Wii U is a step backward for Nintendo

Nintendo presented the new gaming console and a new business strategy. The first thing that struck me is the silly name: I don’t get it, sounds primitive, too many vowels. Try to say it out loud and tell me it sounds good.

Then I saw the controller and the demos: WOW! Not. The Wii was a masterpiece of human interaction design: simple and effective, it expanded gaming to a whole new set of gamers. Its simplicity was the distinctive feature that allowed Nintendo to stay in the market. Wii U’s controller instead seems hard, complex and confusing. Look at the picture below: which screen should you be watching? All those buttons… how should be holding that thing: flat? vertical?

More puzzling it’s the marketing choice to go back to the crowded space where the leaders are PS3 and Xbox. Why would Nintendo decide to leave its lucrative new niche and go back to fight directly against Sony and Microsoft?

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