The Ninjabot

First Person Views – Bob Summerwill Thinks the Wii U is Crap

Posted on May 20, 2013 at 10:00 am by Stephen Janes


J Jonah Jameson Calling Wii U Crap

J Jonah Jameson Calling the Wii U Crap

‘First Person Views’ is an opinion piece about the latest hot button topics in the world of video games. With so much happening on a daily basis, this featured piece will take a moment and reflect on some of the bigger happenings of the week.

Whenever a new console is developed, the reception is always hot and cold depending on where you stand. If you have been loyal to Sony since the PlayStation One, then the PlayStation 4 is already on your wish list and you could care less about the impending Xbox Infinity announcement. To hear these opinions from developers themselves is also an interesting subject because it blurs the lines of professionalism and personal opinion.

Nintendo’s latest console, the Wii U, has been the subject of many varying opinions and views. On one hand, its tablet-controller gimmick provides a unique cross-play element that no other console had seen at the time. Then again, many of the ‘hardcore’ gamers laugh it off for the same gimmick and would love nothing more than to hold a tried-and-true controller in their hands as they play. Recently, EA Sports senior software engineer Bob Summerwill called the Wii U “crap” and stated that, “Nintendo is still operating like its 1990.”

This quote came on the heels of the announcement that EA currently has nothing in development for the Wii U, and it’s easy to understand why. Summerwill continued to say that the kids who grew up in the nineties have grown up and need new intellectual properties (or IP) to enjoy. While I do agree that the Super Mario Bros. and Legend of Zelda franchises are getting a bit stale, those same titles have brought Nintendo to this point. They have been the workhorses for the company and have been successful in the past, so why change a winning formula? The same contradiction can be brought up with the Call of Duty franchise, as well.

There was one article I came across that was interesting when researching this topic. The author mentioned exactly what Summerwill was talking about and brought up the ‘stale nature’ of Nintendo games nowadays, but then said the consumers have moved on to games like Call of Duty. He certainly brings up a point and how the nineties kids have grown up, but what exactly does the Call of Duty franchise do differently to prevent being called stale? If anything, every Call of Duty game is just an expansion of itself with a different storyline, some new weapons and multiplayer perks and an altered feature, all for the same retail price as it was a year ago.

Getting back to the point, what Summerwill said may very well be true, but as somebody who develops games should he be allowed to express an opinion like this? This is a rather bold move from EA in general as Nintendo’s adoption rate was tremendous the last few generations, although those numbers seem to be faltering with the Wii U. Summerwill is more than entitled to his own opinion, which isn’t the issue here. I am very interested to see if EA develops anything for the Wii U in due time and what they say if and when it happens.

I think Summerwill misses the bigger picture with his statement. Legions of Nintendo fans will more than likely be missing out on some games because of this situation, which is unfair to the consumers who have invested in the product with expectations. This situation would have been much bigger if a first party developer had their complaints with the new Nintendo console, but again EA will once again alienate fans because of their decisions. I do wish that more information was given on what makes the Wii U “crap to develop for” and if the issues are mostly aesthetics or if it’s a problem with guidelines and infrastructure. It could even be just a small fit of nerd rage, for all we know.

First Persion Views is designed to be an opinionated and informative look at some of the issues the video game world is facing. With that being said, I’m interested in seeing what you all think of Bob Summerwill’s comments and what you think of the matter.

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