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on February 13, 2013
So no offense many loved it personally I hated the Wii. When I got home from work last thing I wanted to do was fling my arms all over like a monkey an act like I was hahving fun. I ended up selling the Wii an bought a Xbox an PS3 which I love. The new ZombiU for Wii U did catch my eye though an the fact that the console is OMG yes finally HD!!!, is why I purchased a Wii U. Well I ordered the Wii U from Amazon last week an got it yesterday.

First thing I noticed when taking it out of the box is the quality. I don't pick sides like alot of people do with consoles, I just buy the console that has the games I think look good. But growing up usually it was a Nintendo console we all liked to play. For quality I will def give the Wii U a 5/5 it is quiet an quite hefty for the size which is half of what the Xbox 360S is an solid feeling. It can be laid flat or upright however you prefer. The deluxe set I purchased came with a sensor bar if you wanna play your old Wii games with the nun chucks but.........hell no I kept that in the box haha.

Next the controller which is what i was most worried on is now laid to rest. It is comfortable to hold the layout might take a little getting use to but one thing is for sure the quality of the controller also is better then any consoles controller i've ever seen. The features of the console an controller are also great. I see some amazing uses in the future with this controller. For features i'll have to say a 4/5 because it doesn't have a dvd/blu ray player but Nintendo is all about gaming an they do offer Netflix an more to watch so that rating could be looked at both ways. One very cool thing is the game cd's are Blu Ray so they can't get scratched which is great for kids.

Now for how the console looks an plays. First game I played was ZombiU an honestly it is probably the best zombie game i've played. It looks as good as any zombie game for the Xbox or PS3 but where it shines is it's features with the controller. I also know Ubisoft mentioned that ZombiU only uses about 25% of the Wii U's power an if so I can't wait to see what future games will look like. The game controlled great an the sound was superb I will def have to say a 5/5 with my first game. Nintendo has a console that can do a billion things over what the original Wii could an is so much different yet backwards compatible for if anyone wants to play there old Wii games. If they do this right Nintendo's Wii U could be quite amazing an the winner of the next console wars. I would recommend the Wii U to anyone it finally got the horrid taste of the first Wii out of my mouth an is so much fun.
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on December 3, 2013
Alright let me be honest I haven't owned a gaming system since the N64 but I've played pretty much every console since then at some capacity (mostly at friends houses).

While I simply bought this console just for Zelda but now a week in I'm absolutely amazed how awesome it is.

Some reasons I can't put the game pad down:

- Nintendo eShop : You can buy new releases, top notch vintage, and indie games for super cheap. There are specials where you can get games for even cheaper.

- Miiverse : Incredible well thought out integrted network for the Wii u and 3ds (coming soon). I'm on twitter, facebook, instagram, google plus and a million others but this honestly matches and/or beats what facebook and google+ do or are trying to do. Seems to be growing fast excited to see where it will go. And with the upcoming 3DS support will add millions of new users and new rivals to compete against.

- Game pad tablet thing : At first I was like whuuut this!? And I think allot of people are in the same boat. There are dozens of reasons I've embraced this tablet controller and actually prefer it now to the classic wii nunchuck. Multitasking support is a big one, it's smooth and intuitive. You can use the wii u game pad as a remote for your TV and other things all while not stopping the game your playing as well as a bunch of other tasks. Off TV game play is top-notch making it easy to not wake the whole house up with Zelda grunts at 3am with my head phones in. Over all it took a minute but I really like the tablet controller for these and many other reasons.

-The games are incredible: I'm OCD with research and I entertained maybe getting the new PS or the XBOX. But one visit to metacritic I realized not only does this underdog have more games but better quality games. We can get into pixel density and video card blah blah but who cares how your games look when at there core they are a pile of doodoo on the game play and fun meter. My 5 year old doesn't care about processor speed and neither do I. Also the upcoming releases; super smash bros, Wii U Zelda, and donkey kong country. Also check out all the kickstarters for indie games fundraising to come to wii u they look really good.

-You can play old Wii games, use old controllers, and transfer your content

-More affordable

-Expandable upto 3tb with an external harddrive



-and 3d mario has to be the craziest thing I've played for any system it's mind blowing

I think Nintendo just turned me into an adult fan boy. This underdog is a winner in my book.
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on November 25, 2012
At least that's what I would have called it lol. So while I'm downloading the extensive (or at least time-consuming) updates for the Wii U I thought I'd offer my first impressions and some general advice for potential buyers. I've seen a lot of complaints about early adopters annoyed that they can't play a game 5 minutes after unpacking their system, but this being Nintendo's first committed effort into things like Gamertags and full-HD current-generation downloadable content I'm willing to be very patient.

I picked the system up for exactly the MSRP on a whim at a store that got a couple as I was passing through with some friends, but I've actually played a few games already in some stores around the area so I'm not just guessing about gameplay or the tablet. Also if it matters to anyone, I've owned every Nintendo system but not since the Super Nintendo have I gotten one less than 2 years old. I own a 360/PS3 and enjoy both so no "Fanboy Bias" here.

I use a simple + and - system. More +'s mean the positive is important to me, more -'s mean more negative. So 5 +'s is a major selling point to me, while one - doesn't affect me much but might affect someone else.

General Hardware:

+++++ System is very stylish, quiet, and simple.
+++++ Wii Games, Wii Motion Plus and Accessories are compatible saving lots of money
+++++ Graphics are finally breathtaking on a Nintendo console
+++ 4 USB Ports, 1 SD card port for Wii games/saves and hard drive expansion up to 2TB
++ 2 AC adapters and HDMI cable for both bundles cuts Nintendo's profits but they made the right decision for consumers

----- Nintendo STILL does not include ability to play DVD/Blu-Ray 12 years after the PS2 first launched.
-- System is still a shiny surface and is a fingerprint and dust magnet. Especially annoying in US Navy room inspections lol.
- Moving Wii saves and game data takes several extra unnecessary steps.
- Wii Points can be transferred, but only for Wii purchases, not converted to currency in the Wii U/3DS eShop.
- It's getting more and more expensive to throw your controller during a tantrum.

Deluxe vs. Basic Model:

I would recommend the Deluxe model hands-down, there are too many extras that will save you money.

+++++ Nintendo Deluxe Points Rewards means you'll be saving about 10% on ALL purchases from the digital store.
+++ Cradle makes charging the tablet simple and protects it
++ Nintendo Land is really fun and shows off a lot of what the system can do
++ 32GB makes downloading multiple games possible even without a USB hard drive
+ Wii U stand is simple and fits snugly, making the system look great

-- Could have included a headset or headphones for the Tablet despite it having its own mic
- Tablet stand feels cheap and unnecessary, the Cradle could easily perform double-duty and had a little more invested in it
- I would have liked the option of either color (or a dozen colors) for each bundle
- I'd rather have a Pro Controller or Black Ops 2 than Nintendo Land and I'm guessing most core gamers from 360/PS3 feel the same way


+++++ For $300-$350 you get a system with 6x the processing speed of the PS3 and a freaking tablet lol
+++++ The tablet can be a game-changer for browsing the web, controlling your TV, and communicating with friends.
++++ Screen looks and feels great and is much bigger than I thought at 6.3"
++++ Buttons are smartly placed and ergonomic for many hand sizes
++ Additional features and inputs allow for growth and expansion in the device
+ Tilting the gyroscope features while playing a console video game has the same Fun-In-A-Completely-New-Way feel as the original Wii
+ Joysticks are clickable so porting over 360/PS3 games won't result in the loss of functional play.

----- There's no plan at this time for more than one tablet per Wii U to be possible. This could be due to keeping up with demand.
--- The screen is lower refresh/resolution than an iPad or 5-star tablet and takes some getting used to, I had a small headache after the first hour and rarely get them.
--- After browsing the eShop and playing Nintendo Land I realized I hadn't actually looked at my TV for about an hour. This is interesting but potentially gimmicky.


*The new eShop uses real currency instead of the Wii Points, and Wii Cards can't be converted into money like X-Box cards*

+++++ Many games are day-one digital releases. NSMB 2, ZombiU, Assassin's Creed 3, Darksiders 2 and others are available.
++++ Early Deluxe adopters will receive a 10% discount in the eShop through mid-2014 when linking a Nintendo Club account.
+++ Purchased titles can be downloaded any number of times if you're short on space.
++ Nintendo didn't demand any unnecessary information for me to create an account, demonstrating they respect privacy as much as I do.

----- Triple-A launch titles like Mass Effect 3: SE, Arkham City: Armored and CoD: Black Ops 2 are NOT available online (yet?)
----- Nintendo is notoriously slow to lower their first-party games and will not update digital prices to reflect the age of certain games.
--- In other words, expect games like Super Mario Bros. to stay above 50 dollars for several years.

Launch Titles:

+++++ New Super Mario Bros. Wii 2, Batman: Arkham City - Armored Edition, Assassin's Creed 3
++++ Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, Mass Effect 3: Special Edition, Tekken Tag Tournament 2 (Wii costumes and Mushroom Mode!)
+++ Darksiders II, ZombiU, Sonic All-Stars Racing
++ Nintendo Land, Just Dance 4, Scibblenauts, Ninja Gaiden
Sports: Madden, FIFA, NBA 2k13

Overall I'm very impressed with the device. I was skeptical when I heard the name Wii U and pictured trying to play a video game on something like an iPad, and even moreso when I saw the system looks like a longer Wii, but what's going to make me fall in love with this console is the ability to control my games anyway I want. The tablet feels fantastic, the new Pro Controller finally brings Nintendo into the fold with games like Call of Duty, and it's refreshing (and great for the environment ha) that all those Wii Motion Pluses aren't going to sit in a box and never be used again. Backward compatibility and the ability to move Wii Shop Purchases over is a bonus because without an account system I didn't think that would be possible.

I can't say enough about the implications and potential of the tablet on console gaming. Imagine a Zelda game being developed from the ground up right now (maybe an Ocarina of Time remake?) to be released around 2014 where your item screen or map is on the tablet with Link firing arrows riding Epona while you tilt the controller's gyroscope to steer and aim at targets. Or a Metal Gear game where your codec is always open. Or a Final Fantasy RPG that literally has nothing but cinema-quality action on the main screen with battle info and subtitles on the tablet.

Or planting a sentry gun in Call of Duty and being able to glance down and see what it sees in case you want to switch to gun down some enemies quickly. Or aiming a shell in Mario Kart without guessing. Or for you younger gamers, getting to a critical cut scene when your parents want to watch something else on the TV and being able to keep playing your game on the tablet with the same stellar quality and no graphical letdown.

The Wii proved that there was an interest and a new experience to be had in motion gaming, and the Wii U builds on that. There will be failures as some companies port over gimmick touchscreen features in hardly-used menus or mini-games. And there will be games that miss because they try to do too much or rely too heavily on the tablet just like the Wii Remote/Nunchuck. The tablet is a device that can be used to help engage more senses than ever before, but that doesn't mean it always needs to be the main focus or even turned on. I learned that lesson after playing Nintendo Land for twenty minutes.

A lot of people will consider the battle of the next generation of systems as each of the companies fight for position and have their own challenges. Sony has more quality exclusives than X-Box and used sheer graphical force to overpower the Wii but isn't as financially secure as they used to be. Microsoft has the least innovation but hit a homerun with X-Box Live and tailoring their entire console around internet play, friends and accessibility of entertainment and social networking. Nintendo has the most interesting ideas but still doesn't seem to understand how important online play is to the "core gamer audience" they need to bring big developers back.

Will Valve, EA, UbiSoft or Activision partner with someone? And no one can decide if Apple is going to make a move, or if Apple already made their move with the iPad and casual market and just didn't bother telling anybody. Ultimately for me, if a console delivers a new, innovative experience then it's worth checking out. How innovative that experience is and what games are available depends on my investment.

I didn't buy a Wii until late 2010 when I was sure there were at least 15-20 great games that were completely different from anything on the PS3/360. I got a Wii U as soon as I saw one available because right now I'm watching HD video and controlling it with my tablet with headphones plugged into it while downloading Super Mario for the first time in HD (although, ironically, 2D ha.)

I'm going to update and edit this review later on to clean it up and take a lot of unncessary opinion out. BTW, the Wii U comes with a Wii sensor bar so you don't need to buy that separately if you never had a Wii. For now I'll simply say if you're on the fence, I was too. I let my Wii U box sit unopened for almost a week debating whether to keep it, sell it for a profit, or sell it at cost to a family member to give as a gift to a child. Today I opened the box, and clearly if I regretted it this would have been a much shorter and angrier review ;)

By the way, it amazes me how few people had any idea the Wii U was coming or what the heck it is. Some think it's the same system in HD, some think it's literally just a tablet accessory for the Wii. Nintendo needs to hit the Super Bowl with some ads or something before their true post-launch lineup lands in spring. Finally here is some basic opinion and info about the tablet.

There's a female-adapter on the back that looks like it will be used for some sort of tripod add-on later, or to tether two tablets or even something to communicate directly with the system. There's an NFC (near-field communications) area that I've heard will be used to write and store simple data like accepting payments, applying gift cards or those ridiculous Skylander things you see everywhere but have no clue what they are.

There is a volume slider on the top with a headphone jack. The sticks aren't as firm as I'd like but they do feel durable and better than the Classic Pro Controller. There is an adapter on the bottom that will probably have something like a Super Nunchuck later on. You can use the camera to take pictures of yourself and upload it into games or let the system create a Mii similar to your features. The L/R and ZL/ZR buttons feel great. The D-Pad feels slightly too far from the left outside of the tablet and too big but this may be a good thing.

Pretty soon someone is going to have to question whether we even need D-pads anymore or if another set of 4-buttons or third joystick resembling the 8-sided Classic controller joystick is the way to go. Because the only thing I could see using a D-pad for is a fighting game and you wouldn't do that seriously on the tablet anyway. I have a Sony HDTV and the tablet found the code and started controlling it before I was even connected to the internet, very cool. There are two open tab slots on the bottom that help it seat perfectly into the cradle.
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on November 11, 2013
I was fortunate enough to find the Zombi U Hardware Bundle deal and I picked one up around the end of last Feb 2013. I love the system! Wonderful 101, Zombi U, New Super Mario Bros U, Resident Evil Revelations, Need For Speed: Most Wanted U, Injustice, Batman :Arkham City Armored Edition, Tekken Tag Tournament 2: Wii u Edition and Ninja Gaiden 3: RE have kept me busy. The Zombi U bundle at the time was a excellent buy, as it had the Black 32 GB unit, a digital copy of Nintendo Land, a physical copy of Zombi U, a New Pro Controller, a Gamepad, a gamepad stand, a gamepad cradle, Charging cable, AC Cable, sensor bar and a included HDMI cable, which should be standard with consoles at this point!

I own a bunch of digital releases as well, and having the virtual console is a great option. Games are starting to show up there more often. Using the Gamepad to control the Television as well as accessing Netflix and Amazon video is great, and Off Tv is one of it's best assets. To be able to play a game or watch a film with headphones is awesome. Chat, and video can be done thru the Gamepad as well. I feel the hardware is sleek looking, only minus is it is a fingerprint magnet, but other than that it looks nice. To be able to play most Wii games out the box is great too. I still played a lot of my Wii games, as I owned a Wii since Launch day! Thanks for being the only system with hardware backwards compatibility. Lots of Tatsunoko Vs Capcom matches here and there, and occasionally I play games like House of the Dead Overkill and MuraMasa: The Demon Blade. Playing these games thru the Wii U's HDMI cable made the games look a bit better than using the Wii's component cables, not by much but it's noticable. It has a cleaner look. So this feature was a plus for me.

SD cards are used with the system, mostly for use with Wii game saves which is cool. But for downloading games, you can purchase a separate external Hard Drive to save Digital Games and use it to store game saves as well. Most External HD's are affordable so this was a good option in my opinion. The console has 32 GB Flash memory onboard, which is enough for game saves and some downloaded games, but for retail type downloads, the external HD is your best option. The Off Tv Play is one of the best features it has as well. The only downside to this is that the range from the console cannot max out around 27 feet in my case. But still it's Off Tv play, it's a feature I think that will be used on other systems in the future. I can't tell you how many times I would get up, switch a episode of The Walking Dead on Netflix to keep up with the show, to come back to the Tv and switch the show back to the TV! It's that amazing.

As far as it stands the system is a family friendly one but I also see that it is also trying to cater to hardcore gamers such as myself, as I have been playing them since the early eighties. And I feel Nintendo has allowed the Wii U to be a more open minded system, as the games on display so far are varied. There are family friendly games like New Super Mario U, but Mature content like Resident Evil: Revelations and Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge provide gaming for the more adult gamer as well. The gamepad in some of these games actually helps to enhance the gameplay, such as in Batman Arhkam City Armored Edition, or in Wonderful 101 (which has been by the way, the most unique mind blowing game I played this year) and especially Zombi U! It could not have been played any other way once you try it out.

Only thing That needs to be done is more advertising for the system, because most folks don't know what it is until they play one for a while and come to find out, they enjoy it as much as I do. More Virtual Console games are coming, and hopefully they will flood the Nintendo E store with them. Another thing is there is some third party support, and I truly hope this sytem does well this Holiday season, reason being it truly deserves to be on everyone's Christmas wishlist. Nintendo makes the best games and if most third party companies can create games that are as technically dazzling and fun to play as Nintendo's own offerings, I cannot see why this system wouldn't be one of the hottest items this Holiday to own. And we need even more games, so far the games have been coming. With Super Mario World 3d coming in a few weeks it's going to be fun to play it! And with Bayonetta 2 looking to come real soon, and other games not yet announced it looks to be a interesting Generation for all gamers and owners of consoles everywhere. I look forward to the future of console gaming!
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on July 13, 2013
I am a casual gamer, I play much less than I used to when I was younger, but I do still game. Mainly on PC, my 360 has been collecting dust for years. I've always enjoyed the Nintendo franchise since my first NES in 1985. I bought the Wii U Deluxe set that comes with the Nintendo Land game and I also purchased Super Mario Bros U. My family and I are having so much fun with this console. The games, being the first time seeing Nintendo in full HD, look amazing! Having a blast playing Nintendo Land. The game pad is really cool.

- The console itself is thin and long, about the same width as a dvd drive for a PC but longer. It is a smooth gloss black that feels and looks high end.
- Included sensor bar, HDMI cable, charging cradle for game pad, stand for console if you want to stand it up and the game pad.
- Can use Wii remotes and play wii games
- ability to control tv from game pad

- Took about an hour for system setup and updates.
- System menu is easy to navigate
- Internet setup was straight forward, although you cant choose type of encryption until after the initial test fails.

I am giving this system 5 stars since it is exactly what I was expecting. A fun, casual, socially entertaining video game system. I have no interest in the new PS4 or Xbox One as my PC will always be more powerful than those two system. I bought the Nintendo Wii because I wanted something fun (and an experience you can only get from Nintendo), including all the franchises I've always enjoyed.

If you are considering this system for the same reasons I bought mine, I highly recommend it. You will not be disappointed.
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on September 22, 2013
This is a fun console so much more than just games to offer. Yeah it doesn't have a blu ray player, but why bother with that when there's hulu, netflix, amazon and others you can get digitally on here, which really comes in handy if you have a kindle fire hd with cloud player like me. Then there's the main reason why I bought it.. GAMES! New Super Mario U, Pikmin 3, Zombie U, New Super Luigi U, Wind Waker HD, Wonderful 101, Rayman Legends, and then there's the upcoming releases such Super Mario 3D World, Donkey Kong Country Freeze, among many others. I'm all set for 8th generation console gaming. Ignore the Dronie Playstation 4 trolls (just the trolls are dronies, not all Sony gamers) who are so called "experts" in sales and marketing, it's fun, and only in it's first year.
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on October 13, 2014
The Wii U will go down in history as an under-appreciated, under-selling gem similar to Nintendo's own Gamecube, or even Sega's Dreamcast. Don't let the negative public perception and the stupid name persuade you from owning this awesome console. If you like Nintendo, and want something a little different at a reasonable price, don't hesitate to pick up this system.

I've owned a Wii U for going on 2 years now, and the games I own are Pikmin 3, New Super Mario Bros. U, Nintendoland, Mario Kart 8, Super Mario 3D World, Wind Waker HD, and my old Wii catalog which includes Xenoblade Chronicles, Wii Sports, Resident Evil 4, and others. I also own an Xbox One, a PS3 and a gaming laptop. I find myself splitting my gaming time most evenly between my gaming laptop and the Wii U. There are a lot of reasons why the Wii U is a great console, I will try to list them below along with some cons:

- Wii U is the ONLY new generation console that is 100% backwards compatible out of the box
- You can play any game offscreen with the Wii U Gamepad without having to buy any more accessories. Wife wants to watch TV? No problem!
- It has more games worth playing than both the Xbox One and the PS4 as of the writing of this review, and more amazing games on the way such as Bayonetta 2, Legend of Zelda and Smash Bros.
- It has full Netflix, Hulu, Youtube and Amazon functionality just like the other consoles do
- It is by far the most family friendly system on the market. Great if you have kids
- It is also by far the best party system on the market. Nintendoland, Wii Sports, Mario Kart and Smash Bros. are all great at social gatherings
- Nintendo first party games are some of the best on the market. You can't play Mario, Zelda, Metroid, Starfox, etc. anywhere else
- FREE ONLINE PLAY, no Playstation Plus or Xbox Live type subscription required.
- Nice indie support and Virtual Console keeps churning out classic games

- Underpowered. Still uses PowerPC architecture instead of x86 like the other consoles have switched over to
- Lack of 3rd party support (due to reasons stated above)
- Gamepad battery life is very short, must be recharged constantly (unless you buy the better battery for 70 bucks. Ouch!)
- Lack of newer, more "mature" titles such as Call of Duty, Assassins Creed, Grand Theft Auto, etc. (I have a nice gaming laptop so this doesn't affect me at all)
- traditional Pro Controller not included and does not have headset support. You have to plug in your headset into the Gamepad, which is pretty silly
- User interface is a bit clunky

If the cons don't sound like total deal breakers to you, then I would definitely recommend getting a Wii U. In my mind the pros outweigh the cons entirely due to where is counts: GAMES. Wind Waker HD, Mario Kart 8, Super Mario 3D World, Wonderful 101, Zombie U, Nintendo Land and Pikmin 3, etc. are all awesome, and there is more quality software on the way. The Wii U is getting better and better all the time in a world where marketing hype can overshadow the quality of software itself. You can always count on Nintendo delivering the goods, and to me, that makes owning a Wii U totally worth it.
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on December 9, 2013
Is the Wii U next gen? Most people say that it is last gen due to not comparing spec-wise to the PS4 or Xbox One. There are some that think Nintendo should already ditch the Wii U and release a more powerful console. This is, of course, completely ridiculous. The Wii U is capable of 60 fps at 1080p natively, and can produce better effects than either the PS3 or Xbox 360. That is good enough to make incredible visuals in the worlds Nintendo games tend to be in. I was pretty much dead-set on the PS4 until it came out last month. Once I played with the next-gen games, they just felt like very glossy, effect laden Xbox 360 or PS3 games. There is no revolution there...not yet anyway. It is an incremental increase over last gen, as everyone predicted it would be. Many people won't really be able to spot the differences. I showed my wife Forza 5 on a display at the Microsoft store. She plays games regularly and has played Forza 4. She said "don't we have this game?". I have played FPS games to death over the last 7 years with my Xbox 360, and quite frankly I am getting bored with them. Then I saw the first video of Super Mario 3D World running in HD. Now THAT made me take notice. Gamers haven't really seen Nintendo unleash a full 3D world with HD visuals like this before, and now that it is here...I'll take it. More please. I could not be more excited to see what they will do with Metroid and the next Zelda.

While one can debate the gamepad is a game changer, you can't debate that it is not a living room changer. Now I can play console quality games on a nice 6.2" screen while my family watches other things on TV. It is really a fantastic feature and one Nintendo really needs to push harder in advertising. The Wii U's system interface, while not as modern looking as the Xbox One and PS4, is actually easier to use for getting at things quickly. The icon grid is much like a smartphone, allowing you to put all your favorite stuff right on the home page for instant launching. I can turn on the Wii U, launch Zelda, and start playing on the gamepad without even changing the input on the TV to the Wii U. Of course, the Wii U is not as much of a true media center as either the XB1 or PS4. It can't play Blu-Ray or even DVD discs. It also doesn't support Dolby Digital or DTS standards, only uncompressed LPCM.

Overall I am very happy with my purchase so far. I can only assume I am not the only one that was swayed by AAA games with great reviews that you can't get anywhere else. I hope 2014 sees some major marketing behind titles like Donkey Kong, Smash Bros, and Mario Kart along with major announcements for Metroid, Zelda, or Starfox.
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on November 15, 2013
I preordered a 32gb black Wii U & LOVED it at launch. Nintendoland & NSMBU were great for a couple months, but then the games stopped coming. If this review was written 6-9 months ago, it would probably be 3 1/2 stars. But now with all the great games & upcoming releases (Super Mario 3D World, Mario Kart 8, Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze & others), not to mention the price drop, buying a Wii U is a must for any Nintendo or video game lover. I would go with the NSMBU/NSLU or Wind Waker HD bundle.
The virtual console service is SLOWLY getting better, but games like EarthBound, Super Castlevania IV, Mario 3 (coming soon), and others should keep you busy until the releases start getting better/faster. The eShop is picking up too. A ton of indie games were shown during Nintendo Direct on 11/13, and there's already a good amount to choose from now.

Recommended games:

New Super Mario Bros. U / New Super Luigi U
Rayman Legends
Pikmin 3
Wind Waker HD
Batman Arkham City (super cheap on Amazon)
The Wonderful 101

Wii Fit U
Wii Sports Club
Little Inferno
Cloudberry Kingdom
Mighty Switch Force 1 & 2
Toki Tori & Toki Tori 2+
Trine 2

Virtual Console:
Super Castlevania IV
Kirby's Adventure (actually all four Kirby games)
Super Metroid
Super Mario World
Pinball (trust me, it's awesome!)

In short, if you play a lot of games yourself, or with friends/family in the same house, buy a Wii U. There's a ton of great games out now, and even more coming in the future.
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on November 28, 2013
This system got off to a rough start, so it took me a long time to even begin to desire one. Now it's both easily a better choice for purchase than Playstation 4 or Xbox One, and just a piece of hardware worth owning for any video game connoisseur.. just compare the games' metacritic scores and overall interesting-ness...

PS4 - Generic First Person Shooters and Knack, which is critically panned. The future of the PS3 currently looks more bright than the future of the PS4. Someday when stuff like Final Fantasy XV, Rime, and the Last Guardian come out, I will buy a PS4 too.. but that someday is no day soon.

Xbox One - Generic Shooters and Ryse, which is critically panned. These systems are for the mindless testosterone-filled drones who constantly play Halo and Gears of War online without getting bored. For those of us who want a bit of variety, it's a no-brainer to say no to the One.

Wii U - Wonderful 101, Super Mario 3D World, Zelda Wind Waker HD, Pikmin, Nintendo Land Zombi U, Deus Ex: Human Revolution Director's Cut, Rayman Legends, Splinter Cell Blacklist, Ninja Gaiden 3 Razor's Edge: all run fantastic on this system - and you still get you Call of Duty Ghost if you insist on generic shooters. And in the future this system will get an amazing looking game tentatively called "X" by monolith soft, along with Bayonetta 2, Shin Megami Tensei x Fire Emblem, Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze, Mario Kart U, Super Smash Bros U.

And I honestly liked Wonderful 101 a lot more than the reviews did... yes there was a learning period with its controls due to its complexity - but once I figured things out it ended up one of my favorite games of the year. And Mario 3D World.. oh man... get three more people and just play it... a ton of fun that had us up til 5 AM!!

There are a few PS3 and Xbox games which run poorly on the Wii U due to poor optimization. Whereas last-gen game engines use a brute-force method, this gen's games need to be designed with the GPGPU and efficient memory pipeline in mind. So until 3rd party devs make the move to next gen hardware, the Wii U might have a few poorly optimized games. The 3-core-out-of-order Power PC CPU does not have blistering clock speeds, but just like a 2ghz i5 is much faster than 3ghz pentium 4, the same applies here - it's not just about raw speed it's about architecture and the WiiU architecture needs good optimization. Early PS3 multiplatform titles saw a similar issue compared to their Xbox 360 counterparts, but by the end of last-gen it was pretty tough to decide which system to get a multiplat on, whereas the PS3's exclusives were a no-brainer. The WiiU carries on that mantle.

As far as hard drive space goes, 32GB is not a lot, but that's a solid state drive so it's blazing fast and the OS truly benefits from it. You can add more disc space via USB hard drive if you need it.

As far as the controller goes, it's not my favorite - I would prefer a traditional controller because the LCD touchscreen is a bit distracting but that's typical of any attempt at innovation. Regardless of that, I will say the controller is extremely comfortable in my hands!

Graphics-wise, don't be fooled by propaganda out there that this is last-gen. The pipelines, the architecture, the GPU, the ram design are all very efficient and while it doesn't match up to the Xbox One or PS4 in these regards, it isn't far enough behind to make a big deal about it. All three systems lag greatly compared to a PC like the Large Pixel Collider.

What else? The WiiU system is Wii backwards compatible, has a huge virtual console library, and is actually designed from the ground-up as a gaming console, rather than as a stripped down PC. It won't play your blu-rays, although it seems to me everyone either has a blu ray player or doesn't want one these days.
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