The Wii U Melt Down
by Mike D.
I suppose it was inevitable.
Now that Nintendo has fully pulled back the curtain on Wii U, the gaming media Illuminati have decided to bestow their collective wisdom upon us in this, our time of need. With their numerous industry contacts and years of experience, the big sites out there are bound to give us careful analysis. It’s a big step, a new home console generation dawning, and one would assume that there would be some assiduously-researched editorials out there.
So…umm, where are they?
First up, we have the curious observation that because Wii U games will cost as much as PS3 and 360 games, perhaps Nintendo fans should steer clear of a new console…to pay that same $60-per game price tag on other consoles.
Yahoo News deigned to run this gem of an editorial, in which we learn Nintendo may be in for its “last stand” before “getting out of the hardware game entirely.” (Bonus points toward BuzzFeed for saying the 3DS “fizzled,” even if that’s more than a little hasty to say.)
Not to be outdone, IGN got in on the act, resulting in their own Nintendo editor responding with this tweet: “There’s also this Wii U opinion article, in which many of my co-workers predictably act insane.”
I suppose we can add “industry reacts quizzically to Wii U” to that list.
Now, I’ve had my own qualms with some of Nintendo’s presentations. Yet even I have to scratch my head at the strange reactions we’re seeing. To listen to some of these articles, you’d have to believe that the Kyoto-based company has perpetually been in their own personal Thermopylae since they stopped selling cards and got into the electronics business.
At this point, one can’t help but wonder if it’s a sort of gaming journalism epistemic closure. Nintendo is coming off of a historic rebound with the Wii, is maintaining a healthy presence in the handheld market and has a new console that is selling out preorders in quick fashion. They’re also creating a relationship with a third party to support that new home console in a way no one saw coming. Their finances aren’t in bad shape, either. So, of course, the logical thing to divine is that…the company is once again doomed. The brink of collapse has never looked quite so hale, has it?
Of course, we are enthusiasts here. However, that doesn’t make us apologists, and one can’t help but detect a strange undercurrent of authorship being out of touch with readership in the above cases. We try to be very aware of the relationship we have with you as readers here at this site; you won’t catch us trying to either preach or sugarcoat news. On this front, though, I confess that calling ‘em like we see ‘em means that we’re pointing out some rather solipsistic tendencies. Call us out on that if you ever see it here.
Then again, to make matters even more curious, noted soothsayer Michael Pachter seems to hold the Wii U in high regard, a 180-degree shift from just about every other opinion he’s ever expressed about Nintendo’s future.
Ah, yes. Launch time, with all of its craziness, sometimes gets to me. Am I the only one who can’t wait to start playing new games again?