Is the Wii U a Next generation Console?

By Michael On 17 Jan, 2013 At 05:52 AM | Categorized As Features | With 5 Comments

Is the Wii U a Next generation Console?

Is the Wii U a next generation console? Answering the question is fairly difficult, because there is no clear consensus on what makes a next generation console.  I firmly believe the Wii U is a true 8th gen console, but there are individuals in the gaming community that are adamant that the Wii U is just a current gen console.  There claims lay on the sole argument that the Wii U is an underpowered console, and ultimately will not be able to complete with the next console offerings form Sony and Microsoft.

Are Next gen consoles just successors to the previous generation? Or do next gen consoles have to offer a graphical leap? Or is Next gen console are just mere refinements of their predecessors?

Wii U’s graphical fidelity is certainly questionable, from what we have seen so far from the system, nothing has blown the current gen out of the water. However, I do believe the Wii U is very capable and is underestimated by many.

I hate the idea, that the most important aspect of next gen console is an increase in power. I do not oppose fantastic graphics, but there has to be more to next generation console than just graphics. I believe that the next generation of console has to offer something new and/or improve upon its predecessors.  These can be a variety of things, from improved graphics, new online features, peripherals or new ways to play. Personally, the most exciting aspect of next gen console is what new and innovative feature they will introduce to the gaming experience.

However most gamers expect from next gen consoles a significant leap in performance over their predecessors. After all, gamers have been accustomed to expect a graphical leap every new generation.  Sure there are many perks to the increase in power. Developers can expand their creativity to push the boundaries of visuals, storytelling and interactive.

But do better graphics introduce any worthwhile innovations to games?  I don’t believe so. The extra power in next gen consoles will most likely result in refinements to the current game experience. Essentially, you will be playing the same games, just with better visuals, larger environments and smarter AI. It is a natural evolution of the industry rather than a revolution.

If the game industry continues to follow the same road, I am afraid that the game industry will become stale. The graphical leap from the 6th gen to the current, has done little to rejuvenate the JRPG genre. JRPG’s this gen are arguably worst then in previous generations, they have become incredibly good looking but extremely linear (cough Final fantasy 13). Things could become potentially worst for shooters during the next gen battle.

One thing I fear is the growing trend of games becoming interactive movies will continue. The problem is that these games focus too heavily on the visual spectacular. Overusing Quick time inputs and scripted events, draws the control away from the player and becomes an interactive movie rather than a video game. When games stop being games, and become more like movies, that will be the day I quite being a gamer. Hopefully the next consoles can deliver something new, to curve this growing trend.

We already know what is on offer from the Wii U, hopefully Sony and Microsoft can offer something new and unique with their next gen consoles.

But how is the Wii U a next gen console? It may seem like I am regurgitating a Nintendo PR statement, but the answer is simple, the gamepad offers things completely new that was not possible on previous generations. Many of the functions and new gameplay designs that the gamepad offer, are just not possible on the 360, Ps3 or the Wii. If the Wii U is only a current gen console but 6 years too late – then the console would be more of the same. The Wii U would not offer anything new or innovative. Essentially it would be a Wii HD. This is the not the case, if you believe otherwise, then you are kidding yourself.

The second screen on the gamepad represents huge potential for innovations and new experiences in the game industry. We have seen a mere taste of what the Wii U can do. The competitive attractions in Nintendo Land are completely new experiences and some of the best fun I’ve had with a group of friends. ZombiU implements the gamepad in interesting ways and even adds to the immersion. Playing a full game on the palm of your hands while watching TV, is convenient and is a feature that will hopefully appeals to many. No doubt further down Wii U life cycle, we will see the gamepad put to better use. Just imagine what Nintendo can accomplish with the gamepad in their core franchises such as Zelda, Metroid and even Star Fox. Finger cross, that third party developers will hop on that Nintendo bag wagon, to give us a plethora of high quality and original games.

Like everything in life, nothing is set in stone. Whether the Wii U delivers upon its promise is still up in the air. But Nintendo should be applauded for daring to do something different, taking the risks and actively seeking innovations.

So what do you think? Do you agree with I have written? Or am I completely off the ball?

About - Michael is the proud owner and Editor-in-Chief of Mii-gamer.com! He has a Bachelors Degree with First Class Honors ( try to guess his Degree), and has been writing about video games for many years. His favorite Nintendo franchises include the Legend of Zelda, Super Smash Bros. and Pokemon. When Michael is not playing video games – he is usually outdoors riding kangaroo’s, playing cricket or sleeping (or doing all three at the same time).

  • Tim85

    What about PS3 + Vita? Everything Wii U does can be done on them, meaning it’s more of the same

    • markus-nicolai.fleischmann

      no, you`re wrong! Does vita have NFC? No it doesn´t! Does it have bluetooth zero-lag-off-TV-Gameplay? No it doesn´t! Does Vita has rumble function? No it doesn`t! Man, Vita only has a poorguy-people-processor. Thats all. Means: WiiU is much more faster than Vita. Of course it is. Vita doesn`t even have a big 6.2 inch screen! vita hasn`t got as many buttons as the wiiU has! Vita hasn`t got a megapixel cam like the WiiU has got! And so on…Means – you cannot compare the WiiU with a simple failed handheld-console like the Playstation Vita!

      • http://www.facebook.com/ana.helusic Ana Helušić

        Well you are a failure, Vita is a great console

      • Tim85

        NFC – not used on Wii U
        Bluetooth – Vita has this, not Wii U
        Rumble, screen-size and buttons – this makes it next-gen?
        Processor – Vita is better, that’s why it can play games by itself
        Camera – Vita has front and back. Wii U one is slightly better, this makes it next-gen?

        Everything you can do on the Wii U can be done on PS3 + Vita, and they can do more as Vita is also a separate console. As it stands, Wii U is not next-gen. Maybe they can add something to make it so. Microsoft releasing Kinect was way more next-gen than this.

        • markus-nicolai.fleischmann

          NFC not used? Well, wiiU is only 2 months on market! wait your time! First game which uses NFC has just been confirmed (that skylanders will make use of it). And there will be much more. And NFC can be used to pay much more easier. No more payload-cards, no creditcards, no hacking and creditcard-number stolen. nfc is future of every payment-method. even smartphones use that today and first supermarkets are open, which only supports this type of payment.

          “Bluetooth – Vita has this, not Wii U” – WiiU uses bluetooth, too. But not open-standard.

          Processor – vita is what? Lol. WiiU is much more faster. Its difference in performance is like comparing heaven and hell. WiiU isn´t made to use like a handheld.

          vita has a relatively slow 800 mhz arm A9 cortex-quadcore-cpu. It can however only use 3 of these cores for games, rest is for OS itself and compression and encryption of games – vita has loading times out of hell. WiiU has the therefore most advanced processor (3 Cores OoO, 3 MB Fullspeed-Cache, smart Cache, 32 MB L3-Cache) in a console ever – with low power comsumption, but big power and not too hot like an xbox 360 or PS3. Well, of course PS4 and Xbox 3 will be better- but those console won´t be on market bevor next holidays!

          BTW: “Everything you can do on the Wii U can be done on PS3 + Vita, and they can do more as Vita is also a separate console. As it stands, Wii U is not next-gen. Maybe they can add something to make it so. Microsoft releasing Kinect was way more next-gen than this.”

          Bullshit. Vitas batteries are really slow. Vitas batteries cannot be changed. WiiU batteries lasts low too. But it can be changed to use bigger and better ones. WiiU has techniques, that Vita can dream of (Rumble, bigger better Touchscreen, not that capacity shit), nfc, much better speakers, better soundquality too. And it has no lag, whereas ps3 to vita is just a piece of crap which isn`t really supported in games. WiiU can act as a remote-control. Can Vita too? No. Vita is a very bad handheld. Its action-buttons are like hell. hard and bold to touch.

          WiiU not next-gen? ThenWatch Need for Speed Most wanted- its a douzen times better then PS3/Xbox 360 versions. Much Better drawdistance, pc-textures, no tearing, no bugs, exclusive wiiU-features that only are made possible on wiiU (night/day switch). And it is much faster too, as it runs in 60 frames, i guess. At least the videos say that. Its 100% completely stutterfree. PS3/Xbox 360-versions are like crack.

          And don´t forget: Vita uses slow wifi, that has latencys out of hell. As such games with big reactions are not possible on vita/PS3-combo. WiiU has no-lag-feature. Hell: It even renders FASTER THEN EVERY TV! Watch it, if you don`t believe. If i switch to my TV, i can see the lag on my tv! I can see that my tv reacts to WiiU-Signal slower than the WiiU-Gamepad itself. And there are a lot games, that are not possible on Vita, cause in games like need for speed, where you can play completely off-TV, you must have very good reactions and therefore no lag. So vita is not suitable for such a game, lags are like 300-500 ms. Thats much. Example? You push a button, but in same second on tv screen, the console doesn`t know you pushed the button already! Damn, no you cannot make the self games on Vita-Big-Latency-Edition (Wirelass-Lan) with PS3 in combo like on WiiU. PS3 only recognizes you pushed the button around one second later.

          Hell, Vita doesn`t even have 10 buttons like WiiU-Gamepad has. WiiU Gamepad has 4 Action buttons, 4 Shoulder-buttons, and 2 secondary analog-stick-buttons. That makes ten! Vita has only six. WiiU has a better microphone, too. On WiiU you can draw perfectly. You can use miiverse. On vita you can nothing like this. Drawing? Only if you have big patience or using a special like biron. On vita your drawing is like — well piece of crap, like on every capacity touchscreen that isn`t made for such things. On WiiU you can make your own artwork. Hell, you even can become to a mona-lisa, if you wish like! On vita you can dream only of that. First game, that uses the big touchscreen to 100% will be “Scribble Nauts Unlimited”. You can draw EVERYTHING, and everything will become vivid.

          As i said, compairing vita and WiiU-Gamepad is like compairing hell with heaven. Two completely different devices, on which you cannot make the 100% same games.