The flurry of E3 excitement and coverage revealed many quotes and blurbs from just about everybody in the industry that has a mouth. My favorite quote however came from Shuhei Yoshida, president of Sony Worldwide. Mr. Yoshida ( I love his name because it sounds like Yoshi) stated to Eurogamer that ”Personally, I have always thought Wii was in a generation of its own. “I always thought PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 are in the same generation, but Wii was not the same. To me, the industry was growing really fast when those three platforms came up because the focus is so different. The PS3 and the 360 were the closest in terms of high definition and networked services. But Wii carved out a large niche to itself. To me, it was like two generations going at the same time. Wii U is the next generation of Wii. That I understand. To me, it’s its own generation.”
I honestly don’t think the man was insulting Nintendo, and even if he was I’m not taking it that way. Nintendo has decided to follow it’s own path when creating hardware and software and frankly I”m really okay with that. Don’t get me wrong, the Wii had its fair share of problems. Shovelware by the ton, the friend code system that is the laughing stock of online gaming, and the graphics while not a focus still suck pretty terribly. The system did do something that the competitors couldn’t, and that is to get everyone in the whole family in the living room playing games again and give a breathe of fresh air with new controls for 1st party titles that were getting a little stale at times. The little machine that nobody thought would make a dime for Nintendo ended up squashing the competition in sales (thanks in part to super competitive pricing) and giving the big N the ego push it needed after comparatively middling sales with the Gamecube.
The Wii U looks to be following in the same path, one that it itself will dictate, not just what the other two are doing. However, I think this could almost be hurting Nintendo somewhat in that the mainstream gaming community and the media as a whole still has no idea what the Wii U can and can’t do. Jimmy Fallon hosted Reggie Fils-Aime on his late night show to promote the Wii U, and Mr. Fallon himself didn’t even appear to know what the thing was. Some media outlets are still claiming the Wii U is just an attachment tablet for the Wii. I’m sure this angers Nintendo but they only have themselves to blame, you have a product that sounds like your last product but still uses the same peripherals can end up being a retail nightmare. Trust me, I’ve been on both sides of the counter around Christmas time at game outlets and us poor fools really don’t need anything else to complicate the usually already complicated season.
Bottom line is simple and just as Mr. Yoshida (you thought of Yoshi didn’t you?) said, Nintendo follows in it’s own generation and creates on a philosophy of it’s own choosing. Love it or hate it, you can’t deny its always good to have variety on the shelves, and thats why I never want the big N to stop dancing (or should I say hopping-over-a-gumba) to the beat of it’s own drum.