Wii U Confusion And Controversy: The Story So Far, In Plain English

News Rumours Ramblings Wii U


There has been some confusion and some controversy over the last few weeks since the Wii U’s reveal, and now it seems some are unsure what exactly they’re looking forward to due to some confusion over announcement details and rumours. Well don’t you worry, your buddies here at Capsule Computers have you all sorted out! Here’s everything that happened so far, and everything we’ve learnt about the Wii U since it’s E3 debut, in simple, easy to understand, plain English!

The Console Confusion: Controller or Console?

While most gamers already knew Nintendo would release a new console at E3, the debut of the Wii U confused some people. Some believed it was just an accessory or an add on to the current Wii. The mentions of graphical updates and such made it quite clear it was a new console they were introducing, but its understandable since Nintendo was so focused on showing the controller off at E3 they pretty much forgot to even mention the console itself. They didn’t even show a clear picture of the Wii U or mention the specs. Instead they just threw a bunch of pictures of the console and its specs on their website. Nintendo President Satoru Iwata did acknowledge this in hindsight though, saying they “should have shown a single picture of the new console, then started talking about the controller.”

In Plain English: Wii U is a Next Gen console, NOT an accessory for the Wii. Dummies!

The Controller, The Confusion: How Many?

Since the debut of Wii U and it’s revolutionary touch-screen controller at E3, gamers worldwide have been Wii-ing their pants with excitement. Yes, that Wii-ing joke was terrible, but not as terrible as the letdown we all felt when Shigeru Miyamoto told news.com.au that the Wii U will only support one touch screen controller. However, apparently what he meant to say was that the Wii U will only come with one touch screen controller, and the console will actually be able to support two of them. Apparently the President of Nintendo America Reggie Fils-Aime spoke to high-profile research analyst Michael Pachter, who then went to tell IGN.com that the Wii may be able to support two. Here’s Pachter’s statement that is currently floating around various gaming websites:

“They were particularly unclear about whether the console would support more than one of their tablet-like controllers; Mr. Miyamoto said no, but Reggie said yes (to me in a meeting)… Obviously, they intend to ship the console with only one of these controllers, so it is unlikely that anyone will develop games that require two, but they were not clear whether the capability exists.Michael Pachter, Research Analyst

So now while it’s known the Wii U will support one touch screen controller and four wiimotes, it’s now currently rumoured it may support two touch screen controllers. However, keep in mind Miyamoto has also said that while the “basic premise is that you can use one with a system”, Nintendo is also “doing research about if someone brings their controller to their friend’s house and they want to play together on Wii U to whether or not something like that would be possible.”

While many are confused over this, I think its safe to say that while the current Wii U can only support one touch screen controller, the eventual console we’ll all receive will be able to support two, if not three or four controllers. The words of Pachter are quite believable too. With details about the Radeon GPU surfacing, being quite similar to our current generation of processor the R770. The word going round is that the machine is capable of supporting multiple video streams, hinting it may be able to have multiple touch screen controllers, although if it did the touch screens would not be in HD. In fact a Japanese gaming website called Game Watch, translated by Nintendo World Report claims it’s hardware has two output modes, and one of them can support up to four 4 “SD images”. The only reason according to Game Watch Nintendo hasn’t taken advantage of this yet, is due to cost concerns.

In Plain English: The Wii U prototype at E3 could only support one touch screen controller, but the final product released in 2012 may be able to have two, maybe even four.

The Graphical Controversy: The Specs and The Use of 360 and Ps3 Footage.

As previously mentioned, Nintendo made very little reference to the specs of the Wii U. However, they were released on their website which reveal it will be within the same sought of capabilities of the Xbox 360. While this is an improvement over the Wii, one can’t help but think of how the Wii’s graphics wern’t much of a leap from it’s predecessor the Gamecube, and how it was greatly outmatched by it’s competitors the Xbox 360 and PS3. Since Sony and Microsoft often put a heavy focus on graphics, its assumed by many their next Next Gen consoles will most likely outrank the Wii U in the graphical field since it’s graphical capacity is quite similar to the standards of it’s competition’s predecessors. It also will run faster than the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3.

In fact while everyone was amazed by the massive 3rd-party  support Nintendo will be receiving and the amazing controller, the graphics didn’t really sweep anybody away. In fact, many of the games were coming soon to the PS3 and Xbox 360, and the graphics didn’t look any better at all. After the presentation Fils-Aime admitted to gametrailers.com that the Wii U demo video of third party games was actually footage of the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 versions of the titles. This may of disheartened fans that the footage they were excited over was actually on consoles many of them already own. However, Fils-Aime stated that the Wii U’s graphics would look even better. Fils-Aime stated that:

“In terms of how good it looks it’s going to be driven by what the individual developers do. It’s going to be 1080p, it’s going to be high definition. You’re going to see games that take full advantage of a system that has the latest technology and can push out some incredible graphics.” -Reggie Fils-Aime, President of Nintendo America

In Plain English: The Wii U’s graphics will be better than Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 graphics, but most likely not by much. It will run faster than the 360 and PS3 though.

The Price: How Many Rupees?

Many speculated that the Wii U would be highly expensive at first glance. You can’t blame them either, the new controler is revolutionary and unlike anything we’ve ever seen before. It looks like an iPad, which costs about $500, but on top of that it it plays games on your TV and has various amazing features. However, Nintendo seems to be very confident that the price will be very competitive. Fils-Aime claimed that it will be “a fantastic value” to GameTrailers, while Satoru Iwata told Nikkei, a Japanese Newspaper that the Wii U “likely be priced at more than 20,000 yen ($250) in Japan when it goes on sale next year.” Awesome.

In Plain English: The Wii U will cost probably around $250.

The Wii U: U Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet!

So what do we know about the Wii U so far? In reality, all we know is that the Wii U is the next Nintendo console, set for a 2012 release that has a cool touch-screen controller that we’ve seen in action. We know there will be more third party support and we know it’s specs. That’s pretty much it. We don’t know much about the console, mostly we know what it CAN do, but not it WILL do. The only footage we’ve seen is of 360 & PS3 games, as well as Tec demos. Hopefully the console will be able to support 2-4  touch screen controllers, because without the new controller, the system is really just a glorified Wii with online play and slightly better graphics than consoles we already own. Perhaps Wii U has been unveiled to the public too early. The majority of the statements we’ve heard so far has been pretty much “we plan to do this” or “imagine this”. The controller is amazing but whats the point of it if we have to keep it all to ourselves and have to fight with our friends and family over ‘the good controller’? Also, why be excited about over the controller if we have no clue what games we can play with it or how we will be playing with them?

In Plain English: Don’t make your Judgements about the Wii U yet, we don’t know enough. Its just too early! But be excited as it has the potential and innovation to do massive things if Nintendo can pull through.

Disclaimer: The information presented in this article has been taken from a variety of sources. For the exception of quotes from Nintendo representatives, we cannot guarantee that all statements are 100% accurate or truthful, unless confirmed by Nintendo themselves. However, everything does seem legitimate, but keep in mind the Wii U system isn’t complete and still a work in progress. All we know about the console may be subject to change.

Nintendo’s next few announcements about the Wii U are sure to be both massive and interesting. Stay tuned to Capsule Computers for the latest goss and info!

Matt Vella. Capsule Computers' Community Manager. I say 'Laters' a lot.

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