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Wii Enters a More Serious Market



I've been intrigued by the games that are apparently coming out for Nintendo's Wii-U console. Nintendo Gamer recently published an article listing 22 titles that are basically confirmed. It's taken my interest because the titles clearly show that Nintendo wants to break into the same kinds of markets that the PS3 and Xbox 360 are enjoying – the more traditional gaming market. And publishers are keen to support them.

Take a look at some of the titles from the article coming to Wii-U – Darksiders 2, Tekken, Batman: Arkham City, Assassin's Creed, Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Online, FIFA, Metro Last Light, DiRT Showdown, F1 2012 and Aliens: Colonial Marines. Many of those are AAA franchises and seeing them come to Nintendo's newest console can only mean the publishers know something about that console we don't yet.

Batman Arkham City Wii U Batman Arkham City on the Wii U

The Wii-U offers something quite unique compared to the other consoles. It will come with a handheld (HD) touch screen controller that lets you 'move' your game from your TV to the handheld, so that you don't have to stop gaming when someone wants to watch something on TV. In essence it's the same kind of idea as the PS VITA's Cross Play feature (where you pause a game on the PS3 and continue playing it on the VITA) except the Wii-U HD controller also integrates with the games when you're playing on the TV – becoming an additional controller.

For example, Wii U Sports' Golf (the screenshot below) will let you put the HD controller on the ground so that it can simulate your ball's position. So you can see your ball on the ground and where you need to hit on your screen. As you move your Wii motion controller it talks to the Wii handheld unit and the Wii U console, creating a very interesting gaming experience.

In some games, the handheld device might display your characters' inventory, stats on your performance, or different camera angles. There are a ton of possibilities.

Wii U Sports Golf Wii U Sports Golf - you'll be able to use the handheld controller to see the position of your ball. Pretty clever!

And publishers must know this and like it. With the Wii U clearly having the ability to manage better graphics, translating code from other consoles has probably gotten a whole lot easier. Not only that but by the looks of things Nintendo has made a clear marketing strategy towards the more serious gamer, while trying to keep its family-orientated titles in place (like Wii Sports). Nintendo must have realised that to give a console longer longevity it needs to get more serious with its hardware.

The Wii was a great device but it very soon got stale. Even moms and dads that I know who were raving about it just a few years ago because of the fun they could have with their kids have it now packed away in some dark cupboard somewhere. The Kinect has probably taken this market at the moment, since Microsoft are pushing for it and are also providing much better value for money at this stage (providing a device that caters for everyone).

The Wii-U handheld controller with Ninja Gaiden Sigma 3 The Wii-U handheld controller with Ninja Gaiden Sigma 3

These titles and the possibilities the Wii-U can provide excites me. It's helping developers to think differently about games. It's helping consumers to think differently about gaming. And if the console does well there's a possibility that it might force Sony and Microsoft to bring out something new sooner than they're currently planning.

Bring it on Nintendo. I'm intrigued.