Here are some of my thoughts on this episode:
On the Wii U
Correction: Dropping the Wii U in 2016 would make it only four years that it’s been in production, because the system came out at the end of 2012 (November/December).
It would definitely be the shortest lifespan of any Nintendo home console to date. And, unlike Sony and Microsoft, Nintendo has a habit of really dropping its previous generation consoles like bricks once it’s moved onto the next generation, which I just don’t think is great for consumers. This is one of the reasons I believe people are sticking more and more with Sony’s and Microsofts consoles from generation to generation, because they understand there’s a value proposition that goes beyond mostly just first party support (which is all Nintendo seems to get these days for its consoles), a console that only lasts for a few years, and then basically nothing for/from that console once the next generation comes around.
I think Nintendo will absolutely abandon the Wii U once the NX comes out, unless the NX has some kind of connection with it, like it works with the Wii U hardware in some way.
Personally, I think of the Wii U as a great disappointment. It had a handful of great games and a few that used the GamePad in genuinely cool ways, Super Mario Maker and Art Academy: Atelier being two of the best examples, but little else that I got genuinely excited about.
Regarding the leaked NX controller images
I think they are probably fake. And, to be honest, I actually hope they are. I’m not particularly impressed with that as a controller design.
On selling back your digital games
I’m not sure how I feel about this because, at the end of the day, you still don’t really have any true ownership. You’re basically just renting these digital games until the company decides to shut down the servers, or delete the games from your system, or whatever the hell else it chooses to do. And it can basically do anything it wants because of all the junk it makes you accept in your end user agreements when you buy its console.
Selling back the game at a greatly reduced price obviously gives you a little money back (likely just credit towards another game, which isn’t quite the same thing), and that’s cool, but it’s still a few steps away from truly having ownership over your game, which, in the case of an old physical game, you can still play in it’s entirely 30 years down the line, or give to your brother to play once you’re done with it, or sell it to some trade-in shop for a few extra bucks if you need the cash. It’s an improvement over the current digital situation and an interesting place to start, for sure, but it’s still not quite enough in my opinion.
My excitement around PlayStation VR (PSVR)
After the recent flood of new details (including the price) and all the new games and other experiences that were shown, my interest level in PSVR has grown greatly. Initially I didn’t think it was really going to compete with the likes of the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, but now I think it’s right back in the race.
Battlezone VR looks great for example:
And I found the potential in this PSVR social demo really exciting:
One older PlayStation property I’d love to see in VR would be Wipeout:
Having both the traditional third person mode alongside a first person in-cockpit view would also be great in VR. The sense of speed, and just being in that world, would be very cool.
Playing Pain in VR, in first person, would likely make you sick:
On VR in general
Regarding the uptake of VR: I think it will likely take about five to ten years for VR to start hitting the tens of millions units of sales, but it all starts in literally a week or twos time. So, if you want to break into VR, it’s worth getting in on it now. But as long as you keep working on your design, art, code, or whatever game creation practices, your skills will still be relevant in five, ten, twenty years time.
If you think Budget Cuts solves the problem of moving around in VR in small spaces, you should check out this work-in-progress of Unseen Diplomacy on the HTV Vive:
It’s amazing how creative some developers can get when trying to solve the potential issues and limitations with whatever new technologies they’re currently working on.