Nintendo's Wii U game console is here, so it's time to review it. It's getting as much critical flack as the Wii did, but like the Wii, it's an awful lot of fun.
In the latest Nintendo Direct, president Satoru Iwata announced that Sega is bringing the next Sonic the Hedgehog game, Sonic Lost World, exclusively to the Wii U and 3DS. He also announced Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, the latest Mario & Sonic Olympics-themed mini-game collection. He did not say when either would be released.
There are, however, now release dates for The Wonderful 101, which finally arrives September 15, and New Super Luigi U, which will be released as DLC for New Super Mario Bros. U on June 20, and then as a standalone packaged game on August 25. Iwata also announced that in the game you will be able to play as Nabbit, a creature who's role is generally to pilfer items from Luigi. Nabbit will not take damage from monsters in the game, allowing people who are terrible at Mario-style 2D platformers to survive.
Nintendo is also letting non-attendees of this year's E3 game trade show to experience a little of E3 at Best Buy, which will allow visitors to play demos of upcoming Wii U games. Playing demos is a lot of what people do at E3 (that and posing for pictures next to the scantily-clad models who are an incongruous but tradition part of the show); if I can play the same demos without taking a 6-hour flight to Los Angeles, I'm in.
Iwata also showed off some more gameplay from two upcoming games, Game & Wario and Pikmin 3. Pikmin 3 will have three playable characters. The gamepad will function as a map you can use to set waypoints for your characters. You will be able to control the game with the gamepad or the remote/nunchuk.
We haven't seen much serious use of the Wii remote in games lately, but Nintendo apparently hasn't given up on the gizmo. Besides support for a remote in Pikmin 3, a remote plus will be needed for the Olympics game. I'm glad; I've been missing the remote lately.
GameFront reports that Nintendo has staked claims on Youtube gameplay videos of its games.
Nintendo is not asking for these videos be taken down, but simply claiming them as Nintendo property that they can use for advertising revenue. Since many of these videos were previously making money for their creators, this has upset those who make reviews or walkthrough videos of Nintendo games.
This seems to be another case in which Nintendo doesn't quite understand social media. These walkthroughs and reviews move people to purchase Nintendo games, so while Nintendo seems to see them as a source of revenue, the likelihood is that content will dry up, they won't make as much money as they expect off of the videos and sales will be adversely effected.
These videos are not the equivalent of posting a long scene from a movie, both because they are the product of someone's actual playthrough and because a game's primary purpose, unlike a movi'es, is not to present something to sit and watch.
Nintendo is alienating a lot of people, and I'm pretty sure if they don't change course quickly it's going to bite them in the ass.