A question of fingertips

I have a reputation for being biased of Nintendo. Though I’ve owned an NES, GameCube and a DS throughout my life as a gamer, I’ve always sold them in favor of a more perceived mature product.

That being said, I won’t overlook the fact they have been a driving force of innovation in the gaming industry for years. They’re not afraid to try new things regardless if they are adopted by gaming fans or emulated by their peers.

When it was leaked a successor to the Wii would be announced at this years E3 which would be on par (if not better) with current HD consoles and would use a more traditional control scheme, I was excited. Finally I might be able to experience a few first party titles with third party publishers on board to cater to my more mature gaming interests.

Then the Wii U was announced. I went from excited to downright perplexed. Now that I’ve had a few days to familiarize myself with as much information as I could find, I’ve come to the conclusion this product may not be right for me. 

Now don’t get me wrong, what they intend to do is interesting and I can see several practical applications with the new controller. I’m certain developers will think of something I hadn’t considered. My concern with this concept is gaming immersion.

There’s something personal about using a controller while staring at the screen. A certain rhythm of ones thumb and fingers to control the animated character. Over the course of the game, those actions become muscle memory allowing even co-op play to be a minor distraction as we stay focused on the screen, conversing as we tap buttons.

I can’t imagine now having to lose that rhythm to look down at a six inch display. To tap something on a virtual map, reposition my thumb and fingers and then have to look back up to the main screen again. It feels to me with the intent to create something innovative, to make ones product different enough to entice consumers, it feels oddly out of place for core gamers.

In my eyes this new console is nothing short of a DS with your home entertainment setup.

Or is that mindset the reasoning for my disconnect? Given I’ve not played a DS in so long I’ve not trained myself in the use of duel screens. Favoring instead products like multitouch iPods or even a PSP.

Are gamers like myself simply stuck to our control rhythm? Disallowing ourselves to find rhythm in something new? Core gamers are now in a world with Wii Motion Plus, Move, Kinect and now this hybrid Wii U control method. Is our control scheme now archaic? Will our future be that of children mocking us because we had to use our hands to play games?

I want to keep an open mind for this product. Several factors will no doubt play into a purchase decision over the coming year with online features and what concepts are shown. What are your thoughts to this new control method? Please leave a comment below.