Earlier today, the Wii U made a much more extended appearance at a preview event, which Nintendo streamed live. In said event, we got a much better look not only at the hardware, but also at the software--games included--that will be coming out with the device at its launch.
The facts of the launch itself are now pretty widely known. The device will launch Sunday, November 18--a strange day for a launch, being as many electronics stores close early on Sundays if they're even open, but a good time overall as it's right in the midst of the holiday shopping season with Black Friday
that same week--and will boast two different versions; one a white basic system, and the other a "dress black" with additional features. The base price is $299.99, and the dress black model comes in at $349.99.
First, one of the titles that will be at least close to launch that they made a special point of discussing was--get this--Bayonetta 2. Leave aside the crippling irony of Sega making a Nintendo system launch title
, one of Nintendo's big go-to titles, a near-launch title, is a sequel to a game that really wasn't all that great to begin with? When Fils-Aime actually said, during the event, that this wasn't "the game you were expecting to see", I just about swallowed my tongue in astonishment. This is your
launch event, Fils-Aime; if you're as disappointed as I was--and man, did he sound disappointed--why did you bother to show it?
Additionally, they showed off Nintendo TVii--and that's not a misspelling--which proved to be Nintendo's version of what the Xbox 360 has been already doing for years. Pardon me if I'm a bit underwhelmed by Nintendo's incredible invention of a system that's already been operational since before the Wii U's announcement. Welcome to two years ago, Nintendo.
However, it's impossible to fault Nintendo for the sheer brilliance of its timing. The gaming community is actually hoping that Microsoft and Sony will show their new consoles at the 2013 E3 event, and here's Nintendo, with theirs ready for Christmas shopping
for potentially the next two Christmases, all by their lonesome.
There has been more than a little suggestion that the gaming community in general has been getting a little bored with consoles of late. The Xbox and PlayStation offerings are showing their age, and Nintendo being first out the gate of "next-gen" will give it an edge. Giving it two Christmases to itself may be even more helpful. But at the same time, we've also seen some trouble here. Lackluster games, a television app that's already working on the Xbox 360--and likely the PlayStation 3 too--and some issues in gameplay and graphics make this one a less than stellar entrant into the next-gen stakes. Nintendo may well have just shot itself in the foot in a rush to get its system some alone time with the gaming community.