At the E3 gaming expo this week, Nintendo unveiled its next console, the Wii U. The device will deliver far better graphics than the company’s current console, as well as a new controller that dazzled crowds and made many wonder if this would be the future of gaming as we know it.
I happen to be one of those folks. When I saw the Wii U’s controller in a video unveiling the console, I was immediately impressed. It offers users the ability to play a game from the device when the television isn’t available. It also provides unique views in games. Combine that with the ability to play games designed for the controller, as well as its impressive integration with the game being played on the television, and I think Nintendo is on to something here.
However, there is one nagging problem with the Wii U that Nintendo should address at some point in the future: the console’s name.
Now, I heard Nintendo president Reggie Fils-Aime justify the device’s name choice (he droned on about something about personal gaming), but there is absolutely no justification for that name. Wii U? Really? The jokes are already starting and I doubt they’ll die down anytime soon.
At the same time, there are already millions of Nintendo fans around the world coming to their favorite company’s side. They say that everyone was saying the same thing about the Wii, but after the jokes started to subside and people got their hands on the device, it was no longer an issue.
Fair enough. But at what point does Nintendo look in the mirror and realize that it needs to find someone that has some ability to name hardware? Wii U? Sorry, but it’s a dumb name.
Even so, it won’t stop me from buying the console. Nintendo’s hardware, while still a year away and with kinks that will undoubtedly need to be worked out, looks to be one of the most impressive releases to ever come to the gaming business. Yes, there is a risk that it can become gimmicky, but I don’t necessarily see that happening. As Nintendo showed in its promotional video, the Wii U’s controller isn’t simply a tacked-on feature the way motion has become, it’s a feature that can add an immense amount of depth and enjoyability to a game.
More selfishly, I was extremely happy to see Nintendo show off something that I immediately realized I wanted. As I’ve mentioned on SlashGear before, my Wii has been disconnected from my television for months, and it’s currently sitting in a closet. The chances of me pulling it out to play any games are slim. I view the Wii as a casual gamer’s paradise, but not a destination for someone with my tastes.
Wii U can change that. Even with its awful name, it has what I believe could become the best controller to have ever been designed for a gaming console. And as long as it delivers the level of graphical detail consumers are after, and developers get behind it, I think Nintendo will have another winner on its hands.
Welcome, Wii U. I don’t like your name, but I certainly like you.
Don Reisinger is a technology and video game columnist. You can see what he's up to each day on Twitter by following him @donreisinger.
The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of SlashGear