It's something of a truism in most any industry that, to improve something, adding zombies is a fast, easy, and cost effective way to do so. Nintendo seems to be taking that truism to heart with its recent unveiling of the new Wii U Deluxe set, which will not only offer a new controller but loads of zombie-based bonuses besides.
The new Wii U Deluxe set will include not only a Wii U system with a brand-new Wii U Pro controller, but also a 32 gigabyte hard drive and a charging cradle for the GamePad controller. Additionally, users will get an automatic enrollment in Nintendo's “Digital Deluxe Program” for the Wii U, in which 10 percent of all purchases made in the Nintendo eShop will come back to the user as in-store points toward future purchases. Since the eShop is constantly expanding, and adding in both Wii U content, as well as older titles from previous system releases, it's a deal that's hard to pass up. There's even a free download of Nintendo Land, the mini-game extravaganza.
But no expansion set is complete without zombies, and the new Wii U will have them, and then some. Not only will the Wii U come with a copy of ZombiU, but it will also pack in a book of ZombiU artwork, as well as some commentary from the creators. The whole package will appear February 17, and is set to sell at $390.
It wasn't so long ago that we heard from Nintendo's top brass, apologizing for the dearth of games in the pipeline for most of the first quarter of 2013, so seeing something like this come out smacks of a desperation move on Nintendo's part. Granted, a lot of gamers have been enjoying ZombiU, and a zombie-themed game is the kind of thing that could tip some gamers on the fence over to Nintendo's camp. But at the same time, trying to hang interest on a comparatively small hook like ZombiU is a bit of a long shot. Still, Nintendo does have some room to work here, straddling the market between hard-core and casual with offerings geared toward each side of the equation, so trying to drum up interest in the system with one of its major releases as a way to supplement the recent spate of promises out of Nintendo's camp could be a worthwhile strategy.
There's one important caveat with something like this; Nintendo's going to have to have a sound followup ready. It might be able to get some new players in the door with a zombie-heavy Wii U package, but it's going to take more than zombies and gimmicks to keep them inside. The next few months may well make or break Nintendo as we know it.
Edited by Ashley Caputo