Next Gen Consoles are launching in a new world
I think we should all take a second and acknowledge that the Wii U is going to be the first console to launch in the post-iPhone world. It sounds crazy, but the Wii launched a full year before iPhone existed (at least in their current, app-filled form).
In 2006 the best game you could play on your phone was Snake. Some would argue that it's still the best game, but the point remains. The Wii launched in a world with no Angry Birds, no $0.99 cell phone games, no sub-$200 tablets, no Words With Friends, etc. I am really curious how excited the general public will get for a $299 console targeted mostly at kids that has games that cost $60. Will we see "Wii Frenzy" all over again? Only time will tell.
For the price of the Wii U Deluxe package, you could buy a 7" Kindle Fire HD and about 150 games. Sure, most of those games are terrible, but some of them are genuinely fun. As fun as a new Smash Bros game? I highly doubt it, but the general public doesn't even know what Smash Bros is. And is New Super Mario Bros really $59 more fun than Angry Birds Space? This is the question Nintendo is going to have to answer in the minds of the general public.
I am glad that Nintendo appears to have accepted this new reality. It is no longer acceptable for a console to just play video games. Consumers need to see Netflix and Hulu and other apps on the side of the box in order for people to justify buying a more expensive device that has to be plugged in at all times. It appears that Nintendo is moving in the right direction concerning entertainment.
I hope the Wii U does well. I know I will be buying one, but I wonder what the rest of the world will do in the first post-iPhone console launch.