Nintendo Wii U: Reactions

Friday, September 14, 2012 - 3:00pm

Nintendo released details about its upcoming Wii U console during a news conference Thursday. But, as happens in the age of social media, reactions began pouring in just as fast as the facts were coming out.

The Japanese game company made announcements in Japan, the United States and Europe, each one talking about the three main points everyone has been wanting to know: when will Wii U be available, how much will it cost, and what games can I play on it? Prices and release dates vary around the world, but U.S. gamers will get first crack November 18.

A basic version of the console package will sell for $299, while a "deluxe" version -- including additional memory, a stand and charger for the GamePad, and the "NintendoLand" game -- will go for $349.

Reaction in the gaming community ranged dramatically from joy to pessimism. As prices for the two versions of the console were announced, a split seemed to form over whether the Wii U was too expensive for what it appears to be offering.

TheVoices, a commenter on the CNN.com story, said, "Just can't see myself spending money on another product like this. I'll wait for the 720 (Xbox whatever it is called) or the PS (Playstation) 4."

G4 Network host and reality-TV vet Blair Herter joked on Twitter, "Not a fan of the Wii U's price but I'm getting it for my kid because even though the child hasn't been born yet I WILL BUY HIS/HER AFFECTION."

However, others were just as quick to point out the history of new console release prices. Twitter user Brandon Whaley reminded people what the PlayStation 3 cost when it came out in 2006.

"I still don't get the fuss over the Wii U price," he tweeted. "The PS3 was FIVE HUNDRED NINETY-NINE DOLLARS at launch."

A Twitter user in the UK offered an international perspective on the price battle.

Larry Bundy Jr. tweeted, "Dear US friends, Please stop complaining that the Deluxe Wii U is $350. In the UK, it will be £330 ($533) and ship WITHOUT a sensor bar!!!"

If it wasn't the dollars (or yen or euros) being discussed, the topic centered on the games being offered. Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime said that more than 50 games would be available from the launch to the end of March but didn't say specifically which titles would be available at launch. Some games drew more attention than others.

"Bayonetta 2" was announced as a Wii U exclusive, drawing howls of protest and disbelief from many on social media who enjoyed the original on other consoles. Others were excited about the news.

Ally Tamara from Canada wrote on Twitter, "Well I guess I'm gunna have to buy a WiiU now since Bayonetta 2 is only going to be on that platform. I apologize to my Xbox and PS3."

The variety of announced titles tried to hit as many different genres and fan bases as possible. Many people found at least one game that attracted them to the new Wii U console.

Perry, commenting on the CNNMoney.com story, wrote, "Sold. I was almost positive that I was getting a Wii U before, but with Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate coming... Please, take my money."

Video game writer Matthew Furtado said on Twitter, "Nintendo Land sold me on the Wii U. Tons of fun with those games today. Never mind the brilliance of NSMBU ("New Super Mario Bros. U") and lots of others."

David MacArthur added, "Looking at ZombiU changed my opinion of WiiU. Excited. Hope Nintendo release more than a handful of games aimed at adults this time."

Despite reports of brisk pre-orders, other people urged caution and patience before rushing out to get the new console. Some are worried Nintendo is just playing catch-up to Sony and Microsoft, and wonder what happens when their new consoles arrive.

"I don't hate the #Wiiu, but there's nothing yet that demands a day 1 buy," wrote Richard Wiltshire on Twitter. "can we not be nintendo fanboys just this once please internet?"

James Andrews is concerned about next-generation consoles. "What's so special about the wiiU? it's just a wii with Playstation 3 graphics and a tablet. Come on Nintendo be more creative!"

"I'm still not impressed. If it's only 'on par with current consoles'... the ones that are at the end of their cycle... that's scary," wrote Samantha (Twitter handle: @reluctant_gamer).

Still, commenters generally agreed that the Wii U will sell well in the beginning, pointing out how successful the Wii console sold on launch. The trick is to sustain that initial momentum, many say, will be releasing a stable of good games people will want to play. Two game reviewers said they were hopeful for the outlook for the new console.

Max Parker, video game columnist for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, said, "I'm optimistic because of more info on good exclusives. Plus it seems genuinely different from the rest of the crowd. I'm up for a change of pace."

And a Twitter post by Ben Kuchera, senior editor for the Penny Arcade Report, may sum up the overall feelings of many about the Wii U -- at least for now.

"Nintendo Wii U: More expensive than I'd like, software focus on casual, but a ton of potential. Overall? Can't wait." 

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