Category: Wii U

Is That Your Gamer Card in Your Pocket or are You Just Happy to See Me?

I hope you guys are interested in Wii U, because I’m going to be talking about it a lot for the next two weeks leading up to E3.

There have been a lot of rumors floating around concerning Nintendo’s new hardware offering, which is par for the course when a new console is announced but official details are scarce. There’s always some random post on a tiny forum in the dark corners of the internet from an “anonymous developer” who has the inside scoop and decided the best way to leak information is by posting it on A lot of them are very easily dismissible, but there’s one that I’ve seen a couple of times that seems very “Nintendo” and is actually very appealing to me – physical “gamer cards” with a StreetPass function.

We already know that Wii U will feature user accounts similar to Gamertags or PSN IDs according to Nintendo President Satoru Iwata. The rumor is that Nintendo will introduce physical “gamer cards” which you can carry with you and StreetPass with other Wii U users to swap information. These cards will supposedly feature a tiny LCD screen that will show an image of your Mii and, presumably, other relevant data.


As I’ve mentioned before, Wii U will be my only console going into the next round. There are still a lot of unknown variables concerning the system and how it works, so it’s a very exciting time to speculate and daydream. I could go on for days about things that I want to see implemented, but there’s one thing that I absolutely don’t want to see: Achievements.

That might seem strange, as I’ve professed my fondness for Achievements before (and, in fact, my Gamerscore and Trophy List are displayed just to the right of this post), but to me Achievements kind of defined the Xbox 360. It was a new thing, a new mechanic to play with and experience and I’ve certainly gotten a lot of mileage out of it. It’s just not something I want to see on a Nintendo console.

I don’t know about you, but Achievements change how I play games. It’s not a conscious thing; I’ve kinda got OCD about them. If I know that playing a certain way or doing a specific thing is going to earn me an achievement, that’s what I do when I play the game. For example, in Mirror’s Edge there’s an Achievement for never firing a gun the entire game. That was all fine and good until I got to a room full of armed guards and couldn’t disarm them fast enough. I died so many times I just hung the game up.

I’m not saying that what I’m doing is an acceptable way to play games, because it’s not. I just can’t help it. If I know that I’m going to miss something it drives me insane. I don’t 100% every game I play, but I try to get as many Achievements as I can with a reasonable amount of effort. So if there’s an Achievement like “kill 1000 enemies” you can bet your ass I’m going to grind away until I get it.

On Monogamy

I was thinking about the future of video games, as I often do, and where they will fit in my life as time goes on. Video games will always be an important part of my life, so don’t worry, this isn’t one of my semi-regular emo posts again. I’ve just been thinking a lot about how I “consume” video games and what’s the best way for me to continue enjoying them.

Right now I write for three gaming sites – Nintendo Life, Push Square and KINECTaku – which each focus on one member of the “Big Three” gaming companies. For two console generations now I’ve owned all three major consoles and purchased games with steadily increasing frequency. Christina, however, was always a one-console-at-a-time gal, owning only a Wii until I moved in with my shiny Xbox 360. A few years down the line a new Bleach video game was announced, cementing a PlayStation 3 purchase for us.

Breaking Tradition

I’m going to be topical today! How quaint.

Dragon Quest X was re-announced last night, much to the joy of every single citizen of Japan ever. I say re-announced because it was originally announced back at the same time as IX, but never mentioned again.

Dragon Quest, Square-Enix’s OTHER beloved long-running RPG series is a national treasure in Japan. The Japanese government had to ask Square-Enix (then just Enix) not to release Dragon Quest games during the week because too many people would stay home from work and school. This isn’t a law, like people believe, but this is the internet so trying to convince people that a rumor is inaccurate is like trying to yell at the ocean to stop being so wet all the time.

Pachter: “Project Café Could Wind Up Like the Dreamcast.” Joe: “Nuh-Uh.”

(Note: I originally published this article on Bits ‘n’ Bytes Gaming on May 1, 2011 – when Wii U was still known as “Project Café.”

This also just in: it’s either going to rain or be sunny tomorrow. Or foggy. Maybe.

Noted industry analyst Michael Pachter (whose last name, I’ve just learned, is “PACK-ter” and not “PATCH-er”) has claimed that Nintendo’s next console could very well go the way of the Dreamcast and be doomed right out of the gate.

“It is an open question whether the Wii successor is an in-between console, much like Sega’s Dreamcast was back in the late ’90s—too late to compete with the PlayStation and N64, and not sufficiently advanced to compete with the PS2 and Xbox,” he said, according to

Wii U & Me

I’ve been thinking a lot about the Wii U since it was revealed last week, and while I’m interested to see what Nintendo can do with a console with HD graphics and online capabilities that WORK, I still can’t make myself get genuinely EXCITED, despite the fact that I love Nintendo so much I’ve probably given them over seven million dollars through my life.

I know the tablet controller is an awesome concept. I know it’s going to offer a lot of new ways to play games. Is that enough for me now, though?
Nintendo wants to entice third parties back to their camp. Some third parties are going to do amazing things with that tablet controller. A lot of them, though, are going to tack on some functionality and just port over games they’re releasing for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Realistically, if there’s three HD systems, why should they bother focusing on one new console when the other two will have astronomically higher install bases?

I Got Accepted Into Wii U

I was planning on writing about Nintendo’s E3 conference yesterday, but it’s taken me until this evening to really figure out what I think.

Plus I’m sick. Again.

Anyway, you have all seen the Wii U by now and read all the information that’s been slowly trickling out since yesterday afternoon. It’s weird for me… I know I should be more excited than I am, but it’s not 100% clicking with me.

I’m very excited by the potential of the new controller. I like freeing up HUD space so your games are more immersive and you won’t need to scroll through menus as often. I LOVED how the Chase Mii demo looked (reminded me of the super-excellent Pac-Man Vs. for GameCube). In my house, with two gamers and one TV, being able to take your game off the TV and moving it to your tablet so the other can watch TV is an amazing feature.