Four Potential Problems with the Wii U

We have some concerns with Nintendo's new console.

Paul Tamburroby Paul Tamburro

The original Wii may have been a financial success, but it also left a sour taste in the mouths of Nintendo's long-time supporters, who felt that the hardware giant had forgotten about them in amongst all of the mini-game collections and motion-controlled shovelware.

So with the Wii U, Nintendo has got quite a bit of catching up to do if they are sincere when they say they wish to win back the attention of the core gamer. However, there has been some concerning information coming from the Nintendo camp in recent months which needs to be addressed. Here are four potential problems with the Wii U.


Complicated Voice Chat 

The Wii U's Pro Controller, i.e. the controller of choice for everyone over the age of 20, hasn't got a microphone input. The Gamepad has a built-in microphone which will not allow online voice chat. Players using the Pro Controller to play Black Ops II will therefore need to plug in a headset to the Gamepad's microphone input, and have the Gamepad resting on their lap whilst they use the Pro Controller to play the game. On top of this, voice chat will not be included in every online multiplayer game, instead being incorporated on a "game-by-game" basis. How Nintendo have allowed such glaringly obvious design faults in a console which they are hoping will convert Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 owners beggars belief. Also, the officially licensed headsets are HUGE.


Few Online Details

In little more than a month the Wii U will have released worldwide, and what do we know about its online service? Err…

There's the Miiverse, where users can interact with each other via text and video chat, but this feature will be moderated via software filtering and a human resources team, meaning that comments can take up to 30 minutes to be posted. There's also a web browser. Aside from these titbits, Nintendo have given us practically no information regarding how they plan to compete with Microsoft's Xbox Live and Sony's PlayStation Network, leading people to draw the logical conclusion that, once again, Nintendo will find themselves dragging hopelessly behind their rivals when it comes to online gaming. 


No 1080p Resolution For Launch Titles

It's been a long time coming, but Nintendo is finally making the jump into high definition with the Wii U. However, of the launch window games that have been announced, only a few will run on the full 1080p resolution, with all other titles running on a native 720p resolution. Is this due to the console not being able to display 1080p graphics at 60fps on both a TV screen and the Gamepad's LCD screen? Or is it because Nintendo wants to "surprise" us in 2013 by finally displaying their games in a resolution that isn't boring ol' 720p?


Lacklustre Third-Party Games

Despite the Wii U version of Tekken Tag Tournament 2 being heavily promoted, director Katsuhiro Harada doesn't "fully understand" the console's online system, and has admitted that he's "still working with Nintendo to find out about their network". Similarly, FIFA 13 is ditching its hugely popular Ultimate Team mode because the console is in its "online infancy", said producer Matt Prior, and features such as the Player Impact engine, First Touch system and tactical defending also won't make it into the Wii U version of the game, with Prior saying "we've (Nintendo) got version one, they've (Microsoft, Sony) got version two".

We hope that these are just examples of developers having teething issues with the new console (Darksiders II's lead designer Haydn Dalton claimed that the Wii U was actually easier to develop for than its competitors), but with the original Wii's struggle with third-party support still fresh in our minds, it's unfortunately difficult to put our faith in Nintendo being able to compete with Microsoft and Sony when it comes to providing us with games that aren't exclusives/developed in-house.

Follow me on Twitter: @PaulTamburro