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Wii U Review Roundup: Critics underwhelmed by Wii U hardware

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Showing 1-25 of 150 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 24, 2012 5:35:33 AM PST
RJMacReady says:

The Wii U launched Sunday and after a few days of testing it out, many critics have voiced their initial opinions on the system.
From a general standpoint, it looks like the console did not astound anyone too much. While some critics buzzed about the potential, most felt that the hardware was underwhelming and that the gameplay possibilities were untapped.
IGN's Nic Vargus remarked on the ability to obtain new experiences using the two screens and stated that ". Using it as a second display for solo experiences wowed me far less frequently than when I used it for asymmetrical local multiplayer. Games like Nintendo Land's Luigi's Mansion, in which one player can see things on the GamePad others cannot, makes fun use of this dynamic."
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The Verge's David Pierce was also fascinated by the GamePad and stated that "The Wii U is close - tantalizingly close - to being a portable console. So close, in fact, that I found myself wondering constantly why the GamePad wasn't the console, and the TV-connected piece a peripheral."
CNET's Jeff Baklar added that there was a great deal of potential in "off-TV" play.."This promising features place-shifts all the action to the GamePad controller. It essentially gives you Wii U graphics and performance in a tablet-size form factor, eliminating the need for a TV altogether," added Baklar.
Kotaku's Steven Totilo adds that "The resolution of the GamePad screen, while inferior to an HDTV or an iPad, still presents game graphics exceedingly well. Mario looked just as vibrant and was just as playable on the GamePad screen as it was on the TV. Madden transferred fine. Nintendo Land's Pikmin and Zelda games looked technically better on the GamePad screen than any console games in their respective series ever looked on televisions. Graphically, visually, the GamePad holds its own."
However, most critics remarked that the title was still very much a work in progress and stated that Wii U's launch failed to deliver the next-gen gaming everyone was hoping for. IGN complained about not knowing how many cores in the processor, thus making it impossible to know the true potential of the console's power. The publication also felt that the GamePad felt cheap and that its resolution (158ppi) was not state of the art. Loading screens were also a concern for IGN. The publication gave the console a mediocre score of 7.6.
Endgadget's Ben Gilbert was even more direct and stated that the GamePad felt like a toy and that "the four main buttons resemble aspirin pills and aren't of the polish we expect from modern game consoles; glossy plus / minus buttons accentuate this tragedy even further. Shallow, squishy shoulder buttons akin to those on Sony's DualShock 3 compare poorly to those found on the current Xbox 360 controller as well as competent third-party equivalents. And the convex analog sticks had our thumbs easily slipping during long Mario sessions."
Gamespot was even less complimentary and dedicated an entire piece on the console's shortcomings. Editor Peter Brown lamented the misuse of hardware space, a "bloated operating system," and the poor options to connect with external drives. The Wii U has USB 2,0 drives, which according to the publication are three years outdated.
Complaints also arose over poor use of the dual screen with IGN stating that "But, at least for now, genuinely new experiences are the exceptions, not the rule. Few single player experiences utilize the GamePad quite as ingeniously."
The Verge writer Pierce adds, "Every game implements the GamePad differently, and most don't do it very well. Some of the games in Nintendo Land take place almost entirely on the GamePad, so all you see on your TV is 'Look at the GamePad!' Others are mirrored, so you're seeing exactly the same thing on the TV and on the GamePad - it's distracting to see things happening on both screens, and I wound up constantly shifting my gaze because I'd see some movement out of the corner of my eye." The publication ultimately gave the console a 7.0 rating.
All of the publications complained about the poor battery life of the Wii U controller.
All of these reviews are obviously initial impressions since most console rarely come out running in their initial months. The true consensus can only be made when the system has some new titles and some years of experience, but initial responses from the critics clearly indicate that Nintendo has some serious work to do.


Posted on Nov 24, 2012 12:26:05 PM PST
most reviewers just want to see better graphics, anything else is a "gimmick". once more developers get on board, we'll see more creative games and graphics don't mean everything=minecraft

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 24, 2012 12:28:37 PM PST
To be fair though, the Wii was pretty critically acclaimed despite having nowhere near as much hardware horsepower as the other home consoles.

Posted on Nov 24, 2012 12:35:34 PM PST
"and I wound up constantly shifting my gaze because I'd see some movement out of the corner of my eye"

What? Who holds their controller in their FOV while they play? Is he playing like one of those stupid gamer ads with the controller in front of his face? Also he hates the shoulder buttons and the convex sticks, but the PS3's Dualshock is a great controller (I personally prefer the XBOX controller because I have big hands, but the Sony controller is a classic). Also complaining about what USB standard the hardrive uses is pretty ridiculous. No matter what standard they use it's going to be fast than an optical disk reader, so who cares?

Posted on Nov 24, 2012 12:37:12 PM PST
Click on the thread title, who could it be? Believe it or not, it's RJMacReady! You're walkin' on air my friend.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 24, 2012 12:40:52 PM PST
uncledonnie3 says:
I also was incredibly shocked!

Posted on Nov 24, 2012 12:45:29 PM PST
Forever R. says:
Wondering about third party Wii U gamepads? anything on that?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 24, 2012 1:01:43 PM PST
I would avoid at all costs. For any system I will always go first party for controllers. However I do think this is 3rd party.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 24, 2012 1:16:38 PM PST
Forever R. says:
thats just wrong

Posted on Nov 24, 2012 1:25:13 PM PST
John McClane says:
I like the Wii U except I'm annoyed that Nintendo was lazy and only gave NSMBU a stereo soundtrack.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 24, 2012 1:49:16 PM PST
Paper Tiger says:
Haha I actually decided to order that controller for my Wii U. I really loved the SNES : )

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 24, 2012 1:56:01 PM PST
Shoot the messenger?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 24, 2012 3:22:33 PM PST
Nah, I don't care too much, and if you read my impressions in a different thread you would know that I'm not terribly impressed with the machine either but for different reasons. This is just thread number 4 or 5 of RJ's pointing out problems, there could be more but since I'm on vacation I'm not spending a great deal of time here.

Posted on Nov 24, 2012 6:41:18 PM PST
Ah, another one of these threads from RJ. You know, since you prioritize graphics/hardware over gameplay so much, you should consider PC gaming.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 24, 2012 7:43:51 PM PST
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In reply to an earlier post on Nov 24, 2012 7:47:08 PM PST
That explains the no response on the WiiU. Lol. Enjoy your vacation

Posted on Nov 24, 2012 7:47:26 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 24, 2012 8:47:18 PM PST
Funny how Punk and KK take offense on RJ's threads about Nintendo, but when Jason does the same thing with Sony, they all laugh and pat him on the back for it.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 24, 2012 7:54:58 PM PST
Jawwaad says:
I really don't understand why they are underwhelmed. They knew before the Wii U's release, that it wasn't going to much stronger than the PS3/360. Nintendo wasn't looking for a console that was far ahead of the PS3/360. They made a console that was up to par with this generation of consoles but with a innovative addition to playing video games. They made a console that now can appeal to "hardcore" gamers but still appeal to the casual gamers also. Nintendo's biggest improvement in my eyes is the fact that they seem to be getting more friendly with more developers and hopefully we will see all AAA titles not only go to the PS3/360 but also the Wii U which we haven't seen in the past with Nintendo consoles. I love my Wii U and can't waiit to see what Nintendo has in store for us later down the line.

Posted on Nov 25, 2012 12:35:25 AM PST
Dang it! Not another Wii sensor bar!! So basically what I get for WiiU compare to Wii is a tablet and HDMI upgrade? It's merely a Wii upgrade, not a brand new system. Nintendo spent most of R&D money in developing 3DS that they didn't expect Wii's life span was a lot shorter. What they should do is follow what Neo Geo X is doing. Play WiiU games on the go as well. Use the console as docking station and improve graphic on big screen.

Posted on Nov 25, 2012 1:41:34 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 25, 2012 1:42:05 AM PST
JinTX says:
I've said it before and I'll say it again. Get rid of the stupid tablet controller and make the regular controller 100% compatible with all games, then reduce the price to $200, and I might consider rejoining Ninendo's fan base. Until then, my SMB and Zelda time will be spent playing the 8-bit through gamecube era games.

Posted on Nov 25, 2012 2:07:45 AM PST
Fullme7al says:
I can see where they are coming from. But the experience you get from playing the Wii U is like nothing I've seen before. Zombi U was such a great experience. It was the best horro game I've ever played. Yes, the controls needed some tightening and the plot was meh, but I've never been so scared of a game or movie like this before, and I'm all about horror. While I plan on having the next xbox and maybe ps3, there will be some great experiences to have on the wii U(but I've heard xbox is going to have an intuitive controller too, so we'll see). I just can't wait for Zombi U 2, and I'm hoping for Fatal Frame, that would be so sweet, and I remember capcom saying they could do a lot of things with the control for resident evil.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 25, 2012 3:19:40 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 25, 2012 3:21:08 AM PST
JinTX says:
If that rumored touch-screen controller thing for the next xbox turns out to be true and it's mandatory for any of the games I'm interested in, I won't be buying that system. There are so many games on the 360 I could easily entertain myself for decades with it, not to mention the old classic games, without buying another system if they're going to shove these retarded touch screen controls down my throat.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 25, 2012 4:40:49 AM PST
MrFoxhound says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 25, 2012 4:20:21 PM PST
And I'm an Xbot.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 25, 2012 4:29:40 PM PST
Funny thing is, that Tablet Controller is the best part. And I don't even like Tablets.

It lets me stream my games to the tablet so I can play them while watching movies and such on netflix or DvD form my PS3.

I really really like that.

The Wii U Controller doesn't feel as bulky as I thought it would, I kinda like it.
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Discussion in:  Video Games forum
Participants:  31
Total posts:  150
Initial post:  Nov 24, 2012
Latest post:  Nov 26, 2012

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