Why Is Nintendo Releasing A New Console?

Well, besides the fact that Wii sales are on a downward slide, Wii games don't look good on HD televisions and the console is starting to show its age. Besides all that, there must be a reason.

"It's become hard for software makers to surprise customers with the current Wii," Nintendo honcho president recently told a group of investors. While I thought the console was all about good games, apparently, it was all about surprises.


Iwata also said that the Kyoto-based game maker wanted a "new approach" with its Wii successor.

Yesterday, Nintendo confirmed the Wii successor, stating that it will be playable at this year's E3 gaming expo in Los Angeles and on sale in 2012.

Wii後継機を12年に発売 任天堂、3DSは目標未達 [よんななニュース]


    "While I thought the console was all about good games, apparently, it was all about surprises.


    What? Iwata and Miyamoto (among others) have been saying this for years. A console itself is a piece of hardware, and so to make their hardware unique and attract consumers, Nintendo always like to surprise the player with either their control method or some sort of feature on the system itself. The SNES Pad had shoulder buttons, the N64 had the Z trigger and an Analog stick, the Wii had motion controls, etc.

    Couldn't you think of anything better to write in this news story? Some sort of personal speculation, possibly?

    This is both Nintendo's greatest strength AND weakness - the idea that everything has to be new and innovative, even to the point of throwing out mechanics that work well or abandoning everything that made a franchise popular.

    The Wii is pretty much the epitome of it having become a weakness more than a strength - the Wii has seen arguably Nintendo's poorest games of all time, and those that have been good have not benefitted from the motion controls (and would arguably have been better with a regular controller). Even Wii Fit was a pale shadow of what it should have been.

    Up til the Wii, Nintendo tailored the hardware to suit the software they wanted to make, but more and more these days they just seem to be firing randomly in the dark. I guess we'll soon see...

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