While Nintendo blazed a lot of trails with Wii, they also disappointed a large chunk of their most loyal fans. For a couple years there was nothing for Nintendo die-hards to sink their teeth into, mostly because compelling 3rd party support on Wii was next to non-existent while lame sports and fitness games reigned supreme.
Nintendo's head honcho Satoru Iwata says things will be different
with Wii U
, primarily because of the more traditional controls and the HD output. I'm inclined to agree at this early stage, as I'm more excited about what WII U's hybrid controller is capable of than I was about the Wii remote. Nintendo is back to doing what they do best with hardware: provide a traditional gaming option with a novel twist.
However I think Iwata isn't touching on something equally important: 3rd party support. Nintendo fans have been griping that there were no big 1st party games shown off for Wii U, but I think that's intentional. 2010 was Wii's biggest year but only because Nintendo offered a huge shot of retro hardcore goodness with DK Country Returns, Kirby's Epic Yarn and GoldenEye. Amazing games to be sure, but games only old-school Nintendo fans cared about.
Wii U is the first Nintendo console to headline 3rd party games right out of the gate. In my opinion, Nintendo is getting back into the red ocean, that is, they're showing they can do everything the competition can do and offer all of the same games, but with further incentives and innovation. Of course the shareholders are asking Iwata if the Wii U launch will be as barren as the 3DS launch, but all he's saying is that development on the new console is very quick and easy. Hopefully this means Nintendo has something big of their own for launch, but is holding back for now so that 3rd party games can finally get some spotlight attention at a Nintendo launch.