Romero: The Wii U Doesn't Look Innovative

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Romero: The Wii U Doesn't Look Innovative

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"The fact that I don't really care about the Wii U or even want to find out more about it says something."

So says Doom, Quake and Wolfenstein 3D designer, John Romero. The veteran game designer has kept a low profile ever since the disastrous Daikatana brought his AAA career, and the era of "rock star" game development, to a screeching halt. While the FPS genre he popularized has gone on to dominate the medium, Romero has moved on to free-to-play titles for Facebook and iOS.

When asked about Nintendo's upcoming Wii successor, the imaginatively titled Wii U, Romero was dismissive.

"I don't sit and read every little piece of news all the time because I'm really busy with the things that I do. News that reaches me is usually more important," he told GameIndustry Biz. "When the Wii was coming out, it was one of those "I have to have one of these things" and I had to pull some strings and get one because it was sold out all over the place. There was this game called World of Warcraft and I heard about it and I had to get it. There are these things that are really big that I'll hear about, but I don't hear about a lot of the other things."

"Over time those big things became big things, so the fact that I don't really care about the Wii U or even want to find out more about it says something," he continued. "It doesn't look like it is innovative, and to me the Apple ecosystem is the place I like to live in and the Nintendo ecosystem has stopped their innovating ways."

He argues that the Wii managed to trounce the competition was down to its innovative design and varied library of games, but points out that the Wii U, and indeed most of the next gen consoles, aren't bringing anything new to the table to warrant his interest.

"I personally don't care what the next gen of consoles are because I'm not excited about consoles anymore," he said. "The Wii U or any kind of future Sony or Xbox are just not that exciting because I have a PS3 and a 360 and sometimes I will play a really great game on them like Red Dead Redemption, but my game playing has tended to go back towards the PC and the iPad and iPhone. Maybe it's just a sign of the times, but that's where it's gone for me."

Romero does add that while he believes traditional console manufacturers are fighting a losing battle against Apple, the IP they've created to sell those consoles may end up saving them.

"Nintendo can probably live off of their IP without any hardware, where other companies that are huge like Microsoft has no IP and relies on everybody else to make it for them," he added. "Without a platform, they just have an operating system. If everybody decides to go Android or Apple, there you go. The development of the IP is just extremely important and Nintendo has been doing that since they started. So they made the wisest decision."

Source: GameIndustryBiz

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Says the man who has made facebook games for the past 5 years and hasn't done anything good in well over a decade.

EDIT I see you mentioned all that in the opening paragraph. Oh you :D

I'm not sure Romero knows what Innovative is anymore.

You know what's innovative?
Daikatana!!!

Blazed new trails in crappy FPS!

And we're supposed to care because? Sorry if I can't be bothered to give Romero the time of day anymore, but his opinions about the industry are as valid as my grandma's at this point. Sure, he used to make a wealth of major titles, but now he just make casual mobile titles. I'm pretty certain any one of us is more informed of what is and isn't good for the game industry at this point, a fact Romero makes quite clear himself in the quotes in the article.

His points about Nintendo having their own IPs, well that's actually valid, but it's so stupidly obvious I see no reason why it bears mentioning. The rest is bullshit.

Someone has an overinflated ego. Why exactly is a washed up game developer saying anything newsworthy again?

Meh, he said it himself: He isn't even the loop about what's going on with consoles. He basically voided his opinion on the subject with that statement alone. Prior to the E3, one of my biggest issues with the system was the controller and lack of a second analog. They changed the design, it has a second analog. It's all good. And the ZombieU demo was pretty impressive. I should say, the usage was impressive, which tells us nothing about the game itself.

Meh, I think that seeing "innovation" in something is fairly subjective. Innovation to one person is a gimmick to another. The way things are implemented speaks more to some people than others. I guess the WiiU and it's controller aren't staggeringly new ideas, and so far there aren't really any games that use the new technology in an amazing way, but it's far too early to tell. There won't be amazing games right at the beginning of any console generation, especially one that's trying to do something different than the norm.

I think he has a point about IPs though. If MS stopped making consoles Halo and Gears could pretty easily move to PC. They would probably survive but I don't see them taking the PC world by storm they way they have on the Xbox. I don't think Forza would do so well on PCs. PC racing sims are a different kind of animal than Forza, and the people who play them look down on games like it. Maybe it would be able to survive on another console but it has a huge competitor in Gran Turismo. But then again, if we assume Sony stopped making consoles too then GT wouldn't be such a huge obstacle.

The PS3 IPs would probably fair a little better than the stuff on Xbox. They tend to have more strongly identified worlds and characters. Although they would still be hit very hard.

But his statement about the "varied" library of the Wii is just rubbish. Just not true. I shouldn't need to explain that, we all know.

Also I think it's fairly presumptuous for him to say the WiiU isn't innovative when he clearly doesn't know much about it. He probably doesn't know too much since he admits himself he's not been keeping up with news.

Daikatana

Your argument is now invalid, Romero.

Suck it down Nintendo. John Romero just made you his bitch!

Baresark:
Meh, he said it himself: He isn't even the loop about what's going on with consoles. He basically voided his opinion on the subject with that statement alone. Prior to the E3, one of my biggest issues with the system was the controller and lack of a second analog. They changed the design, it has a second analog. It's all good. And the ZombieU demo was pretty impressive. I should say, the usage was impressive, which tells us nothing about the game itself.

?

The WiiU always had a second analogue, even prior to E3.

Uh...hey guys...He was ASKED for his INPUT, and he gave it. He isn't just randomly shouting "wii u blows trololo".

Oh Johnny, I'd value your opinion if you'd been relevant to gaming for the past decade.

I'm inclined to agree with those words, but coming from his mouth it's just...yeah whatever lol

Still has epic hair I see. Anyway [insert "Diakatana sucks even though I've never played it comment thus STFU John' /insert]

Anyway I'm underwhelmed by the Wii U as well but maybe that is just because my wii set on a shelf and collected dust for 3 years until I gave it to my little cousin.

Matthew94:

Baresark:
Meh, he said it himself: He isn't even the loop about what's going on with consoles. He basically voided his opinion on the subject with that statement alone. Prior to the E3, one of my biggest issues with the system was the controller and lack of a second analog. They changed the design, it has a second analog. It's all good. And the ZombieU demo was pretty impressive. I should say, the usage was impressive, which tells us nothing about the game itself.

?

The WiiU always had a second analogue, even prior to E3.

I'm pretty sure it didn't always have one. I remember thinking to myself how stupid it is they didn't have one on there. But maybe I was also thinking about the 3DS.

Baresark:

Matthew94:

Baresark:
Meh, he said it himself: He isn't even the loop about what's going on with consoles. He basically voided his opinion on the subject with that statement alone. Prior to the E3, one of my biggest issues with the system was the controller and lack of a second analog. They changed the design, it has a second analog. It's all good. And the ZombieU demo was pretty impressive. I should say, the usage was impressive, which tells us nothing about the game itself.

?

The WiiU always had a second analogue, even prior to E3.

I'm pretty sure it didn't always have one. I remember thinking to myself how stupid it is they didn't have one on there. But maybe I was also thinking about the 3DS.

No, it always has 2 of them. The change was from 2 slider pads to 2 analogue sticks.

Granted he's a complete tool, but Romero has a point. Aside from the tablet controller, Wii U isn't bringing much to the table as far as tech is concerned. If the machine pushed processing power equivalent to most of today's mid-range gaming PCs, and if Nintendo had some good IPs and core games at launch, they would definitely have everyone's money. Based on what we saw at E3, that is not going to be the case.

The developer has lost steam. It's the same with Microsoft and Sony. There just aren't enough good games out there that warrant buying a console when you could play on PC instead. That's why console makers are marketing them as multimedia devices with Netflix, motion controls, voice command, and internet access. The console game industry is just not about console games anymore.

Yeah, I don't know much about the guy...but I'll agree with him. I said the same thing when I saw the WiiU at Nintendo's conference. And I believe my brother, who is not familiar with videogames as much as I am, was able to describe it better than me: "It's just a Wii fused with a DS". And so it is.

See, the Wii was innovative in the way that it forced you to get off your lazy ass and be part of the game, for better or worse. The controllers were horrible and some games were too gimmicky but they were onto something there. That's why the MOVE and Kinect took cues from that and perfected the thing. But the WiiU controller thing doesn't even do that. They're going a step back by transforming the so-innovative Wii Controller into a tablet-analog controller hybrid and the tap-feature borrowed from the DS doesn't really do anything for me because A) It's not innovative (The DS has driven that feature to the ground) and B)It contradicts all that Nintendo has accomplished with the Wii, good or bad as it was.

I admire the fact that they're adding better third-party games to their library (AC, Batman, etc.) but I hate the fact that these tap-screen feature will have to be implemented into perfectly good games, like Batman.

So yeah, it's not innovative. It's gimmicky.

no, i think the fact that he isn't interested in learning more about it says something more about the wii we already have. it's just like i always say, "well it sold really well" isn't a qualifier of a game's quality. a better way of judging how much people liked a game is by the sales figures of it's sequel...

After a little thought on the subject... Nintendo's biggest crutch for the last few years is how it's always trying to be "innovative". The Wii motion controls were innovative, but they also became quite the problem for anyone but Nintendo, to implement well. The problem then became that not only were games not looking nearly as good as the other console counterparts, now they were also controlling worse. This will make the WiiU the biggest system on the block when we won't see another for at least 2 years from the competition(according to their time lines, not mine). Nintendo will make a bundle having the most innovative (with reasonable non innovative controls included) control schemes and the most powerful. It looks like it will have plenty of third party support at this point as well. And Nintendo has stated they know how important a good opening lineup is (though this has yet to really be addressed). The only problem now is Nintendo's worthless network. But they plan on fixing that as well, I would imagine.

I know I'm gonna be getting one. And I think Johnny boy is right, it's that innovative. The only response I have to that as of now is, THANK GOD FOR THAT!

A tablet you can play games on isn't innovative. Well John has certainly made me his bitch with that enlightening piece of trivia.

Romero wouldn't recognize "innovation" even if it hits his face. Prick.

Insert here generic Daikatana pun/joke.

He raises a fair point.

However, he is John Romero so...I geuss that means we should do the opposite of what he says? Or maybe this is just some sort of reverse psychology? Shit, I don't know.

And yes, I was going to mention daikatana before I got here and it turned out everyone had beaten me to it so screw it.

Eri:
Uh...hey guys...He was ASKED for his INPUT, and he gave it. He isn't just randomly shouting "wii u blows trololo".

Most of the escapist community either cant read or refuses to read articles, thy just jump on the title and act like they are insightful.

What do you expect? :P

Eri:
Uh...hey guys...He was ASKED for his INPUT, and he gave it. He isn't just randomly shouting "wii u blows trololo".

Right? Everyone acts like this guy held a press conference.

It'd be like if one of the contributors here took a random forum post and were like "RANDOM USER A SAYS SUCH AND SUCH SUCKS!" In context what they said may have made sense. It may have been a response to something. But taken out of context, it makes them look like an ass.

Wow, a guy who actually haven't done anything well since... Well, ever, is complaining about the Wii U?

The slander that is going on is just astounding. Dickheads everywhere are complaining about things other dickheads do...

Forget it, this pile of trash isn't worth my glorious time to make a real comment.

I was all prepared to bash this guy, being who he is and all, but after reading all of his comments and thinking about it for a while he actually said some smart things. With the big success and more importantly projected growth of mobile along with a stronger than ever indie market on the PC it does kind of seem like Nintendo is bringing more the same. The tablet controller thing is kind of interesting but is it going to be used with innovation or is it more often than not going to be a gimmicky thing?
If a console fails, like Sega did not too long ago lets not forget, you had better have strong first party IP to fall back on. Sega is still a company today because of the franchises, like Sonic, they had built. Nintendo has a ton of classic franchises, having created the modern console after the crash of '82. Imagine a future where we are so Internet connected that consoles just go away. How does the gaming division at Microsoft survive? They make and publish games like Halo and whatever other first party franchises they can establish.

The man has a point. Im not sure the Wii-U is all that innovative at all. Sadly his credibility is all gone so its hard to take him seriously anymore. Ahh well, i guess ill have to wait for someone who isn't a washed up joke to make the obvious points about the Wii-U basically bring a holding pattern...

Romero, is that the chick who directed the Dawn of the Dead movies?
I think I remember her from a Penny Arcade comic.
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Oh yeah! That's right.

There is a lapse of logic there. Him being excited about a few things that went on to be popular in no way implies that him lacking excitement for a thing spells failure for it. It does not even make it more likely. Completely irrelevant.

So basically... he doesn't have an informed opinion, and that's somehow news.

It's also funny that he's comparing his awareness of the Wii's release hype to not knowing much about it at a point in time when it doesn't even have a release date. I can assure you that most Wii owners weren't really aware of the console 6-12 months before it came out.

Personally... I see a lot of potential in the Wii U, but I won't really have much interest until Nintendo show off something from their core franchises that is more exciting than New Super Mario Bros. U. Don't get me wrong, I think it's great that Pikmin is getting another chance, and Nintendo Land seems like a good alternative to the Mario Party games, but... a new Zelda or Metroid is what's needed to get me excited these days.

CAPTCHA: gray skies

EDIT: Oh, yeah, ZombiU does look good, but I don't have a lot of faith in Ubisoft. Plus, not sure if I'm going to like the dual-analog controls, since I prefer a mouse or the Wii's IR pointer for aiming.

Eri:
Uh...hey guys...He was ASKED for his INPUT, and he gave it. He isn't just randomly shouting "wii u blows trololo".

I was planning to point this out. While I myself don't care much about either his opinion or the upcoming Wii U, I find it kind of hard to believe the guy was just stalking the journalists, shouting "HAVE AN INTERVIEW WITH ME!!! HAVE AN INTERVIEW WITH ME!!!!".

He was asked and he replied, simple as that.

CAPTCHA: london calling

*blush* Oh, London. Stop it, you!

Zulnam:
CAPTCHA: london calling

*blush* Oh, London. Stop it, you!

What are these captchas people keep talking about? I have never seen them on this forum.

Romero? I find it hard to take the guy seriously. I still think of him as "That guy who took out a magazine ad to tell me how he was going to make me his b_tch."

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