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PixlBit's Wii U Launch Roundtable

The PixlBit staff got together to talk about their excitement for the Wii U. Join Us!


The Wii U has a lot of potential. It has a potentially great launch lineup. It has a potentially interesting new interface. It has the potential to allow my family members to play games without hogging the living room TV, and it could potentially even solve the problem of playing M rated games in the same room as my kids since I'll have my own screen. Potential, however, won't get me to do something I have never, ever done: pick up a system at launch.

There's more that goes into this decision than a personal aversion to picking up expensive hardware on day one. I'm really hoping to get by on only picking up one system this time around. If Nintendo wants to be my primary console of choice, it has to meet a certain burden of proof when it comes to third party support. While there are Wiis in my household (yes, that's plural, we have two for reasons I'll discuss some other time) I spend the vast majority of my time playing my 360, and my library for that console greatly outnumbers the titles I own for the Wii. True, Nintendo makes great first party titles, but for the Wii U to really grab my attention, it needs third party support as well. Launching with third party titles is nice and all, but that's a whole lot different than maintaining a healthy relationship with publishers.

Now don't get me wrong, Nintendo's next console looks quite good. Picking up a Wii U would be a no-brainer for me if I were sitting on a pile of disposable income. The economy though, is what it is, and I have more than myself to worry about. Were I single, I'd pick up every next gen console and upgrade my PC every six months. Living that way now though, would mean a lot of financial sacrifices, and somehow I don't think feeding myself and my family a steady diet of nothing more than ramen noodles is a good idea. I frankly can't afford to be careless and impulsive with expensive purchases. I have to be particular. I need to watch the next round of the console wars with discernment and carefully choose a device based on performance, not promises. After all, if worse comes to worse, we may be able to afford only one device. While it's true I don't always make the best decisions (I went with an original Xbox over a PS2 after I heard about the failure rate. Whoopsie.) I'll at least know that I did what I could to choose the right system for my family.

(Angelo Grant reserves the right to become completely obsessed with ZombiU and discard all his previous statements regarding being a responsible adult.)


I'm a very casual Nintendo fan. I started gaming with the SNES, and I still consider it to be the king of its generation by far. But I never owned an N64. Last generation, I used my GameCube a lot less than my PS2. And now I use my Wii a lot less than my PS3 (and my 360).

I'm also rarely an early adopter. Consoles are expensive, after all, so I usually prefer to see how the market responds first and then wait for a price drop or a nice bundle. Considering those circumstances, I'll be passing on the Wii U at launch.

That said, I'll most likely get one eventually so I can play the exclusives which are sure to be released down the road. But again, I anticipate it will be the software which eventually persuades me rather than the hardware.

A couple things concern me about the Wii U from a hardware perspective:

  • The GamePad, which I understand to be one of its major selling points, doesn't interest me at all. I'm fairly certain I'd be happy until the end of time playing games with a "normal" controller. The Pro Controller may be a solution for me, assuming it is compatible with most games.
  • The hardware doesn't seem to be powerful enough to endure. I've read it's on par with the 360, which sounds good until you remember the 360 is already seven years old, and developers are starting to complain about its limitations. This wasn't a huge problem for the original Wii in part because it never claimed to be a graphical or performance powerhouse, but now Nintendo wants to enter the ring with the other HD consoles. I hope it can stand up to them.

In summary, consider me cautiously optimistic. I'm a bit skeptical now, but Nintendo has surprised us all before.


Launch line-up is cool enough, but I just have too many games. Kind of the opposite problem of what ya'll stated above. I will love it eventually (hopefully when a special Zelda version is released), but I just bought the new 500GB PS3, because my old one broke. 

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11/15/2012 at 02:39 PM

Great roundtable. I share sentiments from a few different staff members. Like Julian I would like something shiny and new. Like Patrick I think this next generation will be more about performance, animation, frame rate, and simulations. I don't care much about games looking better, I care most about games playing better. Efficient development, better tools, not having to start from scratch with every game, solid high frame rates, handling more complex simulations and interactions. Getting high quality, and free, development tools into the hands of as many people as possible. The more design-tool-literate people out there who can experiment, the better. Gameplay and simulations need to take more ambitious steps, but have great engines to do it with, and not have you go bankrupt just trying to design a system. Gameplay experimentation gets me very excite!

The Wii U gamepad seems pretty cool. I just need to get my hands on it, because even though it looks cool and has interesting functionality, I'm also skeptical because I'm hoping that it isn't too long or uncomfortable. I'm accustomed to playing games that utilize thumbsticks and triggers, but on the 360 controller the spread between each trigger is 3" and the spread between the thumbsticks is a little less than 3". Will it be weird to play a thumbstick/trigger game on a controller the width, shape, and button layout of the Wii U tablet controller? I'm going to go into the Gamestop by my house to see if they have a display Wii U and if they do I'll check it out. It probably won't be as drastic as I imagine, but I won't know till I try.

After all, I've played on weirder controllers before. The Duke was really wide and trying to press some of those buttons was like packing up for a cross country trip. I really like small, light, traditional controller design like the PS3 and 360 controllers. Fairly ergonomic, not too big or small, and for the most part the buttons are all easy to get to. I wonder how many games will be able to use the Wii U's Xbox 360 imitation controller? I'd probably end up using that a lot if it's available.

Joaquim Mira Media Manager

11/15/2012 at 10:38 PM

I tried the gamepad yesterday. I liked it. I even played a bit of the Rayman Legends demo. It worked fine, and felt fine holding it. You should definitely go to wherever the closest Wii U demo kiosk is and try it.

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