Performance and games
The Wii U matches, but doesn't beat the performance of the older Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 consoles. However, we're thinking that this could be due to a lack of effort by developers to get the most out of the console, combined with some inherent issues with the Wii U's software.
It's no secret that Nintendo's launch lineup of games for the Wii U was woefully lacking, mainly containing ports of older games already out on competing consoles. These included ports of Batman: Arkham City, Darksiders 2 and Mass Effect 3.
We're thinking that the reason we didn't notice any difference in graphical quality between the Xbox 360 and Wii U versions of the games is because their developers didn't bother upgrading them, choosing instead to save money and make as few changes as possible. Nintendo has also confirmed that the Wii U's software is hindering its performance, announcing a number of updates throughout the year designed to fix the issues.
Putting this aside though, it's clear that Nintendo never intended the Wii U's graphical quality to be its primary selling point - like the veteran Wii, the Wii U is hoping to entice players with innovative and original gameplay.
Nintendo clearly is hoping the combined offer of motion and split screen gaming will entice developers to create new, never before seen gameplay. Already we've seen Nintendo set the standard for this, using the screen in a variety of interesting ways for its own games.
Present highlights include Nintendo Land, where the company has released a slew of minigames showcasing how the split screen can be used. These include everything from an interactive game of hide and seek where the player with the Gamepad is hunted by competing players, to a Mii golf game where you place the controller pad on the ground, making it so you can see the digital ball as you hit it.
Add to this that the Gamepad displays practical applications to the real time strategy and role playing games genres, and we're thinking that the Wii U's dual screen offering has the potential to bring something truly special to the world of gaming.
However, whether Nintendo will be able to make good on the Wii U's potential will depend largely on its ability to get third-party developers interested in the console, an endeavour the company struggled with when trying to boost interest in the original Wii.
Still, even without mass third-party developer interest, with new entries into the Mario Kart, Zelda and Monster Hunter franchises already confirmed for release later this year, at the very least gamers will have some great titles to look forward to.
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