Okay. So the Nintendo presentation and the subsequent introduction of the Wii U may not have been as big as we all hoped, but there's still much to discuss, and a lot more to be excited about.
First, though, here are the many gripes I've heard so far:
* It's all about the gimmicks again.
* No games. Nothing. How do we know what it will do?
* Nintendo want the best of both worlds, and they're not even close.
* The name sucks.
* Seriously, the name sucks.
I can understand all those gripes. There's high hopes with this console, and from the opening stanza there's a lot more questions than answers, and what answers we have so far are short, sharp and not very likeable in most cases. But there's a major problem here that many seem to be forgetting, a key fact that's been overlooked at this point ... this isn't a launch, it's barely a reveal. Nintendo's Wii U is so far away from release, this is nothing but a tech demo.
And that's why I have confidence.
So there's no big Nintendo games to look at yet ... so? There's NOTHING to look at yet. The only thing Nintendo are showing off at E3 this year is the controller and what it can do in terms of advancing the Wii's motion control in a new way. Everything else is filler, a majority of it won't see the light of day beyond this week. Even all the games announced for the console are. Why? Because no-one's designed, developed or written anything yet. But here's where it gets interesting.
Have a look at some of the names attached to the console right now. Arkham City, Darksiders, Smash Brothers, Pikmin, Tekken, Assassin's Creed, Ninja Gaiden. Are they all hardcore games? To a point, but that's not what I'm talking about. Whatever's under the hood of the WiiU, it's powerful enough to get these games on board. How well they'll look compared to a PS3 or 360 version of the game is another story, but one that will be revealed in full next E3. But here's the other key point.
If these titles are on a WiiU, the chances of other franchises crossing over to a Nintendo console are high. The big N realises now, more than ever, that strong relationships with key industry partner's is the key to ensuring the WiiU can maintain a high level of sales beyond the odd jump thanks to a 1st party release.
What's more interesting, however, was EA's cameo. Not only did they mention their sports titles, they mentioned Battlefield and the Frostbite engine. Though there wasn't a confirmation, nor a 'yes, it's going to happen', the fact that it was mentioned within the same breath as 'Nintendo' bodes hope in the graphical capabilities of the system.
As long as that talk exists, the opportunities are there. There will still be casual games, there will still be high quality Mario and Zelda titles among other Nintendo franchises.
Speaking of talk, ever since the launch, the WiiU seems to be everywhere already. Good, bad or indifferent, it's on people's minds. That, if anything, is a win for Nintendo. If the console hasn't even shown off what it can do, but it's already at the forefront of conversation ahead of Sony's handheld or Microsoft's Kinect games, imagine what might happen when we finally get to see the results?
So in answering the above gripes:
* Just like the Wii, gimmicks are only if the developers use them. This one, however, is actually more appealing than motion control. And yet, motion control also exists. So what is the WiiU? An all-rounder. It's a console with options aplenty, but again, it's up to how the games make use of these options that determine the results.
* Yes, no games. That's next year, and it'll be worth the wait.
* Nintendo are actually closer than they've ever been, and the 3DS will aid towards that. EA are the biggest publishers of content out there. Also of note, developers such as Retro 'Metroid Prime' Studios are co-working on Mario Kart, a sign that Nintendo are branching out from their humble norms to get some much needed extra points of view. Like I said, casual will always be there, but the console will hold its own against the competition graphically, and that will make a world of difference in itself.
* Yeah, the name kinda sucks. But it makes sense. Why walk away from a brand name that's so engrained in the senses of all games. The Wii took some time to get used to, just like the DS or the 3DS. The WiiU (if you pronounce it quickly enough, it sounds a little like Ryu) will stick in time.
* IN TIME! Geez.
This will work, I have a confidence that I never had with the Wii. Why? Because the last three consoles Nintendo released, I was sceptical. I wasn't sure about dual screens, about motion control, or about 3D in a handheld. And yet they worked. And so will this. But let's allow this to simmer for a while, we've got a long way to go before we fully understand what this console is capable of. Hold onto that resentment and concern until the day we see Zelda in HD. I am.