Wii U

Video game trade site MCV Pacific has posted an interesting opinion piece which speculates that the Wii U is merely a stopgap to lift Nintendo's flagging fortunes following the false start of the 3DS (in the west, at least) and plummeting Wii sales.

The Wii U hasn't been given a new moniker, but rather a tacked on brand extension of a title. This gives Nintendo an easy out if the Wii U doesn't work.

"It was never intended as a next generation console", they'll say as they distance themselves from it three years down the track and come out with a 'real' successor which can match the grunt of the next Sony and Microsoft offerings. "It was part of the Wii family, but this is what we're actually doing for the future of gaming."

Nintendo are quite happy for everyone else to sing about the Wii U being the next big thing for now. It only helps them satisfy investors. Just remember when the next Nintendo console comes out and the Wii U appears to be a little less next gen than you were expecting, it wasn't Nintendo who made the claim - it was hungry and desperate gamers tired of the current generation, eager to herald the new era without properly waiting for the flag to drop.

While many will point out that this is an outlandish suggestion, consider this: when the DS was announced in 2004, Nintendo was quick to point out that it wasn't the successor of the Game Boy, but instead a 'third pillar' in Nintendo's hardware portfolio.

This hinted that the company expected the Game Boy to continue its dominance, while the DS would offer an alternative platform for portable players. As we all know, the opposite happened - the DS became the biggest selling handheld of all time, while the Game Boy brand was put to bed not long afterwards, following dismal sales of the Game Boy Micro.

Is a similar situation happening with the Wii U, but this time without Nintendo making public its 'third pillar' aspirations? Could the Wii brand be overtaken by an entirely new console before the end of the next console cycle?

What are your thoughts on this viewpoint? Is the Wii U destined to have a short lifespan, allowing Nintendo to keep up with the likes of Sony and Microsoft before releasing what will be its true next-generation console? Or is MCV just blowing a load of hot air? As ever, the comments section is the place to voice your opinion.

[source mcvpacific.com]