All right, so it’s been literally years since I’ve owned a Nintendo console. I loved my little Gamecube, even though it was crippled by no online connectivity, no HD video, and storage space limitations because it used an optical disc the size of a Susan B. Anthony dollar instead of a fucking CD-ROM like normal game consoles, but I still had a hell of a lot of fun playing it.
Then, the Wii came out, and I was impressed by the motion controls, but it felt gimmicky to me. Plus, I didn’t have the cash to throw at what was pretty much a glorified party game – smart move, considering I really have no friends – and not when the goddamn console was spitting out 480p as a top resolution. I pretty much washed my hands of the situation, going on my merry 1080p way with my Xbox 360 and bitching about the exclusives that Sony’s PlayStation 3 was getting (and the fact that I had to pay for the privilege of using Xbox Live to its full potential).
At this point, I figured that Nintendo’s console gaming days were pretty much circling the drain, much the way Sega nosedived with the Saturn and then the Dreamcast. I figured Nintendo would transition to handheld gaming, and for the most part I was right – the latest piece of handheld technology I have from Nintendo is a beat-up Game Boy Advance SP, but their handheld market share is ridiculous – everyone knows what a DS or a 3DS is, after all – so I was surprised as hell to see their E3 press conference focus not on their 3DS lineup but with this abortion of a game console they’re calling the WiiU.
Truth be told, it looks more like an addon or a peripheral to the Wii than a brand-new console. The big thing is that you’ll have this big brick of a controller with a touchscreen and some other bells and whistles embedded in it, like an accelerometer, gyroscope, front-facing camera, and microphone, but it’s essentially like someone strapped a Wii remote and nunchuck to an iPad and called it a day.
This is our new next-generation gaming experience? All I could hear during the press conference was a lot of public relations doublespeak about an “asymmetrical gaming experience,” which I guess is accurate to a point – with the WiiU supporting something like five players at once, you’ve got one person working strictly off the new touchscreen controller while the other for work together using more traditional controls, but for fuck’s sake, I’m a misanthropic agoraphobic; I don’t want to go out somewhere or invite people over. Just give me some single player games that don’t involve gimmicky waggling bullshit.
Supposedly the new GamePad controller will work to increase immersion with single player games, too, by being able to look down and manage your inventory or use it to perform minigames like unlocking doors and shit like that, but is it really necessary? And is it really worth buying a brand-new (and probably expensive) system just to gain access to a few games that will support the function? Not that there were all that many new games announced for the WiiU that are being specifically designed for the functionality – besides the ZombiU game from Ubisoft, everything else seemed like a cross-platform port that had been re-designed either slightly or moderately to take advantage of it.
To me it seems like Nintendo is trying to do the Microsoft SmartGlass thing, but make it more integrated and required instead of having it as an optional and relatively unobtrusive add-on. All I know is I don’t have the patience for this bullshit any more. I’m a grown-ass man (albeit one that still plays videogames) and I can’t be flailing around like a chimpanzee with its ass on fire while I clutch some goofy tablet. Besides, that’s why I bought a Kinect.
And what the fuck, Nintendo? You announce a new console and you showcase neither a Metroid game nor a Legend of Zelda game? The only two franchises I actually miss being able to play? Go fuck yourselves.