Wii U 'slightly confusing', says Molyneux

Former Microsoft executive Peter Molyneux says Nintendo's new system is "good, but it's not great"; successful Wii U needed for industry growth.


Former Microsoft executive and now cofounder of independent studio 22Cans has sounded off on the Wii U. He told GamesIndustry International that he is generally pleased with Nintendo's first high-definition system, though he does have some reservations regarding its two-screen approach.

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"I think the Wii U is good, but I don't feel it's great," Molyneux said. "I've played the experience, I've played Nintendo Land, I've played ZombiU, and they're good. I find holding the device in my hand--looking up at the screen and looking down at the device--slightly confusing as a consumer. It's good, but it's not great."

Molyneux added that the industry needs the Wii U to be "great" because competition is no longer solely in the form of console makers. Now, he said, competition comes through devices like Amazon's Kindle or Apple's iPad.

"And people like Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft need to match that. They need to match that in my mind, and exceed it. And I'm not sure the Wii U really did that," he said.

Despite his misgivings about the Wii U, Molyneux said a wise person would not bet against Nintendo, considering the worldwide phenomenon it created with the original Wii.

"I've got unbelievable respect for Nintendo," he said. "They created our industry in a very real sense. I can remember everybody in the industry laughing and giggling about how stupid the Wii was, what a stupid name it was, and who would want motion control. And then it went on to sell what, 60, 70 million copies? It got people who never considered computer games to play them."

Molyneux's Wii sales estimation is actually well below the system's actual figures. As of September 30, 2012, Nintendo has sold 97.18 million units of the aging console. Additionally, just this week, Nintendo announced the Wii Mini, a slimmed down, $100 version of the Wii due next week exclusively in Canada .

The Wii U launched in North America on November 18 and sold 400,000 units during its launch week. The system released today in Europe and Australia, and will launch in Japan on December 8.

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