Wii U's corner cutting could keep core away

Opinion: Nintendo's half-baked approach could prove tricky, reckons Tom Pakinkis

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Nintendo's discussions on online gaming too have been worryingly ambiguous. Reggie's come out and said that Wii U's approach to online "will be a flexible one", literally taking the best of what each of our third party partners has to offer, marrying that with the best of what Nintendo does, and bringing that with a more rigid, a more closed type of environment.

A flexible, closed system taking the best from third party developers? I desperately want Nintendo to blow us away with online features but all I'm getting is flakes of ambiguity and hints of confusion. If Nintendo wants to compete with Xbox Live and PSN online (and it absolutely has to) it needs to come up with a clear, bold, feature rich plan.


Add all of these points together and you can see why underneath Wii U's otherwise exciting and potentially fantastic features, I'm worried Nintendo's failing to meet Sony and Microsoft toe-to-toe.

And it should: it's clearly an incredibly creative, hugely resourceful company with bags of money and tonnes of influence. Then why does it keep penny-pinching on simple DVD playback and now, standard analogue sticks?

The innovation's still there though in abundance of course; Nintendo can still pull off innovative feats its straight-faced rivals wouldn't even understand.

That's the card that Nintendo's playing and from the fleeting bits of tech demo we've seen so far it looks like the mass of third party devs behind the console could come up with some really creative pulls.

I question, however, without the entire list of bullet points core gamers regard as standard, Wii U's augmented reality or motion-sensing capabilities will be enough. Whether somewhere down the line the problems listed above will become major sticking points in the Battlefield and FIFA gamer's purchasing decisions.

Hardcore gamers aren't easily impressed and it will take more than a few gestures to make them jump ship from the solid platform they're already happy with.

But what's this? Returning to Nintendo's E3 press conference, Nintendo reveals Wii U can stream games straight from the console to the controller's screen. It's essentially a full-on games console and a handheld portable all in one - a hardcore gamer's dream.

"Absolutely," beams Nintendo. "As long as you're in the same room as the console itself."

Oh. Well, it was almost a hardcore gamer's dream.

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