1) Hello Virtual Console! Nintendo's catalog is one of it's greatest strengths. Finally opening the Virtual Console will allow some insane profiting. After all, it's "port a game that's simple in today's standards to run on your new machine, sit back, and watch the cash flow in." BUT...why isn't it moving faster? The Wii U has a built-in Wii, with tons of games already released on that Virtual Console. How hard can it be to make it trackable by the system's time log and stream the video to the GamePad? This is one point that I really hope we see fly soon. I'm sure that a big reason is money: string out the releases, and people have more cash to spend in the long haul and less time to decide they don't need a title after all. I do applaud the discounted price for people who already own the game on Wii. To me, it's worth a buck extra to have the game on the main menu of the Wii U and be able to play it on the GamePad. As classic as these old games are, having them (semi) portable is an amazing feat, and well worth my extra dollar. I do wish I could use that spare dollar sitting collecting dust in my Virtual Wii memory though...
2) Miiverse! Last week, Nintendo rolled out a beta version of a web-browsing Miiverse, Wii U's personal community. On the system, you can draw pictures, post screenshots, and in general have a good time talking to other game lovers about your favorite games. Nintendo's simple reporting policy and policing system also encourages a positive community that always seems there to help. Looking at the web browser today, I determined that Nintendo had a smartphone app and the ability to post a "general" update instead of posting to a specific board or forum, I would probably visit it more than Twitter or Facebook! It honestly adds an unseen depth to even classic Virtual Console games as you get to see the passion of other players. BUT...the connectivity only goes so far. As I said, there's no "just life" update section, and there's still a gap between the 3DS and the Wii U, whereas Sony integrates all right now. Nintendo won't even let you share your wallet between multiple systems, let alone hop on the 3DS for continued chatting on Miiverse. I can only hope that a future 3DS update will integrate those experiences soon.
3) Nintendo Direct! Many Twitter handles are abuzz about Nintendo choosing to opt out of an E3 press conference this year. Nintendo Directs sending information straight to the gamer are making my freelance writing rather useless as you can get information straight from the horse's mouth. I won't down the importance of E3, but I will say that an E3 press conference could have been highly detrimental to Nintendo this year. After all, writers would be abuzz with "OMG PS4 INFO" and "DURANGO IS FOR REALZ" which would inevitably lead to "LOL NINTENDO FAIL NO COOL STUFF" articles. They've already released their next-generation console, so anything other than an upgrade would be lost in the buzz. Heck, an upgrade would cause a huge uproar! I wrote a joke article regarding that for April Fool's, by the way. BUT....they do need to go to these conferences. I don't think that they've gone the way of the dodo just yet. Conferences are like Christmas for game nut information junkies. Having it spoon-fed to us throughout the year would be like having the Christmas tree up year round. Eventually, nothing is special anymore, and a new console release would be just another "meh."
4) Owning Up! Recent reports show Iwata honestly saying that Nintendo recognizes many consumers thought the Wii U was just "a Wii with a tablet" or even a full-on peripheal, which is leading to rough sales. Recognition from the top that something needs to change is key. New upcoming releases like Pikmin 3 and more information on future key titles such as Zelda will hold the "core" audience, while proper marketing could pull back in some of the Wii adopters. Basically, akin to the 3DS, Nintendo is good at providing a positive spin to their bleak sales with a solid plan for the future instead of just trying to hide their numbers and hope people start buying their systems. BUT...we've heard you talk the talk, but it's time to walk the walk. Nintendo needs to get out of the gate and do all of these promises. Clarity is also an issue. Many people online thought that the update was to be released Tuesday, however it ended up more like Thursday night. This error was mostly due to a simple advertisement for the (whopping 8) titles being released at the start of the Virtual Console for the Wii U.
Nintendo is a strong company. They've been around for years, and console or not, will be around for many more. Personally, I find a console worth buying as long as there's enough enjoyment to be had: even though I enjoyed many more games, the N64 and Goldeneye alone was enough to warrant a full-priced system to me and my college buddies. I've already got enough game in the three games I own for my Wii U to consider the purchase worthwhile. Now it's up to Nintendo to see how much they can push the envelope and hold our interests in the future.