever truly intended to be played by one player, and it’s very sad if someone does). The New Super Mario Bros. Land U is another up-to-four-simultaneous-player affair. One WiiU controller. Something doesn’t add up here.
Last note: Nintendo says the WiiU will have 50 games at launch… meaning the “launch window”… meaning the first four-and-a-half months after the console is released. That’s bullshit. There’s the launch date, and then there’s everything after the launch date. Don’t play coy, Nintendo. At the moment, the only confirmed games available at the real launch will be Nintendoland (packed-in with the Deluxe version) and New Super Mario Bros. Land U. I guess you could count “who gets to use the WiiU controller” as a third game, if you’re being shitty. (Via Kotaku)


ORIGINAL POST:

 

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Nintendo just announced the WiiU will be available in America on this November 18th, slightly before Japan. There will be two different sets released, the basic and the deluxe. The basic will come in white, have an 8gb HDD, and run you $299, while the deluxe comes in black, have a 32gb HDD, can cost $349. Ignoring the fact that the HDDs are extremely small and paying $50 for 24gb is completely insane, I would have thought Nintendo would have tried to keep the WiiU’s cost below that of the Xbox 360 and PS3 to stay the accessible, family friendly console, but I guess not. Still, the prices are comparable to the other consoles, so it’s not the end of the world. 

Here’s the kicker, though. Would you like to play two-player on the WiiU? Like with a friend or family member? In the same room? A second WiiU controller will probably cost you $150 (my extrapolation from the announcement that it will cost $172 in Japan, and seeing as the Japanese WiiU prices are just a bit higher than the U.S. prices). 
Which means if you want to play two players on the WiiU, you’re going to spend $450 minimum. 
Sure, the WiiU is essentially a tablet, and it’s cheaper than other tablets, like the Samsung Galaxy and even the new Kindle Fires. But it’s also the thing the entire damn console is based around. This is Nintendo saying “Remember all those advertisements with families coming together to play the Wii? Fuck families.”
The good news is that at least the Wii’s rich catalog of beloved games will be playable on the WiiU, as its backwards compatible. …yay?
Update: I just heard Bayonetta 2 is a WiiU exclusive. FUCK YOU NINTENDO FUUUUCCCKCKKKK YYYOOOOOOOOOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU

About Author

Robert Bricken is one of the original co-founders of the site formerly known as Topless Robot, and its first editor-in-chief, serving from 2008-12. He brought the site to prominence with “nerd news, humor and self-loathing” as its motto, raising it from total internet obscurity to a readership in the millions, with help from his savage “FAQ” movie reviews and Fan Fiction Fridays. Under his tenure Topless Robot was covered by Gawker, Wired, Defamer, New York magazine, ABC News, and others, and his articles have been praised by Roger Ebert, Avengers actor Clark Gregg, comedian and The Daily Show correspondent John Hodgman, the stars of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Rifftrax, and others. He is currently the managing editor of io9.com. Despite decades as both an amateur and professional nerd, he continues to be completely unprepared for either the zombie apocalypse or the robot uprising.