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The Geek Critique – Episode A2 – Wii U   Leave a comment

The Geek Critique – Episode A2 – Wii U.

Posted October 4, 2012 by positivejosh in The Geek Critique

The Geek Critique – Episode A1 – Wii U   Leave a comment

The Geek Critique – Episode A1 – Wii U.

Posted October 4, 2012 by positivejosh in The Geek Critique

  Leave a comment

At the risk of sounding like a raging fanboy and earning the ire of anyone who liked “Bayonetta,” but wasn’t planning on essentially buying its sequel a wedding ring for the right to play it, let me just say this.

Based on this image, what do you suppose IS the Wii U?

I can not wait to get my hands on the Wii U.

For anyone out of the loop … or anyone who wasn’t maddeningly refreshing a gaming blog during Nintendo’s press conference, despite the fact that it happened during one of their classes … the Wii U is Nintendo’s next gaming console.

It’ll launch on Nov. 18, it’ll cost $299 for a basic model or $349 for one with more storage space and a copy of “Nintendo Land,” and it comes packaged with a controller that’s basically a modern-day tablet sandwiched right in the middle of your standard game pad.

If you decide you want one now, it’s going to be a struggle. Retailers sold out of pre-orders within FOUR DAYS. You might be able to secure one by camping out at a place that’s not doing pre-orders, but it’ll be an endeavor.

I could rattle off all the specs (this time, it’s four Gamecubes duct-taped together!) and go into better detail, but honestly, there are better, more in-depth sources for that than The Geek Critique.

I want to try out the tablet controller. I want to post comments to my friends over the Miiverse. I want to totally screw over my aforementioned friends by removing platforms at a critical moment in “New Super Mario Bros. Wii” using the aforementioned tablet controller.

Most of all, I want to play all the new first-party Nintendo games that the Wii U is going to serve as the gateway to.

Suffice to say, I’m really looking forward to it. There’s just one thing that I’m wondering about.

What kind of a stupid, boneheaded name is the “Wii U?”

Oh sure, we went through a similar rigamorole with this six years ago when the Wii was announced.

I vividly recall building up all kinds of comical tension before informing my best friend that what we’d called the “Nintendo Revolution” (its development code name) would now be known by the same word that a discerning parent might use to describe their child’s urine.

But we got used to it. And ultimately, that’s not why I think “Wii U” is at best a misleading name, and at worst one that’s going to turn consumers away from the console.

No, the problem with “Wii U” is that, to the uninformed consumer, to the gargantuan casual gamer audience that made up such a large chunk of the Wii’s market success, the “Wii U” sounds like an accessory or a new design, rather than a new console.

Let’s say I’m not a life-long hardcore gamer, that I’m not someone who sits in class avidly reading every detail of Nintendo’s press conference. To me, the Wii U may well seem like yet another expensive perhipheral for my Wii, a tablet controller.

Nintendo’s marketing doesn’t help the disconnect. The Wii U even looks quite a lot like the current design of the Wii and is always shown with the new pad, reinforcing the false notion that the tablet controller and the Wii U are one in the same.

While Sony and Microsoft’s consoles have each gone through similar iterative naming schemes, the situation is a bit different for them.

Brand recognition says that the Xbox and PlayStation are gaming consoles, and Sony and Microsoft do lots of other things.

But Nintendo’s brand name is synonymous with video games.

Not to say this is a deal-breaker for the Big N. The 3DS had similar identity problems, with some casual consumers thinking it to be yet another upgrade of the DS, and it’s finding plenty of success after a rocky start.

I’d have been amazed with the “Nintendo Revolution.” I’d have been OK with the “Nintendo Go.”

But instead, I’ll once again have to get used to the “Wii U.”

Now then, when it comes out, who wants to play some “Super Smash Bros. Universe?“ OMG I CAN’T WAIT!!!!

Posted October 4, 2012 by positivejosh in ET Columns, Nintendo, The Geek Critique, Wii U

Bigger is Better   Leave a comment

Nintendo’s 3DS XL, released in North America on Aug. 19, is not exactly a new concept for the Big N.

The original lime-screened Game Boy was smashed down into the considerably easier-to-see Game Boy Pocket, then supplanted by the Game Boy Color.

The bulky Nintendo DS was turned into the iPod-esque DS Lite, then got a camera and an eShop as the DSi.

I’m going to make a bold statement.

The 3DS XL is one of the absolute best upgrades Nintendo’s ever done. The only one that comes close is taking the barely-visable Game Boy Advance and giving it a frontlight with the SP.

It’s an apt comparison, because like the SP, the 3DS XL gives the system a visual componant it was sorely lacking.

But where the SP made it possible to see the screen without sitting on the surface of the sun, the 3DS XL improves on something I didn’t even know was lacking: immersion.

The screen has been made 90 percent larger, and that’s not just a luxury.

Playing the original 3DS was like looking through a window and percieving depth. With the 3DS XL, that’s more like looking through a doorway.

The screen now takes up most of your field of vision, which makes a huge difference in the immersion of the 3D effect.

The larger size also makes for far more comfortable gaming.

While the lack of a second circle pad was a controversial move, so few games make use of it, and adding one would only make the stock system more cramped.

The only area where the 3DS XL lacks compared to its predecessor is in sound quality.

That gigantic screen just doesn’t seem to leave much room for high-quality speakers, and they’re nowhere near as loud.

The system does of course have a headphone jack, and the sound is decent as-is.

For those who already have the original 3DS and are thinking of upgrading, the system transfer tool works just like you’d want it to.

The original system is converted to its out-of-the-box state, and every bit of save data, including StreetPass tags and records, are transfered to the new one.

If you have a 3DS, the XL is by no means a neccesity, but I would highly recommend it, especially if you get a lot of use out of it.

If you don’t have a 3DS and you’re on the fence, the XL makes for a much more immersive and enjoyable experience that retails for $30 more than the original.

Posted September 10, 2012 by positivejosh in 3DS, Nintendo, The Geek Critique

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