Nintendo has apparently done it again. Its inventive new game console, the Wii U, has generated tremendous buzz, and is reportedly sold out just one day after launch in North America.
Priced at $300 (or $349 for the deluxe package) the console ships with a unique controller (“Gamepad”) that features a touchscreen and — depending on the video game — can be used in dual screen configuration to complement game play.
Nintendo beat both Sony (PS3) and Microsoft (Xbox) in the race to capture next-gen marketshare. The Wii U is the first major console from the big three since 2006. 30 Wii U game titles are available at launch.
According to many, PS4 and Xbox720 consoles are under development, and could hit the market sometime in 2013.
Reviews have been generally positive, though some suggest that the 1-pound GamePad is merely a gimmick and can actually hinder game play in certain situations.
Analysts expect Nintendo to ship 3.5 million Wii U consoles worldwide by year end.
Meanwhile, a launch of not-so-successful kind…
The new operating system has received mixed reviews, and is widely criticized for forcing a touch-based design metaphor on to desktop users, causing confusing and hampering productivity. Removing the iconic “Start Button” – so integral to Windows 7 – has most notably received the most negative backlash. Instead, when users click on the lower left corner of the screen they are taken to a tile-based “Stark Screen.” Many have praised the design aesthetic. Perhaps no coincidence, the new start screen (“Modern” UI) works well on the Surface tablet which was also released earlier this month.
Worse still for Microsoft, enterprise customers, who represent a significant piece of the company’s revenue, are pushing off upgrade plans. Citing training issues, and the need to plan for migrations, many have indicated they would wait until 2013 or even later to consider a move to Windows 8.