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Nintendo shoots for pole position with Wii U console

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© 2012 AFP

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The new console is also portable, offering a challenge to smartphone games

And that's what they can't understand. It does not offer any challenge to smartphone games, at least not any different than any other console. Wii U is not a tablet and no, their "tablet controller" is not a tablet. People choose tablet computers for their wide capabilities. It's not portable either. You still need to plug it to your TV so no, you can't take it with you on the go.

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People are are probably going to buy this as there is nothing on the table from other console makers this Xmas. It's been over six years since the Xbox 360 and PS3 were released, their online services giving them extra shelf life but when can we see a next generation console from Microsoft and Sony?

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LunarTuner: It seems that they will introduce new PS4 and XBox on the next E3 so probably will be released in 2013-2014

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We will have also to check the first year after release of the WiiU before we can call it a failure or a success.

For now, third party releases are few and far between till February, and if this situation continues Nintendo might have the same problems it had with the Nintendo 3DS and Sony with the PSVita, where new users could not see the point in buying the console with only a few dozens of titles on the market.

Also, it is obvious that the WiiU is not a tablet and that it is going to be difficult to get into the blue ocean of smartphone games, but some games for Nintendo 3DS and PSVita are trying to offer a more extensive experience with micro transactions and social game elements and might give us a surprise.

So I think that Nintendo is trying aiming to hit the same spot it hit with the Wii: having one on every living room offering a game experience adapted to all ages and specially to families.

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The Wii U is only portable within communication range of the base unit.

I didn't buy the first one (won one at a Shinnenkai) and will not buy the second (unless I am lucky at a party again). I didn't like the Wii so much, it was fun for brief periods of time. My girl still likes to play mario cart, so it is really hers now.

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iceshoecreamDec. 10, 2012 - 07:58AM JST

And that's what they can't understand. It does not offer any challenge to smartphone games

And what you don't understand is that cellphones never offered any challenges to console games. Smartphones only offer casual games, never having more complexity than a few "buttons", almost always made in a form so you can save and quit anywhere any time. You simply cannot make any realistic, complicated games on cellphones, the average gamer is used to no less than six button control (usually 10+, especially on PC), and the average gamer spends 5-10x as much on games than a casual gamer.

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@Basroil, Exactly, I cannot understand why Nintendo with their Wii U and Sony with their PSVita want to make a direct challenge to tablets and smartphone games. Tablet and smartphone users will buy tablets and smartphones for all the things they can do with the toy, not just games. Us gamers will buy consoles and build our gaming PC's because we want to play games.

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Everything is starting to combine. There isn't a single use device anymore, not even consoles. Sure, they were created for the sole purpose of gaming, but they have a multitude of other features. Play games, play videos, play music, surf the web, etc. Handhelds consoles are getting into the game too. PS Vita supports just about everything a tablet/smartphone can do on top of excellent gaming (for a handheld).

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Everything is starting to combine. There isn't a single use device any more, not even consoles. Good point.

I am not clear on the necessity/reasons for proliferation. Various laptop/notebook/netbook/ultrabook PCs Tablet PC's Ebook readers Game devices Smart phones DVD players TVs Car navigation machines Amateur Cameras and video cameras (I bet I am missing many)

With the exception of Cameras, perhaps, they all all look very similar and share a lot of functionality.

Of course if one only wants one function (e.g. to read ebooks) then there is no point in having functions that one does not need (e.g. a game-ready processor). But a lot of folks end up having one of each. Is the company with integrative power going to win?

E.g. I used to hope that I'd be able to carry just a phone-camera. I am still carrying a phone and a camera. At least my Xacti allows me to integrate camera and video camera. The Kodak Zi8 Video camera was almost smart phone size and took good YouTube quality video (but was scrapped). Does the iPhone 5 take good YT HD quality video? E.g. again, we still have a cathode ray ("brown kan") TV. I am loath to buy a new TV till it is Hulu, Youtube, Kindle, Kobo, and gaming equipped.

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In North America I think TVii will be a game changer. To date it's the only device that has been allowed to index shows outside the native app for Netflix, Amazon VOD and Hulu+. It will aggregate programs on the streaming services, as well as live listings and Tivo DVR recordings. I'm already very impressed with the Netflix and Amazon VOD applications.

But it will be a very different service from TVii that's launching in Japan (with a monthly cost).

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@timtak

Actually cameras are starting to combine. At least 2 companies put out Android based DSLRs and such. Giving users the ability to instantly upload their pictures right after they take them.

I think the main reason for combining products, is certain products simply weren't selling well enough. Like your little set top media boxes. They've never sold well enough, so media companies simply didn't have a way to push their products onto users. Once the 360 and PS3s came out and started integrating those media box functions, they started selling movies/tv shows on them.

No one seems to be able to get people to buy those media boxes in mass quantities. WD, Slingbox, Apple, etc. Enough to get a little cash, but not enough to warrant somone actually pushing their media on them.

Smart TVs add a lot to the table. My Samsung Smart TV has Youtube, Netflix, Hulu, etc on there. It also has mediocre flash type games. No Kindle/Kobo, but well. I don't want to read a book off my TV. I don't really use any of those features, aside from being able to play videos off my file server.

@motytrah

TVii is nothing more than the same feature set that the PS3 has has (PlayTV). Although, it's only for some of the various EU countries, New Zealand, Oz, S.Korea, and Japan. The PS3 ends up being a TV guide and DVR. They also released the Nasne, which is essentially PlayTV on steroids.

TVii will be just like PlayTV in the states. Non-existant. It simply cost to much to get with cable companies and such to get rights to push content to it. If they do end up getting it, I'd expect some kind of monthly fee. Just like cable. Unless they plan to have the Wii U as a replacement set top box. We know Comcast, Verizon, etc won't like that. Since they can't charge you a rental fee for their hardware.

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