Further, is a "tablet-style" controller even a good idea? The great thing about real tablets is that they're portable—you can take your iPad anywhere, play games, check your e-mail, etc. These features make up for the fact that they're kind of clumsy to handle. But the Wii U's controller takes a tablet, removes its portability (it doesn't work when it's not close to the console), and slaps on some extra buttons to give the functionality of a normal controller.
It's amazingly light and packs in a number of useful features, but it's not the most comfortable thing to hold, and it's certainly not as revolutionary or user-friendly as the original Wii controller. I just don't see casual gamers taking to the Wii U's minigames the way they took to Wii Sports. And don't forget that Sony and Microsoft have jumped into the "interesting controller" market too. Consumers will have other options.
What's more, as I mentioned above, the controllers are apparently difficult to manufacture. There's some speculation that the console could be facing delays because Nintendo can't make them fast enough.
I'm not going to lie; I don't have a crystal ball here, and Nintendo has surprised everyone in the past. Before the Wii came out, the common wisdom said it was underpowered and had a stupid name. And yet it destroyed the competition, at least in terms of hardware sales.
Presumably the company's decision to push forward with the Wii U is backed by some careful thought and lots of market research. And presumably the price will be attractive—Nintendo has a history of making affordable consoles, it learned a lesson from the 3DS fiasco, and rumors say the price tag could be $299, which isn't bad. But there are very good reasons to worry that Nintendo is reprising a strategy that can't work a second time, and that its new product is not as interesting as its previous one.
2012 is not 2006, and the Wii U is not the Wii.
Date: August 15, 2012
*The views expressed within this article are solely the opinion of the author and do not express the views held by Cheat Code Central. This week's is also purely a work of fiction*