Onward Wii U

So Christmas is past and through no fault of Christmas I have my hands on a Wii U. I’ll document some of my initial thoughts here.

Black Wii U

  • Hardware is nice. Really nice. I liked the Wii as just a piece of technology (and one that Nintendo really didn’t re-release like the slimmed-up Xbox 360 and PS3), and the Wii U continues the trend of really nice, slick, hardware that might not need a major revision in the future. Granted, the console itself is bigger, but it is quieter than the original Wii … so points on that. I do like the separate LED to show that a disk is loaded. A nice, simple touch. Bringing the sync button outside of the hinged door is another small change but makes it much easier to use the console.
  • The Wii U GamePad is going to take some time for me to get used to. After the Wii Remote + Nunchuck of the Wii, the GamePad seems very rigid because … it is. Not a knock against it, but it is something different. The screen looks really good and I can understand why they used resistive instead of capacitive touch for as well. No, it is not HD, but it works well enough for a controller with eleventy-billion different sensors on it.
  • I’m starting to think of the Wii U as a more powerful Wii plus the addition of the dual-screen nature of the Nintendo DS. I wasn’t even thinking that way before, but after using the console for over a day, I can already see what Nintendo was going after. The GamePad really opens up some avenues before restricted to just the mobile-focused DS and 3DS, which could be exciting. It took almost the entire generation of the Wii to get to a game that really harnessed the motion controls in such a way to deliver what everyone was hoping for in the beginning (I’m looking at you The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword), and the DS took a good, long while before games started to really take advantage of the dual-screen nature of that device. The Wii U will take some time as well as developers try and put the two together, but I think Nintendo has provided a decent game to showcase some ideas (Nintendoland), and I have a feeling that hey will be pushing things forward as they usually do. This is why we need a strong Nintendo and I cringe every time someone says that Nintendo should stop making hardware and start just publishing games for other platforms. How quickly we forget about Sega.
  • It is nice to see Nintendo properties in HD.
  • I’m very interested to see what Nintendo is going to do with the Zelda series. So far Zelda, Metroid, and 3D Mario have not been announced or even shown off … but with the GamePad, Remote, Remote + Nunchuck, and Pro Controller you have a plethora of options for controlling those games and who knows what will happen with the second screen available. I’m hoping they keep the 1:1 controls from Skyward Sword around but refine them just a little bit. The future will be interesting.
  • I’m planning on picking up one of the big-name 3rd party ports to try and get an idea of how those might do on the system. There is a huge backlog of high-quality ports that could now be brought over to the Wii U and probably do quite well. Mass Effect 3 is on the top of the list for now.

I think that is about it for now. Overall, I’m highly impressed with the system and even just the two games I have so far (Nintendoland and Just Dance 4). Having an HD Nintendo system should not be underestimated.

One thing I have not dug into is any of the online components. That will be for later (and for games that feature online play more prevalently).

3 thoughts on “Onward Wii U”

  1. Thanks for the review. I have seen alot of negativity from reviewers in the big media towards this system. The biggest thing the media has been saying about the Wii U is that it is Nintendo’s last console…. To be fair, the next playstation and next xbox will be last of those too. All consoles will be pretty much dead sometime in the next 4-6 years as tablets are almost caught up to consoles as far as processing power goes. Tablets also can display out of a hdmi to a 1080p screen, and are able to accept bluetooth devices (controllers)..

    My guess is video gaming will move totally to the tablet. And Nintendo will still probably put out innovative new ways to interact with games and as well release some great games of their own (How many bad gamse have Nintendo studios actually made? I can’t name any)

    I love the Wii u. I was shopping for a PS3 or Xbox360 console last year, and as much as I played my brothers or friends system, the Sony and Microsoft system just don’t seem very innovative, and the gameplay is just stale. And after seeing the Wii u it shown off at 2011 E3 I decided to wait for Nintendo’s offering…. Nintendo seems to always seek out new ways to interact with our games and that is why their systems are alwasy te most fun to play.

    1. I think the negativity is going to be around for a while until Nintendo gets its footing … much like the Nintendo DS when it was first released. It was listed as DOA by many because, in the offing, the PSP was coming and the DS wasn’t going to be able to keep up. It could go either way with the Wii U, but I like to think that Nintendo is moving the game somewhere else again, much like they did with the Wii, and that I would not be surprised to see “second screen” stuff getting some top-billing from the other manufacturers.

      Tablet devices might take over a lot of the gaming landscape, but physics will always dictate that you can have more power housed in a device that can be hooked up to both power and the television. I think that will keep consoles firmly in the mind of many. I’ll be posting more on PC vs. Console vs. Tablet gaming in the future … luckily I have all three.

      Thanks for the comment.

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