Last weekend Nintendo launched its new Wii U console.
With gameplay revolving around a dual-screen system similar to that in the Nintendo DS handheld, there’s no denying the Wii U offers gamers a fresh alternative to the existing gaming formula.
When it launched in 2006 with nifty motion-sensitive gameplay, the Wii blazed new trails. That’s why it was the must-have toy that Christmas and remained popular through 2007 and 2008.
But, eventually, the Wii died. It took two years, but a lack of high-definition graphics and third-party titles killed the little white console.
And guess what? The Wii U will also die. In fact, it might not even last two years.
1. The dual screen is just a gimmick that won’t work.
The dual screen is interesting, but is it really the foundation for a successful home video game console? The 6.2-inch display in the gamepad is a behemoth. People tore apart Microsoft’s original Xbox controller for being bulky and cumbersome, but the Wii U’s gamepad dwarfs that thing. It’s unwieldy, it’s expensive and the contributions it will make to gameplay won’t be worth the hassle.
2. No one will support it.
Right now, some big companies are making games for the Wii U. There are Wii U versions of Call of Duty: Black Ops II and an Assassin’s Creed III, plus Nintendo’s first-party favorites, like Nintendo Land and New Super Mario Bros U.
But I’m predicting this support won’t last. Why? Because it’s unlikely the Xbox 720 and PlayStation 4 will use dual screens. That means making games for the Wii U will take special effort and more money. Game developers won’t want to spend the cash, so they’ll produce games for the Xbox 720 and PS4 instead.
3. Microsoft and Sony will build better consoles.
They did it in 2005 and 2006 and they’ll do it again. The Xbox 720 and PS4 will feature better graphics and gameplay that, while maybe less original, will feel comfortable to gamers and prove highly entertaining. The hardware will be better and the “wow” factor will be greater. More games will be available. If Microsoft and Sony release new consoles in 2013 or early 2014, the Wii U will be a distant memory by 2015.
Given the Wii’s monumental decline, the death of the Wii U is in no way an improbable prediction.