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on December 1, 2013
Like most people I was hesitant to pick this up because of all the mediocre reviews. I'm a 28 year old married working professional (pediatrics resident) and like many adults I don't have time to spend playing hours and hours of video games. I wanted something I could pick up recreationally and just have fun with (although i do look for a deep meaningful gaming experience, as well). I also wanted something I could use for party games with other people. I strongly considered xbox one. But a couple things really turned me off to that. For one I think its stupid (and genius) that you have to pay a subscription fee for any online service. I already paid $500 and now I have to pay $60/year more! That's ridiculous! Then I also realized that no game in the xbox one or xbox 360 lineup sounded as fun as nintendo games I had spent hundreds of hours playing (wii sports first, then mario, donkey kong, mario kart!!!, the 'trauma' series, just dance). I could pull out mario kart and EVERYONE loved playing it.

The wii u piqued my interest for many reasons but mostly the price seemed right. The deluxe bundle with two games (mario and luigi) was $299. I also picked up nintendo land at gamestop for $13.50 and two wii motion plus add-ons for like $15 each.

This has been the best gaming decision I could have possibly made!!!

Reason #1: backwards compatible
I can play all my old wii games that I know and love!!! And I don't have to invest in all new controllers and stuff. ALSO, I just found out that a recent update now allows you to do a one time transfer from your wii!!! That means I don't have to re-purchase super mario 3, super mario world, street fighter, or the other games I had bought. No one seems to know about this (even thr nintendo reps I had asked!) But for previous wii owners this is a huge plus!!!

Reason #2: the second screen is a God send to every married man or person in similar situation
I'm with friends and they want to watch football, I wanted to mess around with the wii. No problem!!! my wife has certain shows that I like to avoid (ie real housewives).. this offers a perfect way to do it. You can even use the wii remotes with the screen to make it like a miniature tv.

Reason #3: the FUN FACTOR
Remember the first time you played wii and it was cool because anyone could just pick it up and play. All of a sudden everyone wanted to try bowling. my mom, sisters.. people who previously hated how video games stole the tv. I never thought that would be replicated on the wii u. To be fair, I had doubts because the interface is less intuitive (although sometimes more intuitive with the ease of touching the gamepad).. there also have been a lot of updates which take time and could make the most casual gamers lose interest.

But don't let that dissuade you! Nintendo land is literally the most fun I've had on a game system with family since those first days of owning a wii. My wife, who's never been into games (even the wii) has been asking to play nintendo land! The games are simple but just SO MUCH FUN!!! The smiles on her face and our laughs as we play these games more than cover the cost of the system. The asymetric gaming is something revolutionary. It allows people to have different roles in the same game. The uses for the second screen seem to be endless.

The other fun part is creating your mii. They actually resemble you. And when you see yourself in the game it just adds something to the experience.

Reason#5 - the future
I don't know what will happen with wii u. It may be too late to be successful. But I do know there are new games on the horizon that make it even more worth having (mario kart!!!). And best of all the games look GREAT! They are in true 1080 hd. There comes a point where better graphics only add so much. If you want that I've heard people say a gaming pc is better than xbox or PlayStation. but if you want fun invest in the wii u. Your kids will not be disappointed, and neither will you.

Ps.. one additional hypothetical app that would make this system even cooler is Skype. If wii u was able to get this app (it already has netflix, amazon video, and hulu plus.. which work GREAT btw it even shows extra imdb content on the gamepad as you watch!!!). You could leave your wii u on and the second screen could recieve skype calls while you watch tv. How cool would that be!!! Xbox one has gotten a lot of attention for being a total entertainment system but wii u could be comparable. So what if you can control channels with xbox? You can do that with the nintendo gamepad. You can't control dvr or ondemand content so I think xbox is going to be less seamless than people think.

Bottom line: LONG LIVE NINTENDO!!!
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Great News. Today (4/30/2013) Nintendo released an update that resolved a lot of the problems that the Wii U had. My personal favorite is that you can now download and install games in the background and fully automatically. Yes, it should have been like that since the beginning. Three cheers! I've updated my review to reflect this new information.
-----------------
Original review (edited due to improvements by Nintendo):

I remember that Nintendo came under a lot of criticism for not having an HD version of the Wii. HD was around when the first Wii came out, and a lot of people were a bit skeptical that they stuck to the lower resolution. As HD became common, Nintendo told fans that they had to do something "more" than just come out with an HD version of the Wii.

Well, thats just what Nintendo did. The Wii U is more than "just Wii HD". But Nintendo hasn't changed the Wii experience very much. You still use Wii remotes every time you play. The Wii U is not "completely different" like the Wii was when it came out. The Wii U is the Wii's younger, smarter brother. And if you liked the Wii, you'll like the Wii U.

The 3 main features of the Wii U are:
1) Its HD, which brings it (finally) up to speed with the Xbox and Playstation ... and everything else out there.
2) The Wii U has a single video controller. The video controller opens up new game experiences. Whoever is playing on the video controller sees something different than the other players. For generations people have wanted multiplayer games that didn't use a "split TV screen", and the Wii U gives you that in one console. This is a really big deal. The video controller is also a touchscreen which you use to flick something at the screen, or move things on screen. The new video controller allows for new control options ... just like the "Wii balance board" allowed Nintendo to sell yoga and ski games.
3) Videos, videos, videos. Netflix, youtube, TiVo, amazon instant video. It will keep track of the TV shows you want to watch, and when they will be on. You'll also be able to use the Wii U as a social outlet to chat about TV shows and movies. Nintendo calls this Wii TVii, and it would be a revolution in TV watching... if only all the features were available now. So you can use the Wii U as a control for all your Video experiences with your TV. The video controller will act like "PIP Picture in Picture in the palm of your hand". I use the Wii U with Amazon Video to watch movies for free, and the Wii remote lets me see information about the movie on IMDB WHILE the movie is playing. For sports, you'll be able to watch instant replays on the small screen... while the rest of your buddies continue to watch the big game on the main screen. So its going to be a remote controller on steroids. To be honest, this is going to be a really big big deal but since not all the features roll until "later" I can't give the WIi U a star for it yet. Maybe it will change your life, maybe not. Time will tell.

And that concludes the main appeal of the Wii U. We finally get HD, the video controller adds a new dimension to the usual Wii gaming, and it also serves as a "TV command center".

FAQ:::Some people have asked me about the Wii U, and the short answers are:
1) No, you don't have to own a Wii to have a Wii U.
2) You can only use ONE video controller with your Wii U. All other players use the old Wii remote.
3) 5 people can play at once, making it even more of a "game party" console than before.
4) You can't play DVDs or Blu Ray discs. Blue Ray is Sony Playstation territory, as you probably know.
5) You can surf the internet on it (why would you want to? I don't know)
6) Should I get the deluxe? Probably. You get 32gb of memory, which will become more important the longer you have the console, and the more you do with it. You get the Nintendo Land game. You get the cradle for charging the video gamepad. And until 2014 they will give you a store credit of 10% every time you make a purchase of digital content (games). If you buy digital content regularly, you might "earn back" the extra $50 you pay for the deluxe Wii U. (I tried this yesterday, read below for more info on the credit)

NintendoLAND:
Nintendo Land has a nice set of games that introduce you to life with the video controller:
1) Some of the games are a lot of fun. The most popular minigames in our house are the game where one player pretends to be a ghost and scares other players. This is accomplished by having two screens, the ghost can see everyone, but nobody else knows where the ghost is. This is always a howling good time at our house. The Mario hide and seek works the same way and is also popular with us. (update: after a month of play, the Kids now play Zelda and Metroid the most)
2) Some of the games would be worth about $1 in an "app store". (race game, balloon game, and yoshi game: I'm talking to you!)
3) Some games have more than one control scheme. The Pikmin game is enjoyed by my 4 year old because he can use a stylus to direct "Captain Olimar" instead of the joysticks/d-pads. He just points at what he wants to do. So for the first time even my youngest can join in on at least some of the action.
4) Metroid and Zelda show off what the Wii U can do for multiplayer combat/FPS. In Metroid, the player with the video controller operates a "helicopter" while everyone else are "ground troops". The two screens allow for different perspectives in battle.

NintendoLand has satisfied my kids for a whole month, but its really starting to wear off now. NintendoLand is particularly good if you have a lot of friends come over to your house. But, its just a variety game and not very deep. You'll probably want to buy another game shortly after buying the Wii U. (PS I bought Trine2 from the Nintendo eShop for $20, but, I think it was worth about $10.)

Other games: since I wrote my original review, I have bought a lot of other wii U games. However, I'm generally disappointed in the use of the video controller. In many games, the video controller either shows you a map of the area, or, shows a version of whats on the big TV screen. Party games, like the Rabbids game and Nintendo Land, make the best use of the video controller. Single player games tend to make the worst use of it. I don't have all the games for the Wii U, but, thats been my general experience.

The Wii U has a host of "lesser" features:
1) A person can play the Wii U without having the TV on. Expect a smack on your head if you want to play ZombiU while your wife watches a movie.
2) Its backwards compatible with all older Wii games (but maybe not dance pads!), which is nice if you bought Zelda Skyward Sword this summer.
3) Just as with the old Wii, you can download games from the Nintendo store. If you buy online content for your iPhone, Xbox, or PS3, you know that this is a big deal. I used to buy songs for guitar hero to add to the songs that came in the box. If you buy this DELUXE version, you get a 10% credit back for all online purchases, see more about this credit in "The Bad" below.
4) The Wii U video controller is like a universal remote. You can turn on your TV and change the volume from the gamepad which is a convenience.
5) Most of the old Wii hardware is compatible too, which is nice, EXCEPT that round "gamecube style" connector is not present on the Wii U. Games that use a mat like "outdoor challenge" and "Dance Dance Revolution" become history in your house.
6) There is a big, easy to find "download again" button for all digital content, so if your Wii U got fried by a power surge you wouldn't lose your purchases. That's always nice.

The bad:
1) The menus aren't intuitive. There are two menus... the Wii U menu and the Home menu. The Home menu is found by pressing the Home button. Note that now that downloads are automatic, the unintuitive menus aren't so bad. But they still seem redundant.
2) Transferring data from the Wii to the Wii U should be easier. In particular I didn't like that when I imported my Miis, I had to do a separate step on the Wii U before I could actually use them in the games. The day I got it the patch took way too long to download and install, and after I transferred my data from my Wii I felt like I had spent 2 hours on the whole thing. But, since then, there has been no problem.
3) Freezing. I did have a problem with NintendoLand locking up, but, that went away after one day. This will be something they fix and becomes a thing of the past. I wouldn't sweat it.
4) Long updates. I feel that the time that it takes to download stuff and install it has improved over time.
5) Installing downloaded content. I wrote a long rant about how annoying this was, but as of the most recent update you can buy items in the store and they download and install automatically, as they should.
6) Digital Content 10% back has a $50 minimum, and I feel that its high. For every $50 in digital content you get a $5 credit. If you spend $65 on digital content, then you still get $5, until you spend another $35 to get it to $100. You go to a separate website using your computer, and log in, and then copy the code onto a piece of paper. Then you go to your wii u and put in the code. I've become accustomed to the process and I've decided its not very restrictive, but I still wish that credits just "appeared" in your account 24-48 hours later. The codes are good until 2015. The codes remain on that website even after you've used them, they don't disappear. When you add the codes to the eShop there is no expiration date.

Ok now that I'm done complaining...

Your decision matrix:
1) If you still like playing on your Wii, and you have the money to spend, buy a Wii U and sell your Wii. You'll enjoy it.
2) If you are considering between an Xbox+Kinect and a Wii U, I think its a tough call. I really like the "second screen" gaming, it really opens up a lot of possibilities. But most of the wii U stuff looks really juvenile. The kid down the street told me he still wanted an Xbox because the Xbox has games for teenagers. I said "whatev."
3) As a side note, every kid who has seen and played our Wii U in the last two weeks has put this as the top item on the Christmas list. Its the "next big thing" for them and you can be sure that the little things that I complain about in this review won't matter to them. Not at all.

Games: Nintendo now has decent amount of digital content to buy online. I paid .35 for "kirby's great adventure" or something like that. Its a grainy looking old game, but it was only thirty five cents. Nintendo has started offering games at the $2, $5, and $8 price points as well. I'm VERY pleased to see this, because I want to be able to log into the shop and grab a game for cheap when I want to.

I rate this item 3 stars out of 5 because three stars means "it's ok". Nintendo has made a lot of improvements in 6 months, and while they have fixed most of the problems with the system, I find myself reluctant to raise the review to 4 stars until some more exclusive games are released. Pikmin 3 has been delayed until August, for example.

1 month UPDATE:
We've become "heavy users" of the Wii U. My wife, who always preferred the Kinect, has started to warm up to the Wii U. But I think its because my son is converting her, I sure couldn't.

Big negative: CRADLE and battery have limitations: The battery on the video controller can't hold up to extended play. I picked up one of these cables: Global Game Gear GGG0040 Deluxe Split Extension Cable for Wii U Video Controller which resolved my problems. Now its easier to keep the video controller charged. I've removed my rant about the video controller battery not lasting.

DOWNLOADS: I removed my rant about problems with downloads because its been fixed.

The Wii U is getting better. I think it may turn into my favorite console of all time, if they can just get some good exclusive games out, and improve the use of the video controller in those games. I really don't want another game where the Wii U video controller shows a map. Gimmie a break.
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on December 31, 2014
It does state in the comments that this is a sale of the console and nothing else, but it fails to mention that the console cannot be set up without the gamepad, which are rather hard to find as it turns out.
Any money you think you will be saving by buying this is wasted when you start adding on the price of everything this does not come with.
I already know that I am not getting a refund, as everything here is legal, but that doesn't mean I will not give this token effort to save other potential buyers the hassle.
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on November 21, 2012
If you are giving this Wii-U as a childrens' gift, PLEASE do yourself a favor and hook the system up and do the downloads/updates before you wrap it up. I am a grown man, but still grew impatient waiting for the Wii-U to become playable. A child waiting to play this is unbearable! This was a gift for my young son, although I must admit that I've played it just as much as he has.
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on November 18, 2012
Having been a student for many years, the Wii U is the first console that I've ever pre-ordered. Now I've got a job that has something resembling a salary. Having gotten so many years of fun and excitement out of my first-gen Wii, I decided to roll the dice on the Wii U by pre-ordering the 32 GB black deluxe set. So far, I'm glad that I did. This is a review of the Deluxe set that I've ordered specifically, however you can compare the two sets and fill in the blanks concerning what you may be missing with the basic set

What is (and isn't) included:
The black deluxe set comes with (almost) everything that you need to get started. It comes with the black console, power brick, sensor bar, HDMI cable (if you need component you'll have to pick it up separately), stand, tablet, tablet charger and dock, a plastic stand for the tablet, and the packaged-in game NintendoLand. What the game does not come with is one or more wii remotes. If you already have a Wii, you'll be able to use your current remotes. If you don't have wii motion plus enabled remotes, you will need to pick up a set of wii motion plus dongles in order to use them (at least for the game I've tried, which I will get into later).

Setup:
Set up is pretty easy, although you may have to wait a bit (at least close to release day). Setting up the tablet controller, wires, internet, etc. was a breeze. Internet setup was standard. The system recognized the HDMI connection and selected the correct resolution and aspect ratio immediately. Yes, you now have the ability to play the new Wii games in HD like the rest of the world ; ) I understand the cost reasons related to the SD choice on the Wii, but for most Nintendo fans these days I suspect that the upgrade is going to be a nice change of pace.

Before playing any games I can tell that I'm going to like the tablet a bit. Even during set-up you can tell that the tablet is well integrated with the overall use of the system. At times the tablet display mirrors the TV content, and at others you see something different on the tablet screen while you are working. The resolution, colors, and refresh rate of the tablet are all rather pleasing on the eyes. The screen is touch sensitive, allowing you to interact with the tablet and games with both a press of the screen and the press of a button. Hidden away in the back is a stylus, which is a nice touch. I like being able to keep the screen clean while I'm playing with it.

One word of warning: You may want to bring a book along (at least at first)--the initial setup required two downloads to be made over the internet. The first was for the system itself, and the second was after I inserted the first game. The tablet showed the progress bar while the initial update was downloading, and it took at least 15 minutes for me to see any real progress. I switched to another activity for a while and eventually came back when the tablet alerted me that the download was finished. This is most likely going to be an early adopter problem--I suspect since today is the release date that Nintendo's servers are getting slammed.

Once setup is complete you're greeted by the Wii U main screen. While the 3D organization is different from the Wii, you should figure out navigation fairly quickly. One of the options is a standard Wii view, which appears to give you access to the original Wii OS for navigation and applications (very cool, I look forward to figuring out how to port over my apps and data from my old Wii).

Just like the original Wii, you create Mii avatars. This time you can use the tablet controller's built-in camera to create them for you. After selecting hair and eye color, you can snap a shot of yourself. The system configures several miis for you to choose from. It automatically recognized my glasses, and gave me an option to add my full beard to my mii (making avatar selection much quicker than before).

If you choose, you can also set up the tablet as a RF remote that controls all of the other devices in your media center. This is a nice feature, and is quick to configure. I selected my TV brand (Vizio), and the first remote configuration that I tried worked right out of the box.

In order to use many of the Wii U's features you'll need to create an ID for the new Nintendo Network. This in turn requires you to configure (among other things) a unique ID (that it says you cannot change), regional info, birthdate, etc. If you are uncomfortable providing this information you may have to limit the features that you're able to use. Personally, I don't care so it isn't a problem (they don't need phone, SSN, or anything that I felt was terribly invasive).

NintendoLand & first impressions of gaming experience:
The packaged-in disc for NintendoLand seems to serve the same purpose as Wii Sports did for the original Wii--to demonstrate how to use the features of the new system and show the user how to use the system's hardware and software. While Sports was ultimately very simplistic in graphics and purpose, it ended up being a lot of fun for most Wii users. Despite its relative simplicity, NintendoLand has a very similar feel, and it may be enjoyable for some time to come.

In NintendoLand you are greeted by Monita, a floating screen with a single arm. Monita shows you around the NintendoLand system, and introduces you to the tablet's controls as well as the mini games that are available to you. Mini games include fan favorites such as Metroid, Link, Mario, Yoshi, Pikmin, and several others. Despite the fact that I've already picked up two other games (which I will review later) my wife and I have been playing NintendoLand for several hours. It is a lot of fun. The interaction with the wii plus remote and nun chuck are (not surprisingly) very similar to the predecessor system, so I'm not going to go to deep into those features here.

The tablet provides a real gem here. Various games have different requirements--at least one tablet, at least one remote, just remotes, remotes and tablet, etc. Multiplayer games that include both remote and tablet (for at least two users, of course) are a lot of fun. No longer are you restricted to just one view on the TV or a split-screened view used in previous systems. Now one user can use the TV as a primary display while the other user can use the mobile screen of the tablet as well as the larger display of their TV. Simply put, the table offers exactly what you would expect--a combination of the benefits of a handheld with the benefits of a full console experience. It is simultaneously interesting and difficult to describe without trying it.

I've got to say, NintendoLand's combination of remote and tablet make me excited for future games. I have a feeling that we're just scratching the surface of what the combo can do. Hopefully game makers use their imagination and provide a new and unique gaming experience the same way that the Wii remotes changed the way that we view console I/O in the previous generation.

As a whole, NintendoLand is a great game offering firsts person shooter, puzzles, and more.

As a media center:
One of the things that Nintendo seems to be trying to do with the new system is tie together the media center the same way that the Wii did seemingly by accident. The tablet serves as a remote for your devices, the system gives you the ability to play games, and the system also comes preloaded with the biggest streaming players: Amazon, Netflix, and Hulu. I have currently tested the Netflix application and it seems to work quite well. Otherwise, they do exactly what you would expect. As a streaming player, the Wii U works just fine and the tablet controller (again) makes for a great remote.

Overall:
If my 5 star rating doesn't speak for itself, I am definitely excited by the prospects of this new system. As far as I can tell with my initial interactions, Nintendo may have hit another home run. This last statement is worth qualifying, because as far as I can see all of the potential of the predecessor is here--it will just be a matter of Nintendo and other game makers living up to that promise. I can't wait to see what else the WIi U has in store for the future. (Especially the not-yet-deployed TVii feature.)
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on November 12, 2013
Nintendo's next generation system, called the Wii U, is the first of the eight generation systems to release in stores. But is it worth your money? Or should you pass it up for another system?

Simply put: No! Do not neglect the Wii U, just because the other systems have more power. The Wii U has so many features and upgrades to it, that you'll definitely want to try it! Let's take an examination of each of the important aspects as to what makes a console a good console:

1. Hardware

The Wii U's hardware is pretty much a mixture between a PS3 and a Wii. On one hand, you have the online functionality and graphics of the PS3 and the Nintendo innovation of the Wii. The two mix very well, taking my favorite parts of the last generation's systems. Top that off with an innovative way to play games, the off-TV play, and you've got possibly the best hardware in gaming thus far!

The off-TV play is much more useful than you might think. Having the Wii U for about a year now, my family and I have used the off-TV play function about as much as the normal function. It's very useful if someone wants to watch the game or their soap operas or even play another system. When someone wants to play our PS3, I can easily play Wii U on the gamepad, which leads to less frustration. Sony tries to mimic this with the PS Vita, but the PS4 and Vita together cost about $400 more than a Wii U.

It also comes with bonus features such as Nintendo TV and Miiverse. I want to talk specifically about Miiverse, because I think it's one of the best additions to the Wii U. Miiverse is an online community where users can talk about any games that are on Wii U. It has a strict policy that doesn't allow vulgar language or anything sexually explicit. This is especially nice for people like me who can't play online due to foul-mouths. However, I should mention that certain communities find it easier to get away with things than others.

The battery life has been criticized, but I don't think it's a big deal. Though it is short, it can be plugged in and charged at any time, without it needing the system on (I'm looking at you PS3!).

2. Graphics

Simply put, the graphics to the Wii U are beautiful! Their slightly better than the PS3 and Xbox 360's, but with Nintendo's talent, they outshine them significantly. NintendoLand, which comes with the Deluxe bundle, has better graphics than anything I've seen on either PS3 or Xbox 360! What took Sony and Microsoft about six years was accomplished by Nintendo in one try! Now it's true that games such as New Super Mario Bros. U don't really push the hardware's limits, but even still, games like The Wind Waker HD, Super Smash Bros., Mario Kart 8, and Sonic Lost World show that this system contains some of the best graphics out there.

3. Power

Okay, it's true: the Wii U has the power of the last two systems, while the PS4 and Xbox One have significantly more power. To me though, that doesn't matter. One of my favorite games, LittleBigPlanet 2, had almost infinite possibilities, and that was on a PS3's power. True, there were a few things that could have been improved, but for the most part, it was nearly limitless. Adding as much power as the PS4 and Xbox One does seems to be pointless. Games can't get much better. That is, unless they become more expensive. At the same time, Nintendo has won several game-of-the-year awards on Wii (which has significantly less power than the PS3 and Xbox 360). With the power of the Wii U, Nintendo seems to be even more open to making even higher quality games than before!

4. Games

Possibly the most important, the Wii U's game line-up is the best of the three next-gen systems. Though it's launch line-up started a bit slow, the Wii U's line-up has been increasing with some of the most varied games out there. PS4 and Xbox One both focus more on the shooter type genre than anything, while the Wii U features shooters, platformers, racers, kid-friendly, and mature games of the like. Unlike the Wii, the Wii U features great family games like Mario and Wii Party, while also featuring mature games like Assassin's Creed and Batman. Speaking of which, the third-party support is also a lot better than it was on Wii. Not to even mention that the next Smash Bros. and Zelda are coming out soon on Wii U.

I should also note that the Wii U is the only next-generation system that has backwards compatibility. I really wish that the PS4 or the Xbox One could play PS3 or Xbox 360 games. Sadly, this isn't the case. I know that the Xbox One can play 360 games if you have the 360 hooked up to it, but I'm referring to without the aid of another system. Thanks to this ability, you could download all your Wii game files into the Wii U and sell your Wii, saving you even more money.

The Verdict

If you're trying to decide which of the eighth-generation systems you should get, your first choice should be Wii U. Though it might not have as much power as the other two, the Wii U just has the best amount of content and variety for the cheapest price! I'm not saying that you shouldn't get a PS4 or an Xbox One, but rather that this is probably the best option of the three.
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on November 29, 2012
With so many good reviews on here already, I will be posting a very different kind of review for the Wii U.

It's never easy being the new kid on the block. This is especially true in today's video game console world. Every new thing, from companies releasing their first tablet, to Nintendo releasing it's next home console. Each one gets slammed with all the same comments "there's no apps, no games, it doesn't work right, etc."

With pressures from both the industry and consumers, how can any company release a new product as they are expected to. If you delay the product to ensure that it works properly, you upset everyone, but if you release it early with the intent to iron out the wrinkles later, you still upset everyone.

Nintendo had a lot to work on here. Not only did they release a home console with an entirely new way to experience games, but they also stepped up their online presence. MiiVerse now exists, the Wii U is capable of video chat, the eshop was available at launch, friendcodes are history, TVii is going to be awesome, the console has a much better internet browser than the Wii and 3DS, the list goes on.

But, the first thing I listed was probably the most important detail of all. Nintendo has given us not just a more powerful console, but has given us a console capable of delivering a gaming experience that just can't be done on current gen hardware (and possibly not even next gen). It remains to be seen if anyone (other than Nintendo, of course) will take advantage of the game pad, or if, like the Wii, this console's potential just unfortunately goes by the wayside.

Speaking of the Wii, I feel as though it was ahead of its time. Nintendo gave us a new way to play games, but no one dared touch the system simply because all that matters is GRAPHICS, GRAPHICS, GRAPHICS. Even awesome quality games like Xenoblade were hated on not because their graphics were bad, but simply because they were "not HD." Never mind that they were fun and obviously had a lot of time and money poured into them.

I've been playing video games for over 20 years. I've seen it all. I am bored with just playing prettier and prettier versions of the same games. This was the whole reason behind my purchasing a Wii U. It was Nintendo's next game changer, which will undoubtedly be copied by Sony and Microsoft in one way or another.

Somewhere along the line, most of us became spoiled by the industry. We each expect companies to cater to each and every single one of our individual gaming needs. This is just plain unrealistic and is never going to happen. Part of experiencing the Wii U, will be being there as it grows and improves as a home console. Nintendo will undoubtedly patch the long loading times incurred by the OS (UPDATE: they've already released one such patch). They can easily release a newer tablet down the road with a beefier battery life.

What a lot of us don't seem to realize is that Nintendo is one of the few video game companies out there that focuses on quality. How many Nintendo games come out that are packed full of bugs and glitches? None. But even when there is an exception, it gets fixed. Look at Skyward Sword. When I found out that the game had a game-breaking bug in it, I knew without a doubt that Nintendo would patch it. Even on a system with limited online capacities (I'm talking about the Wii), Nintendo was able to incorporate a patch into our lives that fixed the game.

They will do the same thing with the Wii U. TVii is on its way. I don't doubt that the OS will be patched over time to make it run more efficiently. We just need to be patient and respectful. Trust me, we don't want to force Nintendo to change its ways. Do you really want another system on the market that is plagued with issues for the first 4-5 years of its life? I know I don't.

Nintendo has been in the business for a long time. I support their decisions not to add excessive features such as a 500GB HDD or a built-in DVD player. People don't seem to understand that this $350 system would easily become a $500 system. Then people would just complain even more! Do we really need another console with a DVD player? No. Most of us already have 3-4 DVD players in our homes! Plus, you can buy your own HDD for cheaper than Nintendo can include one in the box.

Why did I only rate this four stars?

It would seem that, although Nintendo learned from the launch of the 3DS, they simply swapped one problem for another with the launch of the Wii U. Here's what I'm talking about:

What the 3DS did wrong:

-Was overpriced
-No eshop at launch
-Had to wait months for the first good game to come out

The Wii U fixed all those things, but created new problems:

-HUGE day-one update that was required to enjoy core parts of the system
-Whereas the eshop was available at launch, there's nothing to buy on it!
-It's clear the console's OS could have used some more TLC

These things might not seem like all that big of a deal, but they are enough to alienate some people. Unfortunately, in today's world, it's not what you sell, but how much you sell. So, even though it pains me to admit, Nintendo needs those who don't truly understand their products in order to succeed.

On a final note, Nintendo didn't have to give us a built-in Wii with the system. They merely could have said "just keep your Wii's." This was another thing Nintendo did not have to do. They even gave us a way to transfer all our Wii purchases/data to our new console. Both Sony and Microsoft more or less abandoned backwards compatibility long ago.

If you're like me, and you've been a fan of Nintendo since the original NES, then you understand that Nintendo is a type of innovation and quality that we do not want to lose. Trust me. While people are busying fighting over whether the Xbox One or PS4 has better graphics, I will be enjoying the experience I can only get from the Wii U.

It should always be about the experience.
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on April 28, 2013
Let me start off by saying that i am a pc gamer. So system preformance has always been the name of the game for me. Ps3 and xbox 360 are about a 15th as powerful as my current machine. So clearly graphical prowess is not the reason for this purchase. In the back of my heart i've always had a place for nintendo games. I owned a a wii for many years, and went through periods of playing, mainly with mario galaxy and zelda. I liked the system, but felt like the idea was incomplete. The Wii U is a complete upgrade. The controller which i was skeptical about is absolutely brilliant. You will see some awesome games in the future which will take full advantage. The system also has a little horsepower as well, to make those beautiful nintendo titles come to life. A lot of people are under the impression that this system is still weaker than the PS3 and Xbox360, which is definetly not true. The Wii U is multiple times more powerful than those sytems. Obviously its not revolutionary technology, but at 300 dollars you can't ask for to much.

Final Words

I love this little system. Its feels unusal at first, but that is because we've been playing games the same way for many years. I have a feeling that this system is going to be a major stepping stone for the future of gaming. Brilliant minds will take this technology and make brilliant games ;)
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on October 2, 2013
I've been a fan of Nintendo for many years. However, when the Nintendo Wii was released in 2007, I began to lose faith. I felt as if Nintendo had betrayed its loyal fanbase in exchange for capturing the casual market. What happened to the old Nintendo willing to take risks? Build new IPs and encourage third party development? All of that seemed to be gone after the release of the Wii, and even into to the start of the new generation with the Wii U.

I will say this though: Nintendo has made huge strides in improving the Wii U since its launch. Some stellar new software has come out for the platform (The Wonderful 101, Pikmin 3, and Rayman Legends to name a few), and internally most of the problems that plagued the system at launch have been fixed and improved upon. Additional features have been added as well and have been surprisingly useful, such as playing Wii mode games on the Gamepad. While Gamepad support has yet to be patched in, Nintendo seems to be listening to the feedback its fans are giving them and are finally giving them features that they want.

Should you buy a Wii U today or during this holiday season? Absolutely, if you're a fan of Nintendo franchises and are looking at the cheapest way to buy into next generation gaming. While the Wii U's software library is relatively thin as of right now, next year's lineup is killer. Nintendo will give Sony and Microsoft a run for their money with some of the software that they've got lined up.

I do not recommend the Wii U for people not willing to experiment and are looking for a more all-in-one experience (a la Xbox 360.) This is not a media machine. It does have all the features necessary to be a media machine, but that's not really what it's for. It's for gaming, pure and simple, and that is what Nintendo is known for.
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on May 21, 2013
No need to be skeptical about this console, once you get the gamepad in your hands and start playing, all your skepticism will go away. I love how the Wii U plays and feels, the gamepad is super lightweight so don't worry about it being too heavy for anyone to use. I have a 4 year old son that absolutely loves this system! Can't tear him away from it, which is the only drawback. The system also has the capability to transfer game play to the gamepad and allow the TV to be freed up, imagine that! Your kid is playing a game that just can't be turned off or he or she will lose their progress and at the same time you would like to watch TV. Your kid can simply take the gamepad to another room and continue playing the game while you watch TV. In addition the gamepad is extremely durable and seems unbreakable. My kids have dropped it, stepped on it and thrown it and not even a scratch. Absolutely Awesome system!
Most of the bad reviews out there are by so called 'hardcore' gamers who just love to put down Nintendo, so you can't listen to 99 percent of them, and the 1 percent of them, want a system that would cost you hundreds more to purchase. The Wii U is a powerhouse and a next gen Nintendo System. It also brings that fun Nintendo experience, hands down, like no other system can.
Currently Target is having an an awesome sale on the white system!
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