Wii U missing universal Xbox 360, PS3 features

By Alan Ng - Nov 12, 2012

Earlier this week, we told you how the Wii U will tailor to non-gamer consumers, with the surprise revelation that the Wii U GamePad acts as a universal TV and Cable box remote control. However, we now have some potentially disappointing news to bring you regarding the lack of a big feature that won’t be on Nintendo’s new console, a feature that the Xbox 360 and PS3 consoles have been utilizing for years.

If you ask any hardcore Xbox 360 and PS3 owner, they will agree that achievements and trophies are a key part of any new release now and essential to an overall longevity of a game. Sony and Microsoft both have a rule in place to make achievements and trophies universal across all games, but unfortunately we can confirm that this won’t be the case on the Wii U.

A developer who has been busy making a title for the Wii U has said that the system won’t have universal achievements or trophies as a requirement upon release. That’s according to 5th Cell designer Jeremiah Slaczka who has been working on Scribblenauts Unlimited for the Wii U, due out alongside the system as a Wii U launch title.

He added that it will be completely up to the developer if they want to put in achievements or not, meaning they won’t be under any pressure from Nintendo to do so if they chose not to. While this may not be deemed a major blow for most prospective Wii U buyers, there is certainly going to be an element of doubt cast in the minds of consumers who were hoping that Nintendo were really making strides in gaining back hardcore gamers.

Another worrying factor is that the information has come via a third-party developer, with Nintendo staying silent all this time, with just days to go until the big launch. Put it this way, if Black Ops 2 launches on the Wii U without trophies or achievements, how is that going to make you feel – a little robbed we’re guessing, after seeing the exact rewards on the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions. Don’t forget that the Wii U version isn’t going to have Call of Duty Elite at launch either, which is bad enough for some.

Has Nintendo made a big error in not bringing universal trophies and achievements to all future Wii U titles? Let us know what you think about this and whether it is a big deal or not for you.

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  • >If you ask any hardcore Xbox 360 and PS3 owner they will agree that achievements and trophies are a key part of any new release.
    what? I’ve never cared about trophies

  • i dont care about the achievements at all, i would rather have a good game.

  • Josh

    What a ridiculous article. Besides the fact that not all PS3 games have trophies – massive error there – developers can choose whether to have them or not, meaning they will still be there. How is that bad news? Why should developers be forced to put achievements on a game, like they are on Xbox 360? Now that is stupid, considering loads of them are meaningless. If anything, Nintendo will build stronger relationships with developers by enabling them to do whatever they want with a game, rather than telling them what to do.

    I doubt the author of this article even knows what are hardcore gamer is, because many gamers like them, and many don’t; you can’t categorize people and say that all hardcore gamers need achievements. Personally, on 360 I just find achievements annoying when they pop up mid-game for doing something relatively simple. I don’t need a reason to keep playing a game that I paid £40 for, especially not points that don’t go towards any sort of reward. The achievement of gaming back in my day was completing an epic 30-hour game to the fullest, unlocking every secret, completing all game modes, completing games in different ways, speed-runs and obtaining all collectibles. Getting 1000 unnecessary points doesn’t even compare to the achievements gained from games in previous generations. Developers that need achievements to add longevity to a game need to revisit their game and make some serious adjustments.

    • A thousand times yes. Couldn’t agree more. I despise the achievement popups and everything they’ve done to gaming this generation.

      I can’t believe people are upset this isn’t being forced on Wii U developers. Don’t you want developers spending their time working on their games rather than a meaningless score they had no cares about until they decided to release for your console of choice? It’d be one thing if it actually unlocked something, but it doesn’t (and even then it should still be optional and not forced onto developers).

      People complain about the stupidest things….

  • If ANYONE, ANYONE is put off buying the Wii U JUST BECAUSE a few games don’t have trophies/achievements, then they cannot call themselves a Gamer. Trophies/Achievements are a nice touch, but they are NOT a requirement. They add some re-playability, but Nintendo are just giving the developer a choice, whereas Microsoft and Sony seem scared that they NEED their trophies/achievements to sell their consoles. Basically, Nintendo are being kinder to developers, and they believe in their product itself, rather than relying on extras.

    • Jon

      Rubbish – I call myself a gamer and since the introduction of Achievements would not play a game without them now. They may not be for everyone, but there are enough people to whom they are essential. Daft move by Nintendo in my opinion as I would say from my cross-section of friends that it’s at least 50/50 with people who feel like me, and people who don’t care too much about achievements.

      • One of the least gamer-like comments I’ve ever seen. Trophies/Achievements are great, but not playing a game without them? That means that you have no appreciation for great concept design, gameplay, film style cutscenes. Honestly, to ignore a game just because there isn’t a little digital award is actually stupid, and you’ll miss out on some amazing games. I (and many others) can’t call you a gamer.

  • Tado Ikirvic

    Couldn’t care less about achievements or trophies in games, longevity generally comes with online multiplayer options.

  • totally agree with patrick below!!who give’s a dam about trophies!!some of the acheivments are stupid!!i have a xbox and ps3!!does not bother me atall!!this is the way games should be played!!not worrying about how many zombies you killed!!how long you have driven in a certain car!!how many kills you got with a gun!!keep it real!!!

  • Mr. Resetti

    It’s a shame it’s not a requirement – I can see some devs being lazy and avoiding achievements all together – but I reckon most games will use them. Developers have been making games on 360 and PS3 for years now and have been praised for adding in achievements to reward the player and add extra re-playability to a game (developers won’t want to be criticized in making Wii U game without achievements) so I’m guessing most developers will add achievements (including BO2, Wii U is getting a port of BO2 so I’m sure Treyarch won’t get rid) the only games that won’t have achievements are small/low budget/casual games in which case the [casual] gamers playing them won’t really be to fussed, if at all, about not having achievements.

    • doomspork

      a lazy Developer is the one that doesn’t put the effort into making a good long lasting game/game experience… not one who spend time better spent developing making up a list of pointless tasks to meet a forced publishing criteria…

      they aren’t being told not to used them and some will continue to use them, they’re being given a choice…

      Achievements/trophies are or rather should be the cherry on the already delicious cake… putting them on crapcakes wont make them any more consumable…

      some developers might continue to use them universally, some might just include them on the PS3 and 360 because they’re forced to do so…

      for replayability i’ll take multiple endings, diverging passages that lead to different outcomes, exploration, in-game choices and challenges relevant to the game… things that make me go back to the game for a different experience instead of a list of mindless tasks to fulfill as added challenge after the actual game is finished after a day of two…

  • Mark Newheiser

    Achievements ruined gaming in general. Rather than creating a engaging story of 20-30 hours. Developers churn out games with 6-7 hours worth of main story and hope to pad with multiple difficulty levels or ranking system spurely for achievements.

    • i agree with you, but lets be honest would u even bother playing a game on its hardest difficulty or try unlocking its useless levels or whatever if they weren’t an reward for that hard you’ve put in? i think Achievements just challenges you more and gives you something to work towards to

      • Moon

        Agreed. Going with the hardest difficulty should be rewarded.
        With a costume or maybe a cool-ass weapon or something, i don’t want a little BEEP YOU WON 50 NOTHING POINTS. HOPE YOU ENJOYED THE BEEP.
        Achievements are nice but not a proper reward for doing something, and if some Wii U games will not have stuff popping up for beating levels and sometimes doing something silly then that’s only for the better.

        • Spencer

          Developers can put them in if they want and several multi-platform games will probably have them.

      • Mark Newheiser

        Why do you need a specific reward though. Just completing it used to be reward alone. I spent many many hours trying to find all the levels back in super mario world on the snes. I didn’t get a ‘reward’ for that. And I didn’t need one, playing and enjoying the game was enough

  • doomspork

    I think its funny how the term hardcore gamer is thrown around to refer to the “next gen” console users only… even funnier how this article makes this seem lime a bad choice for nintendo… Developers arent being forced to cram in meaningless trophies just to get their game published…

    I like a game because its good… Because it has something to offer…
    if i wanted to be sent on thousands of meaningless quests i’d just download a free korean MMORPG

    so good on you Nintendo, for giving developers the freedom of choice

  • Reggie

    I am A Hardcore Gamer, That does not mean Im a “Complainer”. Seriously, These dumb Articles are making most of us seem like Babies. Even though its really the 15 percent of hardcore Gamers who are Truly Babies. I For One, Do NOT care if there isn’t any Achievements or That Stupid Call of Duty “Elite” (Its a Waste Of Money)
    I will Pick Up The Wii U For Call Of Duty

  • Korgoth

    Nintendo has been saying since E3 that the achievement system they have in place “accomplishments” will not be mandatory. This is a move to add more freedom to developers who don’t want to clutter their games with achievements.

    This is part of why MHP3HD never came to the states on the PS3, Sony of America is insisting that all games have achievements, even though Sony of Japan does not!

    Perhaps games longevity can be increased by actually being fun to play, rather than doling out achievements for stupid tasks which are not enjoyable in the first place!
    I’m a little bitter on achievements now with the sheer number of pointless time wasters included now.

  • lumpy182

    The only thing missing is a Gamerscore equivalent. Games can still ahve trophies/acheivments: they’ll just be game specific instead of counting towards an arbitrary “score”.
    I’ll weigh up the pros and cons of what WiiU version is missing vs what other consoles are missing:
    Cons: No universal trophies, No Elite.
    Pros: Local multiplayer wiith individual screens, Off-Screen Play, Miiverse functionality on every game (share screenshots, discuss games, communities) 720p native and 60fps.
    I know which i’d prefer.

  • I wonder how sales of games will compare for those with Achievements, and for those without Achievements.

    I couldn’t play a game now without Achievements, it gives you something to work towards.

  • This is stupid….so hardcore gamers need achievements/trophies to play a game? It is so stupid, and truly irrelevant to enjoying a game, you shouldn’t need trophies and such to play a hardcore game. Seriously, who cares? If anyone who reads this DOES care, you are part of the problem with this generation of gamers….

    • i disagree with u, having achievements makes the game more challenging, i mean if they weren’t any achievements people wouldn’t see it necessary to even challenge themselves in certain areas of the game such as playing it on the hardest difficulty or unlocking certain parts of the game, it makes sense to be rewarded for your hard work while playing and more so you can compete with other gamers, no one is saying that they need achievements to play a game it just makes of a more interesting experience!

    • well said patrick!!

    • Mr. Resetti

      Hardcore gamers don’t need achievements/trophies but for a good many of us they add extra re-playability and reward the player, so IMO it’ll be a shame if many devs left out achievements I can see them leaving them out in casual games but in most games/all hardcore games they’ll add them in because the devs won’t want to be criticised for leaving them out. I hope they make their way into as many games as possible as I often play games to get as many trophies/achievements as possible but, on the other hand, I play many games without achievements and enjoy them all the same. Don’t worry folks, I’m not some A-hole that brags about achievements all the time and if you don’t like achievements or this news about trophies not being fully supported on Wii U doesn’t bother you, fine by me 🙂