Reported by: Karen Williams
Nintendo’s upcoming Wii U video game console is expected to be launched around September. The company is renewing hopes of gaining the lost foothold in the console market, now occupied by Xbox and PlayStation.
The new device features GamePad with an embedded touchscreen and the ability to play certain games for a while when television is in off mode. And the Pro Controller unveiled during E3 2012 expo is backed by two analog sticks aimed at hardcore gamers to compete with Sony and Microsoft. According to analysts, the Pro Controller version holds similarities with Microsoft’s Xbox 360 controller.
The new controller would be a touch tablet controller, with moderate graphic output, somewhat like an iPad with buttons. However, unlike iPad the controller doesn’t support multi-touch. Nintendo’s iPad like approach could be due to the tablet taking away the spotlight from the gaming console market. Much like Apple, Nintendo has never been about the hardware.
Also, the new controller with its six-axis motion control is expected to fair better than the PlayStation Move motion controller and built-in sensor bar. The 6.2-inch device has built-in microphone, speakers, gyroscope, accelerometer, rumble and camera. Attaching to TV is also an option for bigger output.
As for Nintendo’s price, analysts speculate that the cost of the device may not be public until September. Going by the claims of Satoru Iwata, the president of Nintendo, the device will be “reasonably” priced.
Iwata said for Nintendo hardware is not a main concern when competing with its rivals. It wants to be uniquely different devices manufactured by Microsoft or Sony. “I did not think Nintendo should compete against these companies with the same message and same entertainment options for people. We have not changed our strategy. In other words, we just do not care what kind of ‘more beef’ console Microsoft and Sony might produce in 2013. Our focus is on how we can make our new console different than others,” Iwatara said.
Bing Gordon, board member of Zynga, told GamesIndustry International that he thinks Nintendo is already on track to become primarily a software company. “It’s got the most robust business model, the best creative talent; Miyamoto (Japanese video game designer) is still the best in the business. Apple’s most directly competitive with Nintendo. So far, when Miyamoto makes a perfect game, in his career he makes games worth $200—it’s worth buying a system for. I think the handheld is going to be under a lot of pressure.”
Meanwhile, the future looks bright for Nintendo as experts predict the company will ship approximately 10.5 million Wii and Wii U consoles combined for the full fiscal year, which ends in March 2013. The quarterly earning of Q2 revealed that the Nintendo sold 710,000 Wii units. This is down from 1.56 million a year ago compared to Microsoft’s 1.1 million Xbox 360 consoles. Piers Harding-Rolls, lead games analyst for HIS Screen Digest estimates that 4 million units will be sold in 2012 and that also depends on the price and launching date. He also noted that about 6.5 million of Nintendo’s projected console sales will be for the Wii.
The Wii U will include major gaming releases like include Assassin’s Creed III, Mass Effect 3, and Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition.
The success of Nintendo without question will depend on the price and exciting features the company brings out. While skeptics continue with their apprehension of the present situation, one can never presume what the outcome will be for Nintendo with the new release.