[Nintendo Wii U] Wii U Review
At one point Nintendo was the king of consoles. Who could forget the Nintendo Entertainment System, Super Nintendo Entertainment System, and the Nintendo 64? Who could possibly decrown the almighty Nintendo?
Well....Nintendo could. Nintendo has been in a spiraling decline since the glory days of the Nintendo 64. The Gamecube released and was actually more powerful than the PS2, and yet it failed to get the 3rd party support that the PS2 had. So how would Nintendo follow up with their next console? By releasing the Gamecube again!!!!!!! But this time they gave it a new mask and added some motion controllers. How long would it take for consumers to see through Nintendo's tricks? About as long as it took you to figure out the cheat in 100 pin Wii bowling!!!!!!
But with all of that said, why would anyone want to buy a console that still shares the tainted name that is the "Wii"? Continue reading to see if you are being tricked by Nintendo for a second time.
Lets start with the front of the console.
Slot for inserting disc
SD card reader
2 USB ports
The rear of the console.
Power and sensor bar ports
2 USB ports
The console itself feels pretty sturdy. It looks similar to the original Wii, but it has more rounded edges and is longer in depth. Since the Wii U does not support Gamecube games, there are no external controller ports, or Gamecube memory card slots.
The Wii U also supports 25gb Blu-Ray based discs.
I purchased the 8gb model because I knew Nintendo allowed for external storage. I had a 16gb USB thumb drive laying around, so I decided to use that for now. Nintendo has stated that they recommend you do not go over 2TB, and that your external hard drive should have it's own power source.
You will want to power the Wii U down before plugging in the external storage. Once you power back on, you will be prompted on screen to format the drive so the Wii U can access it. Once you format the drive, you are done. You will know that the Wii U is reading the external drive by the blue hdd logo in the bottom left corner of the tablet screen.
The tablet controller
This controller features a 6.2" touchscreen. This is easily the key feature of the Wii U. The controller has your standard buttons and dual analog sticks. It sports a front facing camera and a stylus tucked at the top of the controller. There is also a home button which acts the same as the PS3 and Xbox 360 center buttons. The tablet also has two speakers and a microphone.
This controller does have one button that no other gaming controllers have, the TVii button. This button will allow you to use your tablet to control your cable box and or TV without the need of any other remotes. Getting the tablet to connect to the cable box and tv was very easy to do. Simply follow the on screen steps and choose your cable provider, followed by your TV manufacturer. It is really as simple as that.
The tablet does more than just change your channels though, it allows you to access your Wii U without even turning your TV on. You can access your Miiverse, eShop, system settings, Netflix, and pretty much anything else the Wii U offers.
I decided to test out Netflix and I was pleasantly surprised by how quickly the movies go from the tv, to your tablet. Once you press the swap button, the movie is immediately transferred to tablet without any delay.
The tablet also has a gyroscope and rumble feature.
Update - The gamepad seems to drain very quickly when you transfer the output from the TV, to your gamepad. You will pretty much want to keep the controller plugged in if you decide you want to play your games in bed or something.
The Operating system and apps
The Wii U OS is pretty similar to the 3DS and original Wii. You have 3 rows with 5 squares across which represent your channels. By pressing the right and left trigger buttons, you can scroll through 6 pages. The pages will remain empty until you download more games, apps, movies, etc.
When you first load up your console, you will notice that you already have the following apps. Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Video, YouTube, Miiverse, Mii maker, System Settings, Daily Log, and Parental Controls. Hulu Plus, Amazon Video, and YouTube are currently not available for use. Those services, and the TVii service, will be available sometime in December.
Miiverse is an interesting way to communicate with other Wii U users. Through Miiverse, you will find "Communities". These are tied in to specific games. Each game that is released for the Wii U, will have it's own community. Here you can chat with other players about the game you are playing. You will get a notification when someone replies to your question, or your answer.
You can click your "Activity Feed" to quickly locate all of your posts in case you forgot where you were last. You can also follow or send friend requests through these communities. There is also a "Search User" option to locate other users.
I have noticed that closing down some apps can take up to 10 seconds before getting back to the home page. Hopefully Nintendo will be able to speed this up with future updates.
The Miiverse is really everything you need for online communications. Messages and notifications are also viewed here. You can also take in game screenshots through Miiverse. While playing a game, go to your Miiverse and from there you will be able to take snapshots.
From what you have been reading so far, I assume you noticed that the friend codes are no longer being used. Nintendo has finally allowed you to create your own username which is locked to your console.
Unfortunately, the Mii Maker has not changed. It is exactly the same as the Wii and 3DS. I was really hoping for more realistic Mii's, but I guess Nintendo wanted to make sure your Mii would still work with original Wii titles.
The shop is nicely represented. There are plenty of retail games to purchase and download, but there are no demo's at this time. I also noticed that there are no classic games available yet.
Right now I have to say that I am pleasantly surprised by well the system works. The tablet controller is more than just a gimmick seeing how I can use it with more than just the Wii U itself. I tested the tablet with Zombi U and Assassin's Creed 3, and I can see how this controller could be a huge selling point. Just being able to see a full map on screen while playing AC3, would make me choose this console over another. Zombi U takes it to a whole new level though. You can read all about it when I review the game later this week.
Is the Wii U perfect? Of course not. Could it replace your PS3 or Xbox 360? Maybe later on down the road, I do not think anyone should go sell their system and pick up a Wii U. But I do think the Wii U could be very successful and Nintendo may be able to redeem a portion of their once enormous reputation.
Please click the link for a deeper look in to the Miiverse.
External storage allowed
Multi functional tablet controller
Tablet has pretty decent battery life (When not streaming movies or games)
Blu-Ray format (None of that multi disc crap to worry about)
Backwards compatible with Wii (after the huge initial firmware update)
Supports stereoscopic 3D
Play the games directly on the tablet or TV
No trophy/achievement support
User ID is locked to console
eShop is lacking in content
Slight delay when closing apps
Tablet uses it's own charging power source
A huge firmware update during initial setup (takes 60-90mins)
Does not have a media player
Gamepad battery drains very quickly when playing games directly on to the device.
Note* This review is not finished and will be updated regularly. I had a much larger review written, but was accidentally deleted.