Objection: Where Do You Stand On The Wii U?

Now that we have almost all the details on the upcoming release of the Wii U, I sat down with Daniel 'Vook' Vuckovic from Nintendo site Vooks to discuss our thoughts on pricing, the release date and what we expect to see over the coming months.

MARK: Hello my Nintendo buddy Vooks — I'm a happy man/fan. First of all, the time difference between our knowledge of the US/European Wii U date and the Australian date could be measure in minutes instead of weeks. Second of all I think we finally have a pretty fair pricing situation in Australia.

But before we go into the details — what are your thoughts on the Wii U? Are you happy with the price and the release date info?

VOOK: I'm very happy with the price and release date that's been announced. Before Japan... technically before Europe? Great move. The US was always going to be first with shopping the way it is over there, so we could never win that one. Good timing for sales here as well.

As for the price? Great move too. The basic pack is at a really approachable price. The Premium pack though provides some great value as well, you most likely wouldn't bother with the basic unless you have absolutely no interest in Nintendo Land (which does look fun) or really want a white console.

MARK: There definitely is a tendency to get outraged at the price of technology in this country — and for the most part I am the first to pick up the pitchfork. But this time? I think the Wii U is priced very fairly indeed. And as for the release date — it’s great to see Nintendo thinking more globally.

The real sticking point for me, however, will be the price of the games themselves — and the price of the GamePad. This is where things might get a little problematic.

So far Nintendo Australia has been a little coy on that pricing. I find this interesting. I want to believe it’s just a simple lack of details — surely it can’t be priced higher than $200…


VOOK: Sure it could, that's why I think Nintendo is right in not announcing a price for it yet. Why? Because there's no games out yet that support the two controllers — so what's the point? I think if Nintendo announced a price it would do more harm than good. People would jump on the 'oh my god that's so expensive' wagon and the perception would never change.

If Nintendo waits until there is a game that supports it (and supports it well) then it'll probably be cheaper as the technology gets better as time goes on. Naturally if you really want to know how much one costs ring Nintendo after launch and ask for a replacement...

The price of games is probably a bigger issue though — what's the pricing going to be? Surely it won't be more expensive, most Wii games are still upwards of $70 at 5 years old.

MARK: You make an interesting point about the GamePad — and you are correct. No games support a second controller, and it will most likely be expensive, so no reason to send people into a stroke over how much they’ll have to pay for one.

Game prices will be game prices. My gut instinct is that games have slowly been going down in price here in Australia. Part of this is a correction on behalf of retailers, and a response to the cost cutting of Big W and online importing, and part of it is from the publishers themselves.

I think Nintendo Australia is starting to get quite savvy to the whole pricing thing, so I wouldn’t be surprised if games cost less than Wii games cost at launch — maybe $89.95 RRP. And, of course, the JB Hifis of the world will sell them for less.

Ultimately the pricing situation, I think, won't be as bad as you might have expected.

But let’s go a bit broader — what are your thoughts on the console itself. We’re beginning to see a lot more game footage, and we’re getting a glimpse of what the Wii U can do. What’s your thinking so far?

VOOK: So far I'm pretty pumped. A week ago I wasn't as much, but now that Nintendo and third parties have completely laid bare what we'll be able to buy in the first few months it's all becoming that more exciting. Sadly I haven't actually played one yet so I can't speak from hands-on experience just yet, but I like what I see.

Miiverse looks like a very interesting concept, not only as an operating system but also the online system of the console. Being able actually communicate, play and share with my 'Nintendo' friends is going to be a great change from the isolated experience of the Wii. I follow all these people on Twitter and have a site community that hasn't really ever interacted in-game before, unless it's been on another system. Having Miiverse there and being its own 'social network' is something I'm really excited for.

The controller itself shows promise. I'm fully expecting launch games to be either great original titles, ports or mini-games fests. It's always these mini-game compilations that show off the 'new features' of a Nintendo console best at the beginning, but this can be a little mundane. Luckily games like ZombiU are shaping up to really show what the Wii U GamePad can do. Not even Nintendo has really done that, outside of Nintendo Land.

As for the power of the console, it'll finally be great to see Nintendo games in HD and the Wii U get most of the 'third party' games that the other consoles get. For now at least, who knows what power the other next generation consoles have. If Nintendo get the Wii U to explode like the Wii early on third parties might have no choice but to support all three no matter the power difference.

There are still tons of little things that I want to know about the Wii U — annoying things like Wii to Wii U transfers. What games will and won't play on the GamePad only? Then there's the question of 'what's next'? We've got this wonderful launch window, are we just going to devolve back into this one major release every three months routine, scraps released on the eShop each week and other annoying Nintendo traits. It's easy to see hype NOW, but what about in a year when everything that's announced has come and gone?

MARK: Very nicely put. For the past two generations, and maybe as far back as the Nintendo 64, I’d say it’s been almost impossible — if you take your gaming seriously — to only own a Nintendo console. I grew up on Nintendo. I love Nintendo, and the first party Nintendo games continue to rank amongst my favourites. But gaming is a big part of my life, and there’s no way I could have gotten by with just a GameCube, or just a Wii.

I love Nintendo when it plays to its strengths, but it really needs to have that long term map – to help dispel that little feeling I’m getting, that I’ll be waiting a long, long time for big, well made titles to be released on the Wii.

Third party support will help, big time – but I’d love Nintendo to be in a position where that support is almost taken for granted. You don’t see Sony or Microsoft making a big fuss that Assassin’s Creed 3 is coming out on 360 or PS3 – that’s just taken for granted. I’d like to see Nintendo in that same position.

And I’d like to see a bigger commitment from third parties – Ubisoft is doing great work here, but they’ve always supporting consoles at launch — that’s almost in Ubi’s mission statement. Where’s EA’s big Wii U exclusive? Where’s Activision’s big Wii U exclusive?

I will always buy Nintendo consoles, and I’ll continue to play the incredible games Nintendo create, but I openly wonder if Nintendo has really, properly convinced third parties that this console matters. And that’s a worry.


    Its cheap, looks cool, has a better gimmick to me than the Wii itself had, and most of all looks fun as hell! I'm all for it!

      Same, but I'm looking at $660 for th deluxe version and 4 games

        Is this meant to be a bad thing?

        When the 360/PS3 games first came out they were in the $110 mark (and that's money from yesteryear). So you would have paid $440 for 4 games on launch.

      It might look cheap but Nintendos price depreciation on games is almost non -existent I would boycott it if anyone else gave a rats arse.

    I'll be getting it however only for Nintendo exclusives I want so i'll prob have NSMBU for awhile until a new Zelda/Mario/SuperSmash comes along.

    Well written article Mark, and both you guys raise some pretty valid arguments. I've grown up on the foundations of Nintendo systems and am always attracted to the 'potential' of each system, to only be dissapointed further down the track (Wii I'm staring at you! ) To see their lack of third party support is discouraging for me as a potential buyer - with the sustainability of the system in mind. I'd like to see more original and 'epic' titles for the Wii U, here's hoping they can provide something..

      I grew up a Nintendo gamer, they disappointed me a TON with the 3DS and the Wii U looks like a repeat of it. They spent roughly half the production budget of each individual console on that stupid tablet controller(that only gets 3-5 hours of battery life and has a 480p screen) that 99% of games won't make good use of, I guarantee we'll just see maps and maybe inventory screens for the vast majority of Wii U titles. The Wii U's technical specifications are lame, it's just like with the 3DS: they look at the more powerful systems they competed with last generation and try to make their system a little more powerful than them, instead of pushing technology forward and leading the pack like the OLD Nintendo I loved until just a year ago. I guarantee the Wii U's third-party support will be abysmal a year or two into the lives of the PS4 and 720 and I also feel I should point out that most Wii U games won't be 1080p- hell, Pikmin 3 is still running at 720p. If they didn't try to repeat the Wii's "success"(debatable, since it kinda died at retail in 2010 and third-party software sales were awful even with great games) by trying to fix a problem that wasn't there in the first place, they could've really had the first true next-gen console. I don't think you can possibly convince me that the tablet controller shouldn't have been a third-party peripheral for the 360/PS3/PS4/720 or even just a separate thing for the Wii U. Nintendo's holding back technology in the entire gaming sector and they're making me regret spending most of my gamer life playing their titles. I DEFINITELY regret choosing the Wii as my console last generation, it pretty much made me turn to PC gaming for my fix while waiting for the next generation. The Wii U does not impress me in the slightest, I can't wait for the day Nintendo stops producing horrible hardware and either goes software-only or produces a GOOD console again, it's pretty shameful of them.

    Forbidden until i finish my Shame pile

      Im getting in on this brilliant idea of yours!

    I'll get it for the exclusive and the Wii games I never played because I never owned one. I highly doubt it'll be the platform of choice for multiplatform games.

    As a fan boy from decades ago, i've always known what i was getting from Nintendo. Nothing has changed. Put my pre order down yesterday.

    Where do I stand on the Wii U? At the front of the queue on launch day :P

    Seriously though, I'm fairly excited. I will openly admit I am a Nintendo fan, but I'm not blind. I buy Nintendo consoles for the first party titles, and the occasional third party title (Red Steel 2, you brilliant game you) which is why I'm more excited for the Wii U than I have been in a while as it would seem Nintendo's actually gathering some decent third party support. And hey, if there isn't a game that comes out on the system I have a PC, 360 and PS3 for those, as well as the next PS and XBOX in the future. Good times ahead I say ^_^

    I definitely want one, but probably not at launch. Might wait until there's a handful of games I want to play. (Or until Pikmin 3's released.)

      Pretty much here as well.
      I don't mind the launch line-up but there isn't a great deal there to interest me personally, I will get one at some point after release when something like Pikmin 3 is released :P

    Ive allready got an xbox360 why would I need anouther one? The controller gimick is old now.

    Sadly none of the release window games interest me in the slightest. Perhaps when a new Zelda enters the horizon, or Metroid, Starfox or F-Zero or any of the other games get announced, but for now there's nothing to get excited about for me.

      Oh man would I love to see a new HD f-zer0 game on this system. Would be a system seller for me

    It just doesn't grab me

    Considering that the machine isn't really any more capable than the current offerings from Microsoft and Sony, and that the "tablet" controller idea is already more or less covered by PS3/Vita integration and Xbox/Smartglass I really don't see the immediate appeal of the device.

    Especially when there's the chance that the machine will simply fall into the same shovel ware hole a year and a half from now once the other 2 vendors new platform's launch.

      The problem is those 2 combinations are not standard and thus not all games will be made with such a combo in mind. Vita sales havent been massive and its not guaranteed that every psvita owner owns a ps3. The smart glass is a slightly better proposition as most people have a smart phone/tablets. However it suffers the problem with - how do you hold a controller and your phone (or a tablet for that matter) at the same time? The Wii U gamepad the set up is the standard so all games will be made with it in mind and its an all in one device so you wont be holding 2 devices to get the same experience. Its one device conveniently in your hands and easily accessible.

      Look shovelware will hit any console, however it was more pronounced on the Wii because there was barely any third party support to make those AAA titles that made people forget the garbage games. Only Nintendo provided the AAA stuff, the third party AAA stuff was on the ps3 and 360. There were 3 main reasons for this (on the Wii), Crap graphics, Non standard controls (wiimote instead of dual analogue) and Nintendo brand fading (GC was third). Things look alot different on the Wii U. 1080p capability, standard controls plus tablet controls combined and Wii brand is #1 in console sales. Also the third party support is looking significantly better then the crap the Wii had. Shovelware will be there but there will be more third party AAA titles to make gamers forget about it. Things look different now so we cant expect the Wii U to have the same fate as the Wii.

        "Crap graphics, Non standard controls (wiimote instead of dual analogue) and Nintendo brand fading (GC was third)."

        But the thing is we do still have those problem with the Wii U (the controls part is much better this time around though), The Nintendo brand has been taking a beating recently since sales of the Wii ground to a screaming halt. The Wii U by all accounts is pretty much on the same level with the current Xbox and Playstation from a hardware performance standpoint. While that's fine for the next 12 months or so as soon as the next machines from the other 2 console makers land the Wii U finds itself right back in the same position that the Wii was in previously, a machine only able to deliver what the previous generation could supply from a technical stand point with some unique control systems.

        Do you honestly believe that The Elder Scrolls 6 is going to make an appearance on the Wii U? I certainly don't, that game will simply be too large for the machine to handle. Skyrim already has massive issues on the PS3 thanks to it's limited memory pool, the same will apply with the Wii U only to a greater extreme. It's not like like Bethesda is going to sit down and built a cut down/reduced scope tailor made version of Fallout 4 just to release on the Wii U, the development costs would be unjustifiable.

          Same level as current playstation and xbox? Current GPU and 2Gigs RAM says your wrong. Oh and Wii U LAUNCH titles like Zombie U and COD BO 2 are running at 1080p 60fps but yeah there the same level (did the 360 or ps3 launch with 1080p 60 fps games? i dont think so)

          The game is too large for the machine to handle. Im sorry where are you getting your evidence from? Links and hard evidence please before you talk absolutes. The Wii U has 2gigs of RAM and has 25gb disks. Thats a whole lot more the the ps3 but you keep believing in your unsubstantiated facts. Sorry but your making up too much crap now. All of your arguments are completely baseless.

          Secondly unless the ps4 or 720 release with the 4k tvs then there really wont be much differentiating those consoles from the Wii U. Sure they will be significantly more powerful. But will it be that noticeable on 1080p tvs that will continue to be the standard for the next 3 or so years. And has been so easily pointed out Power does not equal market dominance.

          I wish people would stop talking nonsense and passing it off as facts.

    I will definitely be picking up a Wii U. Because Monster Hunter. No other reason is necessary.

      Yeah, me and my gf were losing our shit to this^

      we still have to wait for it... on the other hand I'll get the Wii U just because it has hdmi

        That's also another good reason to upgrade- I just wanna play my Wii / VC games through HDMI cable. Skyward sword for example. Nintendo's been stuck on component cable for far too long.

    I was far from being on the band wagon a couple of weeks ago. But after hearing all the news recently, I must admit, I'm getting excited.

    Even better, my girlfriend said she'll buy me for xmas :D

    I disagree on the premium pack providing much value. Nintendo Land looks like it's a few hours worth of play time before you shelf it and never touch it again and the only other difference are a Wii sensor bar - which is the same one that you already have if you own a Wii - some extra flash memory (32gb is still tiny so you're going to want to plug a USB harddrive into the thing if you're using it for digital stuff regardless) and some stands and cradles and stuff which appear to be completely non-essential. Not sure how that equates to the $70 difference in price at all. If Nintendo Land was sold separately I definitely wouldn't spend $70 on it based off what I've seen. Maybe $20 as a downloadable game.

    On the stand-alone gamepad, the Japanese price is 13,440 Yen IIRC, which is around $165 AUD. Japanese prices are always higher so I'd expect that you're looking at around a $150 price point when it launches. Most likely the real reason that Nintendo won't be selling them stand-alone is because they're the most expensive part of the system to manufacture and they're going to be supply constrained as it is. They'll hold off until they can turn a decent profit selling them separately.

    I'm sitting on the fence still. It seems like an okay system, but I own a 360 and a PS3 already so I've played most of their launch games, or I'd rather get them on a platform I'm already invested into, and their presence on the Wii U doesn't compel me to buy the system to play them. Nice to have but not attractive. Don't see the appeal of ZombiU (burned out on Zombie games) so the main attractions for me at launch would be Mario and Rayman Legends. Not enough. I'm also not convinced that the third parties will really commit to it. You're going to get your Nintendo games guaranteed, so eventually the system will be worth it, but with Microsoft and Sony both gearing up new hardware in the next 18 months or so, I'm worried that releasing something 'on par' with hardware nearly a decade old effectively means they're going to be in the exact same position as the Wii in a couple of years, having a low-spec system that's a pain to develop for when the bulk of third party sales are happening on the newer, higher-spec hardware.

    The system will sell out at launch. It will be a big success in Japan because the lineup there is far more compelling (Premium systems get Dragon Quest X beta access included, Monster Hunter available at launch with cross-platform play with the 3DS version). It'll probably make Nintendo some pretty good money for a while. It'll still be worth having at some point because you're not going to get your Metroid or your Zelda fix anywhere else. Just don't feel like it has a lot of future long term. Feels like they're releasing a Dreamcast, basically.

      I'm in the same boat Neg, it would be great to get those titles (and WiiU) further down the track, but it doesn't seem like a great choice at the moment, considering...

      Why are people so hung up on getting a second Gamepad controller as being standard. You can still get a Wii U pro controller and be able to play local coop like the other consoles (although on the Wii U you can play on the Gamepad screen and TV instead of splitting the TV Screen). You will not be getting any less experience then you would get on a competing console so please stop using this as an argument. The Wii U having the capability in the future to use 2 gamepad means it has the ability to expand way beyond the multiplayer capabilities on the ps3 or 360 (if you want a second gamepad). And yes they are expensive. I can see people complaining if not having a second Wii U gamepad will mean you wont have the same gaming experience on competing consoles, but this isnt the case. You can easily match the local multiplayer gaming experience with the WiiU pro controllers. Having 2 gamepads gives you much more then what any current console is capable of local multiplayer wise.

      Also lets not forget the GPU is a relatively current one and is custom made for the Wii U and the Wii U has considerably more RAM. I dont know how this equates the the Wii U only being on par with 7 year old consoles, but if you knew PC hardware putting more ram and new GPU will greatly increase performance (not on par as many people are so easily touting here without solid facts), it wont be at launch as developers are still trying to get the most out of the gamepad in their games, but in a year or two im sure the power of the Wii U should be able to shine once developers get comfortable with the new hardware and controls afforded by the gamepads touch screen.

      I expect the next playstation and xbox to be significantly powerful then the Wii U, but as history as shown being more powerful is NOT enough.

        sorry for the redundancy in my first paragraph :[

      Even if it died too young, the dreamcast was one of my favorite consoles. I hope the wii-u is like a dreamcast. Such brilliant original little games.

    Not interested.
    Have a PC / X360 / PS3.
    My Wii hardly got played. There were a few great releases that I absolutely loved, but can't justify the cost for the few must play games.

    You don't stand on the Wii U. You stand on the balance board.

    Silly Mark.

    Only reason I see to get one is rayman legends. But ubisofts are being asses again the supported them by buying such a great game multiple times for the ps3,vita and PC.

    But then they go and sell out. So I think I'll just have to boycott it until they change their minds.

    I can't see the wii-u being any different than the wii in the long run. Wii support dried up as less things continued to support PS2 ports.

    If the next gen 360/PS3 consoles are a significant jump they'll be left with the same power drag the wii currently suffers.

    For their sake I hope I'm wrong. Maybe the third party debs will develop games exclusively for them like ubi is doing here.

    But I thought we were starting to see the sunset on non first party sponsored(publisher/developer) titles being exclusives

    I wish I could say I was excited for it...but I'm not...At least not for the launch window.

    So what are the problems with it? I'm kind of worn out on the whole New Super Mario Bros franchise...I can't see myself putting $420 for a New Super Mario Bros game, especially when i just got through with NSMB2 - which left me kind of worn out with the franchise.

    The tablet controller looks kind of gimmicky to say the least. I just don't see how it's going to be fun to 'play god' in NSMB U by placing blocks for other players...it can only go one of two ways, either people in charge of the Tablet will troll you with the block placement or it will make the game far easier then what it already is...just don't see how that's fun or a new exciting way to play. Looks kind of limited in it's appeal.

    COD BO2 and Assassins Creed III...Already planned on buying them for my PS3 or PC...so why invest $420 in a new console to play games that I'm already planning on buying for the systems I've already invested in?

    Nintendo are still coy about the online details...leaving me to think that they haven't really done anything major to fix it...No details on how any of their online stuff works...are we getting an online profile, or are we still stuck with everything being friend codes and locked to system...I'm going to bet the latter.

    Battery life on the Tablet and Reception Strengh of tablet...Nintendo have been really coy on this...Battery life is rumored to be 3-5 hours...but what about reception? Remote Play over local network is awesome but move away from the PS3 and it drops the network connection pretty badly...will the same happen to the Wii U Tablet?

    I could keep going but yeah...I just can't find any reason to get excited about the DS XXXL, which is what i think it is...I could see it being a post christmas purchase...Christmas money and all, I could see it being a post christmas impulse buy that I will regret after purchase...but at launch? Nope, no interest

      I think the problem with the Tablet controller is much the same as it was when the DS first came around...no one has really shown a good use of it that makes me sit up and say "Oh yeah, that's why I want that"

      Playing games on the Tablet Controller - As I fired up God of War 2 on my Vita over Remote Play, it kind of occured to me that it hardly seems defining any more considering Sony just beat them to the punch...like I can do what the Wii U does right now on my Vita and PS3...then there is that LittleBigPlanet 2 expansion pack that is going to use the Remote Controller aspect of the Vita and PS3...well that's my New Super Mario Bros U alternative...and hell it will cost me what? $15 for the DLC (a rough guess)...and then hey, I can do the same thing the Wii U is doing with the hardware I've already invested in.

        remote play is not the main feature of the Wii U. Its the integration of both the tablet controller and TV screen to create new gaming experiences. Its great you have a vita and ps3 to achieve desired set up but its not a standard configuration, unlike the Wii U. Anyone that buys a Wii U has it from the get go. Oh dont forget the asking price of 1 ps3 console and 1 psvita console. Around 600 right there worth of hardware. Not to mention not all games will take advantage of this combo (since its not what every ps3 or psvita owner has) so thats less games that will take advantage of this set up. The Wii U will have every game using this set up.

        Yes alot of the games that will be available at launch are games already available on other platforms, but thats beside the point. What is more important is that these games are going to be on Nintendos Console. Nintendo is finally getting games that were not available on the Wii. Thats a big deal. Also you dont have to invest $420 or the cheaper $350 to play the games unless you are getting a gaming experience that you feel makes it worth it. If thats the case buy one, if not dont.

        Online details from Wiki (yes doesnt mean accurate but interesting to note)

        "Nintendo Network is Nintendo's unified network infrastructure similar to the Sony's PlayStation Network and Microsoft's Xbox Live. Nintendo Network is available on the Nintendo 3DS and the Wii U. Wii U Nintendo Network provides the means for online multiplayer, video chatting (achieved by the using the Wii U Gamepad's inbuilt camera), as well as digital downloads. Nintendo Network on the Wii U will use a user account system much like the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live"

        It will have something similar to ps3 and 360 and will be free. Thats good enough (if true)

        Im interested in the battery life of the tablet and 3-5 hours is short (if its shown to be true) but if it was to make the Gamepad light then it might of been the price they had to pay. Hopefully it improves in newer versions of the gamepad have better battery life or we can insert larger batteries to make the gamepads last longer. Wiimotes had this option i hope the Wii U has it too.

    Not a huge fan of first-party Nintendo, so it would have to have some great third-party titles that I couldn't otherwise buy on PS/Xbox, which I doubt would happen.

    But yes, I do think the price is solid on release.


    You're not supposed to stand on it, Mark.

    Wait and see. Going to try not to board the hype train until I have money again (probably going to be about five years) :P

    It will be a pass for quite sometime and it would have be be something quite big to sway me to pick up a second console in the next gen.

    This gen I picked up all 3 consoles and there just isn't enough time and money to invest in the 3 equally. So I will be sticking with a single console going forward and it will be from the Sony camp. I've been incredible satisfied with their 1st Party offerings over the PS2/PS3 era compared to the other two and hoping that continues.

    What are you doing Nintendo... Sigh* I'll buy one for Zelda...

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