With Sony’s recent PS4 reveal event giving us a glimpse into the “next gen” of gaming, what will nintendo need in order to not only stay relevant, but make the Wiiu a success with gamers?
Sony showed off some interesting stuff, like the ability to share and broadcast gameplay sessions. Also, the Media Molecule demo was very impressive; being able to create characters and objects, then being able to animate them was something i saw nintendo coming up with in a Wiiu Mario Paint type release; Sony beat them to the punch. I’m not huge on graphics, but if that Capcom demo is indeed running off the system, then Nintendo is really gonna have to show up in order to wow people.
Here is what i think Nintendo need to do to make sure they are successful with the Wiiu:
1) Upgrade Miiverse
Miiverse is a pretty amazing app for the wiiu, and i probably spend the most of my time on there right now. Sony has taken a part of that concept and pushed it a step forward. Nintendo needs to do the same. In Smash bros brawl as well as in Halo, players had the ability to save their matches that would then be able to be replayed for your viewing pleasure. Now it wasnt a recording, it was more of a collection of data used to recreate the scenario just as it happened. This feature needs to be added to all of Nintendo’s first party games, and pushed to be used in 3rd party games. Then use Miiverse to upload it for others to see, giving the Wiiu one of the more impressive features of the PS4 at their disposal. One way of adding value to the Wiiu, while devaluing that specific feature for the PS4. The more Nintendo can match the next gen systems in, the better for Nintendo.
Next, Miiverse needs just a little less moderation. Its incredibly strict, and although i do understand the need for heavy moderation, it does need to be toned down a little.
One of my biggest issues with Miiverse are the limit on characters for your post, and having to type out my messages. We need more than just 100 characters. Doesn’t twitter use like 140 characters? I think something in that region would make a little more sense. As for having to type everything; The gamepad isn’t the most convenient to use for quick typing, therefore Nintendo needs to implement a voice to text function just like whats found in android when your texting people.
2) Wiiu Operating System
Lets face it, its slow. Takes a while for apps to load. Loading up the Mii app on the Wii was quick, not understanding why its taking like 30 seconds for it to load on a system far more powerful than the Wii. Seems like anything i want to do on the system requires me to wait 20 to 30 seconds before i can do it. It is incredibly annoying.
Aside from how slow the OS is right now, the layout seems inefficient. I agree with having clear and visible channels to navigate through apps, but i dont see why there is an app for settings or for my friends list. What nintendo should do is find a way for anything dealing with system settings or personal options to be easily accessible, without turning it into its own app. If Nintendo could strike a balance between its current layout and what the PS3 OS is like, that would go a long ways to increasing its efficiency.
Now Nintendo has stated that it plans on releasing a couple major updates in the spring and summer that should address the issue of speed. I am hoping that these updates also overhaul the OS as a whole, and what we’re seeing now is more of a soft launch OS type thing, something basic in place before they put the real deal together. Here’s hoping Nintendo pushes the OS to do new and fun things we haven’t seen applied before.
Nintendo has already stated that they don’t plan on dropping the price on the Wiiu anytime soon. Which is fine, but then they need to add value. With the new Mario Kart set to come out before the year’s end, Nintendo should be considering adding Mario Kart U to the current packages. The white Wiiu with less memory could definitely use it; from what i understand people are pretty much only picking up the 32gb model with Nintendoland packed in. Throw in Mario Kart with the the white model, and replace Nintendoland with Mario Kart on the black model.
If by some chance there is a price drop, Nintendo needs to provide a similar deal it provided 3DS owners who bought the system before the price drop.
You can already find Demos on the Wiiu, but not for any of their first party games. Granted, there isn’t much out there in terms of first party content, but there will be in the near future. It would certainly help hold us over to have till when they get released. E3 is just around the corner, and Nintendo comes up with demos for the showfloor. Why not offer those demos for download sometime after the event, but long before those games are released? Especially considering Nintendo can limit the amount of times you play a demo, it wouldn’t be like people could get bored of the experience before the games come out. Hell, release the Zelda tech demo too. Whatever it takes to keep players from feeling the drought before Nintendo is ready to unleash its big guns.
5) Virtual Console games
Nintendo has stated that they plan to roll out their Wiiu virtual console service this summer. For me, its a long wait. I really wished they had been able to put this out there much sooner, but i’m glad its coming soon. We’ve already seen that there will be some manner of adjusting button configuration for these games, which i think is great news, but Nintendo needs to take things further than that.
First off, I hate seeing games running within the 4:3 aspect ratio box when i’m playing on a widescreen tv. We need the option to stretch it out. Whether or not it looks better or worse is irrelevant, we should still be given the option. Secondly, Nintendo achieves virtual console play via emulators. Emulators usually have options that help improve the image of the games via filters and what not. I would like Nintendo to not only offer filters, but also offer games to run in at least 720p or in 1080p if they can at least run at their original frames per second.
As for N64 games, i want Nintendo to allow some flexibility in how we can play these games. I was talking about running games at higher resolutions. We should have the option to play the game in its “original state” (at 480p), or for it to take advantage of the Wiiu’s power and allow 1080p resolution (or 720p, depending on which can run at 60fps), with some solid Anti-Aliasing, and running at 60fps.
6) New Software that tap into player’s creativity
We’ve seen what Sony’s done with the little big planet series and the impressive ps4 media molecule demo. Why hasnt Nintendo given us anything like this? Nintendo once started putting out a Mario Artist series of games for the 64DD. Basically these games allowed you to animate characters and create 3d objects. The Wiiu would be perfect for this. It has a camera to capture peoples faces to put on the characters you create, and with the pad, you have the interface needed to easily manipulate polygons. If they could find some way to do make 3d objects as intuitively as the Media Molecule PS4 demo or close to, Nintendo could have something there. You throw in Mii’s, being able to make short videos with them, and the ability to use animations and costumes from nintendo’s biggest franchises, and you got a sure fire hit. That PS4 demo is basically Mario artist on super steroids, it would not be copying if Nintendo did something along those lines because that demo seems to have taken some inspiration from Nintendo’s Mario Artist releases.
Although never released, Nintendo was working on a Mario Artist: gamemaker. Another game idea that people would plug hours and hours into if done properly. Imagine being given basic game engines for a 3d Mario type platformer, a 2d mario platformer, a racing game, a fighting game, and a way to make flash type games like in the mobile market. That would make for an excellent game, especially if you could port over assets created in the previous Nintendo Artist idea. So what if there is a drought for 3rd party stuff, lets just make our own games!
Nintendo has already pledged to collaborate more with 3rd party developers. The thing is, Nintendo has always been a proud company, sometimes too proud to initiate communication between companies. Kind of like the rumor that went around for Smash bros brawl, that Nintendo was waiting for Capcom to ask them to put Megaman in, and Capcom was waiting for Nintendo to ask them if they could put him in. Nobody made a move, Megaman never made it in. Nintendo says its going to push collaborations, but i just hope they know that it may mean swallowing some pride from time to time. Speaking of Capcom, they and Nintendo better have started working on a Nintendo VS Capcom, that there is a no brainer, and hopefully early enough to hold us off before the far off Smash Bros release.
How about the next New Super Mario Bros co-developed with Ubisoft. A marriage of Nintendo’s precision controls and amazing level design with Ubisoft’s ability to create beautiful hand-drawn HD sprites.
Rumours suggest developers weren’t initially given a whole lot of support in terms of middleware and other tools for Wiiu development. Nintendo is slowly providing developers with more and more support, but what i really want to see is Nintendo license out their more advanced game engines, preferably something by the Mario Galaxy team. Nobody squeezes the most out of its hardware than themselves, developers who provide exclusives to Nintendo should get a shot at the very same engines Nintendo make their hit titles with.
9) Gamecube Adapters (smash bros)
When Smashbros finally comes out, it should be sold with (as well as separately) a small adapter you plug your gamecube controller into in order to use your gamecube controller on the Wiiu. Not only because there is a huge Smash Bros fanbase that feel like the only way to properly play the game is with a gamecube controller, but when Nintendo finally gets around to providing gamecube games in their Virtual Console library. A lot of people expect gamecube games to eventually be provided, but have often wondered how those games will play without those analogue shoulder buttons, this is a good solution for providing the original controller configuration.
Nintendo needs to start taking online more seriously. New Super Mario bros wiiu and Nintendoland not having online play of any kind is horrible. Even if it was for only certain modes or in Nintendoland’s case, certain games, there is no excuse for not supporting online play. Sure, we’ll get it for mario kart and smash bros. But Nintendo needs it in the new 3d mario game, as well as just about any other franchise of theirs. I understand not wanting to ruin the core experience, but thats why you create other modes for it. It doesnt even have to come with the packaged game if its that detached from the core experience, could be released months later via DLC as to not slowdown the release of the title or distract from its core experience.
Well we could go into more, like marketing and long term strategies. But these are the things that i think matter to the gamers. For those who stumble on this article, what do you think Nintendo needs to do?
I would just like to stress this is in no way shape or form a Nintendo is doomed or Nintendo is doomed if they don’t do this or that. Nintendo is fine, and they aren’t going anywhere. They have enough money in the bank to lose 250 million for the next 30 or so years before having to worry about “dying” or being forced to make games for other consoles.