One big debate that has surrounded Wii U ever since it was revealed is whether or not the new console is the last through the door of the old generation, or the first to break into the next one. With the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 coming towards the end of their product life cycles it seems inevitable that their successors will dwarf the Wii U, in terms of graphical power, so some ask whether Nintendo's sixth home console is really the next generation of gaming? Reggie Fils-Aime, as expected, thinks so.
In an interview with Kotaku moments before the system launched in New York City, Nintendo of America’s President said:
This is absolutely the beginning of a new generation. With the innovation we're bringing to bear, with the social community we're bringing to bear, [and] with the video entertainment we're bringing to bear, I think this is the start of a new generation. I think those who say otherwise are clearly trying to preserve sales on their current hardware. This is definitely the start of a new day.
Reggie believes that Wii U has truly kicked off the new generation of gaming, and thinks the new console is already building a healthy collection of games, with 29 titles being available in stores and five on the eShop in North America; not to mention the promise of 50 games by the time the launch window closes at the end of March. To put that into perspective, when Wii launched in 2006 North America saw 21 games available at launch, with that figure being topped up to 33 during the launch window – Wii U has seen a notable increase on that.
One of the big reasons for this boost in numbers has been down to the immense third party support that Wii U has received, with the likes of Assassin’s Creed III, Call of Duty: Black Ops II and Tekken Tag Tournament 2: Wii U Edition all being released on the system as well as other consoles. There have been some worries about how sustainable this support will be, however, especially considering Sony and Microsoft are expected to raise the bar in terms of graphical power.
There have been instances already where third party publishers have seemingly confirmed that they are not supporting Wii U iterations of games with DLC, the Wii U version of Mass Effect 3, for example, will not have the Omega DLC made available for it while its Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 counterparts will. Reggie confirmed that Nintendo “have no policy limitation on DLC or on business model for third party publishers”, reiterating the company’s stance that all DLC is welcome on a Nintendo console – the question is, will the third party publishers bring it?
It also appears that Nintendo isn’t quite done with its first party releases. As we know New Super Mario Bros. U and Nintendo Land were available on launch day, with Pikmin 3 on the way, but Reggie was eager to point out Nintendo hasn’t revealed all its launch window cards, hinting at some big announcements that are yet to be made:
I think we will continue to surprise the fans with announcements and information. I would not go so far as to say you know everything in our launch window.
Reggie also reassured people who may be concerned by the launch day absence of TVii, a service that integrates video streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Instant Video and Hulu Plus together, by saying that Nintendo wanted it to be perfect and not rushed as has been the case on other consoles in the past. TVii is set to be made available at some point in December.
What are your thoughts on this? Do you see Wii U as the beginning of a new generation, or does a focus on graphical power make it the end of the previous one? Let us know in the comments section below.