Monday, November 30, 2015

Missed Pokemon Integration?-Wii U

Would the Wii U be better off it it had some more Pokemon content early in its lifespan?


Hi folks, Steven here. So, this is the second part of our Missed Integration series. And this time, we’re focusing on the Wii U. Now, before we get started, I wanted to point out, as I kind of knew, and one of my viewers pointed out in the comments of the Punch-Out!! episode from a month or so ago, is that Nintendo doesn’t fully own Pokémon. It’s sort of a shared thing that they have. Nintendo sort of owns some of the trademarks, and also co-owns The Pokémon Company, which is also managed by Creatures Inc. and Game Freak. So, it’s not as if Nintendo can do whatever they want with Pokémon, but they obviously do have some leverage, they just have to work with some other people to sometimes make things happen. But, I wanted to get that out of the way before we went forward with this.

But, back to the Wii U. Pokémon on the Wii U so far, there’s been some stuff. Notably, there’s been some Virtual Console. There’s Pinball Ruby, and Sapphire on the Game Boy Advance is on there. And, in Europe, they have the first PokéPark game out there. Now, this is of course a Wii game download, not strictly Virtual Console, but it’s a similar type of thing. And we’ve heard some rumors as of a month or so ago about some upcoming Virtual Console titles. Namely, Blue Rescue Team, one of the first Mystery Dungeon games, and Pokémon Ranger. Not confirmed yet, of course, but we’ll see what happens.

As far as other actual stuff, of course there’s Pokémon Rumble U-the Wii U installment of the series. And then, of course, Pokémon is in Smash Bros. But, let’s take it back a little bit further. You may remember a little game called Nintendo Land. That came out when the Wii U launched. And it was designed to show off the GamePad controller. And basically consisted of a series of minigames based on Nintendo franchises. To me, and to a lot of other people, it felt like the Wii U equivalent of Wii Sports, but it definitely did not resonate nearly as much. One of the criticisms, which I kind of have to agree with, is that it’s a bit light on content. But, given that, you may think maybe they should have pulled from a few more franchises.

And that brings up the question, where’s Pokémon? There’s already some touch-based ideas from the DS games. They could reuse those or expand on them. And they could always try to come up with some new ideas as well that use the GamePad. Now, one possibility that they might have been saving those up for a PokéPark game, maybe a third one on the Wii U, but there’s really not one on the horizon. We haven’t seen anything, or I haven’t even heard a rumor of there being one. So, there’s probably some reason for it out there, but I kind of wanted to point that out as a semi-obvious gap.

The second Wii U related topic I’d like to bring up is Pokémon TV. Now, if you’re not familiar with this, this is service Pokémon provides, which has a rotating selection of episodes and movies from different generations. And, it’s available on a variety of devices. There’s an iOS client, an Android client, a Kindle Fire, Roku, Chromecast- and if you have a 3DS, there isn’t really one. There’s something called Pokémon TV that’s part of Nintendo Zone if you go to one of those locations. Not quite the same thing though.

But, most of all, and relevant to this video, is there’s no native client for Wii U. Now, it is technically possible to watch Pokémon TV via the Pokémon website using the Wii U’s internal browser, but it’s not an ideal experience. There’s a couple oddities, you might say, in there that make it not ideal.
And, of course, I have to mention that the Pokémon anime is also available, at least parts of it, via some of the native apps that already exist for the Wii U. Namely, Netflix and Hulu here in North America. Of course, availability varies by region. All the same, I think having a Pokémon TV client for Wii U would have been nice, and I’ll explain a little bit about that.

Now, I’m not sure how Pokémon chooses which devices it’s going to support. Install base, I’m sure is a consideration. And, being where the Wii U is now is not particularly helpful. But you think they might have been able to get something done at launch. And even if the install base were an issue, Nintendo probably could fund the development of such a thing if the Pokémon company itself couldn’t spare the money for it. Now, if this were coming out at launch, I suppose it would have to be outsourced, because Nintendo’s teams-you know that very slow pace they had at the beginning. They were having trouble developing Wii U games, and they probably would have had to give this to some other developer.

But still, if they had at launch, they could put it on the box, “Hey, buy this and you can watch free Pokémon episodes on it.” They could have used that to attract buyers. I’m not going to say that would have saved the Wii U, nor would having Pokémon in Nintendo Land, but I do think if had they been able, the earlier increased sales and game sales would probably have offset the development cost. It would have been a money making decision there.

But overall, what are your thoughts? Do you think these would have been good ideas, things they should have done? Are there other things, besides of course, the upcoming Pokken Tournament you’d like to see on Wii U? Give us some comments, always good to hear some feedback. Alright, folks. Thanks.

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