It is no secret to the gaming community that Nintendo has not been focused on the hardcore gamer. It is also no secret that their recent home console project is failing miserably, and with the new consoles set to release in time for the holidays this year, it only appears that it is going to get worse. In my opinion, Nintendo made some real strides in helping steady themselves a bit before next gen mania kicks in. Lets take a look at some of their announcements, and what impact they could have on consumers and the gaming community.
Wii U Price Drop
In Wednesday’s slew of announcements, Nintendo detailed that on September 20th, the Wii U Deluxe Edition would be available with an MSRP of $299.99. While essentially 50 bucks may not seem like enough of a price drop to make such a failing home console appealing, it is still around 15% off of the original price. This is a great move, that quite frankly, everyone saw coming. In order to compete in any capacity with Sony or Microsoft this holiday season, Nintendo needed their console to ring in at least $100 bucks cheaper, and with the upcoming price drop, it will.
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD Bundle Details
This is a big one. Not only will the bundle release on the same day as the Wii U Deluxe price drop on September 20th, it will include the same suggested retail price of $299.99. This will be a real, viable option for those semi interested in getting a Wii U console. The bundle will include a special edition game pad, a digital copy of Hyrule Historia, and a downloadable code for The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD. The only gripe I have with this bundle personally is the fact that the Deluxe Wii U system that is included with the bundle only houses 32 GB of on board memory, some of which isn’t even accessible. That can mean a very minuscule amount of free storage space once the game and Hyrule Historia are installed. While you can always plug in an external hard drive, it is still another purchase to upgrade your available memory.
Nintendo 2DS Revealed
This one is rather confusing to me personally, but could be something that consumers flock to. The Nintendo 2DS will come in at around $129.99, a decent price considering the vast library of Nintendo DS and 3DS games that the system will be able to play. Two big features this handheld is missing from the 3DS model are the clam shell style folding feature and the 3D slider. The game will be able to play 3DS games, but only in two dimensions, which could be a positive or negative depending on the game you are playing. There has been some mentions of this specific handheld being catered to children for its ease of use and more sturdy design. Only time will tell if this is something hand held fans, or parents, are going to invest in.
Release Dates Announced For Major Titles
Getting release dates for major titles is always a good thing, and the 3DS and Wii U will be in no short supply of games this holiday season. One of my biggest gripes with Nintendo during the Wii U generation, as I am sure most can agree with, is the lack of must play titles the platform currently has. Outside of New Super Mario Bros. Wii U (a slightly upgraded Wii title), Zombie U (a financial failure), and Pikmin 3, there really isn’t a unique console exclusive worth picking up a Wii U for. This holiday season plans to remedy this problem with release dates for Wind Waker HD, Wii Party U, Super Mario 3D World, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, Wii Fit U, Batman: Arkham Origins, LEGO Marvel Superheroes, Call of Duty: Ghosts, Rayman Legends, Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag and Watch_Dogs all getting release dates and windows.
Nintendo still has a lot of ground to cover this console generation. They have a year head start, and are nearly in third place to two consoles that haven’t even released yet. The battle for next generation supremacy is upon us, and Nintendo appears to be on the outside looking in, but if recent history has shown us anything, it doesn’t matter where you start in a long console cycle, it is how you finish. If Nintendo can keep taking small steps forward, the Wii U system might just regain some of the success it had with the Wii console in global sales.