Irrational not planning anything for the Wii U

Do you remember at E3 when Ken Levine was part of the Nintendo reveal of the Wii U?  And everyone went a little crazy, assuming this meant Bioshock or something of that nature was in the works for Nintendo’s new console?  Turns out we all got a little ahead of ourselves.  In an interview with IGN, he’s revealed that “Just to be clear, there are no plans. I’m not saying it can’t happen, but we have no plans to do any games for that platform.” It can’t be much more clear than that, and I expect it was intentional, as he’s probably been bugged about it a great deal.  This was part of a conversation that he was having about the use of motion controls, which he thinks are better as sort of an ‘add-on’ to the traditional experience, and of the kind of gaming that seems to be dominating the current phone and tablet platforms.  Although he uses the word ‘core’ a great deal, which is a word I’m really getting sick of, I understand what he’s saying.  Take a look:

“There are things about it that, as a core gamer, really appeal to me, that have nothing to do with Fruit Ninja. I have nothing against Fruit Ninja, I respect all kinds of games, I love all kinds of games, there are just certain kinds of things that are more suited to my taste. There are some things, as a core gamer, as a guy who likes lying in bed playing… I’ve always had to sacrifice that core gaming experience when I lie in bed playing games. We’re now getting to a place with Vita and what Nintendo’s doing where that’s not necessarily going to be the case, where you can play full-on hardcore games in bed with the lights out while your wife’s asleep. I like that a lot. That means a lot to me. On the airplane? That means a lot to me as a core gamer, that you’ve got two sticks. That’s so important to me. The fact that the Wii U has got two sticks… I feel it’s like… It’s a great year for the core coming back and saying, okay, have your touch screens, have your motion control, we’ll try to make that work, and if you can pull that off it’ll be really good.”

The reason I put that much of a quote in, is it’s actually a pretty cogent thought stream that I think many of us long-term gamers have been wrestling with.  The short 3-minute experience is something that I agree with him on, it’s kind of an interesting distraction for a little bit, but just isn’t really compelling, not the least of the reasons being you’re covering up a lot of your visual surface.  It’s something that’s bugged me since I started using touch screens in industrial work 15 years ago.  I just feel, like a cranky old man on a porch, that a button is a better control interface for most things.  He does go on to mention the back-touch of the Vita, which I have to admit is an interesting way partially around the problem.  Of course we have no idea if it will work well or be implemented by many games, but it is an interesting idea.  It’s not just Nintendo that can innovate with control interfaces after all.  I’ve never been the biggest fan of Ken Levine, but I feel like a kindred spirit now, which I realize is extremely weird.




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Author: Micah View all posts by
Micah has been playing games since his first pong machine, and has been writing for as long as he could grip a pencil and not drool on the paper. So, for about a week.

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