Another E3 has come and gone without so much as a whisper of the number 720 and at first glace, it did look as though Microsoft could have kindly offered Nintendo a head-start in the next-gen race.
But the more we learn about Wii U, the more it seems like the Xbox 360 will have little to fear from the inventive new hardware. For starters, questions hang over the power of the console itself.
Now suspected to have only slightly more technical muscle than the 360, promises of 1080p, 60FPS gaming were shot down when it came to light that all first-party launch titles would only run at 720p.
Granted, that’s no better than the majority of 360 titles (only a handful boast a native 1080p resolution, after all), but it’s a pretty clear indication that Wii U won’t be the powerhouse many expected.
If Wii U really is the best way to play games like Assassin’s Creed III, you’d think Nintendo would make with the hyperbole and tell us so directly.
Then there’s the controller. Keeping costs down is key, hence why the main controller is basically a Fisher Price iPad with no multi-touch functionality and a measly three to five hour battery life.
This seriously harms the platform’s core gimmick, as too does Microsoft’s announcement of SmartGlass – a clever new connectivity method that will let 360 gamers enjoy similar experiences to those that Wii U will offer and often without even having to invest in any new hardware.
Add in the fact that many of its launch window titles will be ports of games we all played months ago (re-releasing Mass Effect 3 and Arkham City is hardly going to win over the hardcore) and it’s clear that this isn’t something that’s going to take the market by storm overnight.
In fact, by the time it hits its stride and starts to deliver on its additional power – assuming that ever happens – there’s a very real chance that Microsoft will already be talking up the next Xbox. And you just /know/ that’s going to be a leap rather than a step in terms of pure power.
The Nintendo Graveyard
How the Japanese firm’s previous consoles met their ends
Arrived late in a Mega Drive-dominated market, then tragically murdered by PlayStation amid the 3D Revolution.
Ailed by expensive cartridge media and storage limitations and never really recovered from the loss of Nintendo’s beloved Final Fantasy franchise.
Crippled by proprietary tiny discs in place of DVDs and a lack of publisher support. Will be fondly remembered as ‘the only console that ever had a handle’, though.
Drowned in shovelware and choked by dust, Wii saw far too few core titles and quickly became your mum’s gaming console.
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