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Jad
10-06-2011, 09:04 PM
So, not 100% PC gaming-related, but how do we feel about the new Nintendo Wii U, particularly from a PC gamers point of view?

One thing, and this is somewhat PC fanboy-ish of me, but I'll admit that its been kind of nice the increased attention paid to our platform by the industry in the past year or so. It's that time of the console cycle again when the PC starts vastly outperforming the old console hardware (see Battlefield 3), especially even on lower-end PCs. At last year's E3 the only hardware the big guys were displaying were pretty gimmicky/casual stuff like Kinect and Move, and in those circumstances the PC had more a chance to shine.

This year the biggest talking item definitely has been Nintendo's new hardware, which has graphics at least comparable to the 360/PS3, and more importantly, has a new control scheme that is not -- initially at least -- easily replicated by the PC. Which is to say: a well-ported game that's on both 360 and PC is always better on PC, as you always can still hook up a gamepad and a TV to the PC. But that is not necessarily the case with Wii U/PC comparisons, if the Wii U's new controller really is all it's cracked up to be. Even if the Wii U controller gets hacked to work with PCs (likely), it probably won't get the kind of official support that Microsoft eventually promised for Kinect PC. Will we see other tablets (Android?) supported with similar functionality in Wii U / PC multiplatform titles?

On a more positive note: how do we feel about the Wii U's new features? Do you like the concept of a controller that has a screen that can display additional information, that is also a touchscreen? The possibility of having your inventory always available without pausing and going into menus in RPGs is certainly appealing. It would be great if at the very least this led to more multi-monitor support from developers. Do you see anything good (or bad) for PC gaming from Nintendo's new offering, or is it irrelevant to you?

TillEulenspiegel
10-06-2011, 09:17 PM
It means the PS4 and Xbox^3 should significantly leapfrog the Wii U hardware in a couple years' time, giving us next-gen consoles which will probably be roughly equal to today's high-end PCs. 512MB of RAM is a tiny, cramped amount that severely limits gameplay possibilities, not just graphics.


The possibility of having your inventory always available without pausing and going into menus in RPGs is certainly appealing.
That was exactly my thought when seeing this. Unfortunately, it seems only one player can use a Wii U controller, so it's not especially useful. Not as good as the Scrabble for iPad solution, which let players use their iPhones or iPod touches as private screens, communicating with the iPad via Bluetooth.

Vandelay
10-06-2011, 09:20 PM
One thing that did strike me when thinking about the possible games that could be developed for this, was the resurgence of the space sim. They are pretty much unplayable on a standard console controller, but with this you could have the cockpit displayed on the controller, allowing for shield, thrust, targeting or whatever else controls being right in front of you. You wouldn't get the same kind of control of piloting as you would from a joystick, but I could definitely see it working very nicely.

The possibilities for strategy games on consoles are also interesting, with things like groups being stored on the controller for easy access and various unit specific controls. Camera movement and precision of unit manoeuvring could still be an issue, but there might be ways around it that I haven't thought of.

So, there are definitely potential genres that have primarily been found on PC making the move to the consoles, but I can't really see much going the other way. If it is a big success, then others may try to copy the idea for the PC, but it would require games to be specifically made for the controller. That probably will not happen, particular as PC gamers generally seem very sceptical of any new style of controls that are not mouse and keyboard. Just look at a discussion of any game that has been developed with a dual analogue stick control in mind, even though there hundreds of the things available for PC.

Rii
10-06-2011, 09:25 PM
It's not like Wii U is going to gobble up 90% of the market; multiplatform titles will still be just that: multiplatform, meaning that they'll also have to work without a 6-inch secondary screen. Indeed, even on Wii U they'll have to work without the secondary screen else you won't have the option of using that as the only screen when someone wants the telly or you want to crawl in bed. So yeah, "irrelevant" is my verdict.

Tei
10-06-2011, 10:02 PM
I have faith that this one console may open console gaming to more complex games. Hence.. some of these games will be playable on the PC. But not much faith because is nintendo, and nintendo seems tryiing to sell games to childrens and parents, and I am neither.

baboonanza
10-06-2011, 10:10 PM
It means the PS4 and Xbox^3 should significantly leapfrog the Wii U hardware in a couple years' time, giving us next-gen consoles which will probably be roughly equal to today's high-end PCs. 512MB of RAM is a tiny, cramped amount that severely limits
The specs haven't been announced yet. I'd be amazed if they went with only 512mb. The cost difference to 1gb must be tiny.

Teddy Leach
10-06-2011, 10:52 PM
When it was unveiled, I couldn't believe how ridiculous it was. Now I can believe how ridiculous it is.

They seem to be making a big deal about the graphics, but they're still the kind of thing we had 6 years ago. Zelda was actually a tech demo, and all the other games they 'showcased' were recorded on other mediums. At the end of the day, it's just a tablet with buttons and a resistive touchscreen. Sure, it's a given that the graphics are an improvement over the Wii, but that's not exactly saying much. Ultimately, we'll have to see how developers will use the new controller, but I'm not too confident in it yet.

Also, WEEOO is a sodding stupid name. I also couldn't believe it when Mr. Nintendo said the Wii name "makes sense".

man-eater chimp
10-06-2011, 11:19 PM
Nintendo have never had a good record with naming things...

It'll be interesting, although I think Nintendo have messed this one up. It's not revolutionary like the Wii was. It basically looks like an iPad that can connect to the tv, and being on par with the PS3/360 graphics wise at this point is no feat in the slightest.

TillEulenspiegel
10-06-2011, 11:33 PM
The specs haven't been announced yet. I'd be amazed if they went with only 512mb. The cost difference to 1gb must be tiny.
Was referring to the 360 and PS3. And that's shared with the video card!

The effect on current multi-platform games is obvious: limited levels, loading screens, simple games that can only do one thing at a time...once the next generation rolls around, those limits will be mostly gone.

Lewie Procter
10-06-2011, 11:42 PM
Perhaps developers cross developing on the Wii U and the PC will support secondary displays on the PC too. For stuff that is just a display, not a touch screen obv.

mashakos
10-06-2011, 11:49 PM
Perhaps developers cross developing on the Wii U and the PC will support secondary displays on the PC too. For stuff that is just a display, not a touch screen obv.
I wish! I have this keyboard with it's own display and now I look like an idiot because no company supports it. So instead of me looking like someone ahead of the curve, I'm just sitting here with a "pimp'd out" keyboard with a small full colour LCD display stuck to it and probably an Xzibit style meme joke in the whole mess somewhere...

Rii
11-06-2011, 12:25 AM
The specs haven't been announced yet. I'd be amazed if they went with only 512mb. The cost difference to 1gb must be tiny.

Yeah, even if the CPU/GPU is only on par with or even inferior to PS3/X30, I'd expect it to have more RAM.

mashakos
11-06-2011, 12:39 AM
Yeah, even if the CPU/GPU is only on par with or even inferior to PS3/X30, I'd expect it to have more RAM.
you shouldn't. The ram put on consoles is usually proprietry and much more expensive than the ram found in consumer PC's.
Check out the difference in ram capabilities:
2000:
PC RAM: (ram size limited by OS) DDR RAM running at max 400mhz.
Playstation 2 RAM: 32MB RDRAM running at 800mhz.

2006:
PC RAM: (ram size limited by OS) DDR2 Ram running at max 1Ghz (effective).
Playstation 3 RAM: 256MB XDR-RAM running at 7.2Ghz (effective).

Sony did however have a problem with the extremely limited ram size. Where today's game environments can easily exceed 1GB, having the fastest ram in the world didn't matter if the result is constant disc swaps.

So, if Nintendo engineers decide to add ram at quantities close to what we're used to on PC you can be sure it won't be any exotic XDR-RAM and more probably DDR3.

Rii
11-06-2011, 12:57 AM
So, if Nintendo engineers decide to add ram at quantities close to what we're used to on PC you can be sure it won't be any exotic XDR-RAM and more probably DDR3.

I was thinking along the lines of 1-2GB. Rumour is that the GPU at least is close to a stock part as with PS3's RSX.

Heliocentric
11-06-2011, 11:24 AM
the Wii u should have been an app for the dsi. And why can't you use the ddi? (or 3ds if you really need an analogue) simple monitisation.

Rii
11-06-2011, 11:47 AM
the Wii u should have been an app for the dsi. And why can't you use the ddi? (or 3ds if you really need an analogue) simple monitisation.

Because the display on the Wii U controller has about twice the viewable area and resolution of the DSi's two screens combined? Because the DSi doesn't have motion control? Because the DSi and 3DS include a bunch of hardware (i.e. CPU, RAM, etc.) which is entirely redundant for the purpose? Because it wouldn't solve the problem of the Wii not getting multiplatform titles and the console's fundamental lack of competitiveness now that Microsoft/Sony have brought out their own motion control systems?

And of course Nintendo has openly discussed (http://www.news.com.au/technology/gaming/nintendos-shigeru-miyamoto-explains-the-new-wii-u/story-e6frfrt9-1226071923070) the possibility of using 3DS as a controller/display for Wii U.

mashakos
11-06-2011, 04:06 PM
I doubt they're going to use gpu technology that's 6 years old.
This console will definitely be more powerful than the current ones, but that doesn't do it any good when the next -gen Sony and Microsoft consoles roll in. Remember the Dreamcast? Compared to the PSX and N64 it was mind-blowing but once the PS2 and xbox rolled in...

Lewie Procter
11-06-2011, 04:56 PM
I really don't think MS or Sony are going to bring out a new console any time soon. They're both in the position where they are starting to rake in lots of cash, Microsoft seem pretty committed to that kinect thing, and Sony have put a lot of resources into making PS3/PS Vita cross development as easy as possible.

I can maybe see Sony releasing a beefed up PS3 that can play PS3 software in 3D without framerate and resolution taking a hit.

They've both got plenty of room for price drops, but they are still shifting a lot of consoles at their current prices.

I think Nintendo will have a good three years or so where PC/360/PS3/Wii U releases will be the industry standard for most of the big publishers, and assuming they get a decent market share, they'll get the odd exclusive in addition to their large and high quality range of first party software.

Seems like they're on to a winner to me.

icupnimpn2
11-06-2011, 06:54 PM
I doubt they're going to use gpu technology that's 6 years old.
This console will definitely be more powerful than the current ones, but that doesn't do it any good when the next -gen Sony and Microsoft consoles roll in. Remember the Dreamcast? Compared to the PSX and N64 it was mind-blowing but once the PS2 and xbox rolled in...

No offense, but you're completely misunderstanding why the Dreamcast was put under by the PS2.

1) Rampant piracy and game back-ups playable on DC without mod chip.
2) DVD movie support in PS2. Like PS3 is my first Blu-ray, PS2 was the first television DVD player for many.

The xbox has better graphics than the PS2, but its entry did not stymie Sony's sales.

With the Wii, Nintendo has already proven that graphics aren't everything. Price is a factor, and so is the interface. The Wii sold well because of its amazing ability to draw the curiosity of non-gamers. People that would never pick up a PS2 or xbox controller would waggle for bowling. I am skeptical that the new Wii U controller has anything like that kind of draw for new players, especially since it looks intimidating. But a 3rd party has been pretty successful with a drawing tablet peripheral for the Wii. Maybe there's a market out there that I just don't understand, that you don't understand, but that Nintendo does understand. Nintendo's strength ever since the end of the 16-bit era has been understanding market segments that no one else does.

Lewie Procter
11-06-2011, 07:38 PM
Also, Battlefield 3 on the loo.

The JG Man
11-06-2011, 07:45 PM
I think Nintendo will have a good three years or so where PC/360/PS3/Wii U releases will be the industry standard for most of the big publishers, and assuming they get a decent market share, they'll get the odd exclusive in addition to their large and high quality range of first party software.

Hopefully I'm not the only one who thinks it odd that you'll be able to get essentially the same game in 4 formats that for all intended purposes will play pretty damn similarly (wherein the differences aren't as marked as say, BF3's console/PC split). Pretty damn crazy. Consoles have gone from what exclusives carried the system to who can have the most third party support.

BenWah
11-06-2011, 09:22 PM
They should have called the new generation Wii, the "Wii Wii".
Would have had some fun commercials.

Zorganist
11-06-2011, 10:21 PM
They should have called the new generation Wii, the "Wii Wii".
Would have had some fun commercials.

They could still have some fun by imitating emergency services sirens. "WEEOO WEEOO WEEOO- Buy the Wii U now!"