Wii U system reviewWritten by Staff Reports | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Nintendo’s Wii U is a sleek modern looking device with a shiny black plastic coating. This leads to the console being a fingerprint magnet with even the slightest touch, which is also the case with the gamepad. The system is not heavy or bulky but is surprisingly long measuring at nearly a foot deep. Nintendo has finally stepped into the high definition era with up to 1080p support and an HDMI connection.
The dual-screen gamepad is the main attraction for the first entry into the next generation of gaming hardware. It is the biggest controller ever used for a console but is actually quite light so long play sessions should not be a physical chore for the gamer. Because of the lightweight, the battery also suffered so expect approximately three to four hours of battery usage. This unfortunately means a charging cradle should be nearby and defeats the purpose of using the Wii U gamepad as a replacement for a television remote. The controller also has it’s own microphone and speakers.
Setting up the system was effortless as the interface was very clean and streamlined. Those with a Nintendo 3DS will be familiar with the menus as similarities between the two are apparent throughout. The menus took a very long time to load and hopefully are a top priority for Nintendo to fix as this makes navigating the systems many options more cumbersome then it has to be.
Early adopters are faced a massive update as soon as they try to connect the system to a Wi-Fi network. This update is quite substantial as it allows access to all online functionality of the Wii U, without it, only playing retail disc games is available for user. This type of day one patch is alarming as it shows that Nintendo was barely ready for the launch of this console. Once I updated the system I was greeted to the Miiverse, which is a robust online community center for the Wii U. It allows specific communities for games and interests to interact with other gamers around the world. The Miiverse seems like a more intuitive system to that of anything provided by Microsoft or Sony.
Those lucky enough to grab the premium version of the Wii U will find Nintendoland packed in with the console. The game is similar to that of Wii Sports for the Wii as it serves as not only a multiplayer game but as an introduction to the various ways the Wii U controller can be used. It is a fun distraction but really just gets the appetite wet for what is to come in the future. The Wii U offer something truly unique for gamers but the burden is on Nintendo to make sure a steady stream of quality software is provided as third party support does not appear to be there now.
(***, Premium Package (Black/32GB) MSRP $349.99, Standard Package (White/8GB) MSRP $299.99, available at major electronic retailers)
+ Dual screen setup has potential for a truly unique console experiences
+ Off-screen gameplay convenient for multi purpose TV use
+ Miiverse is a well-built community setup
- 3-hour battery life for Wii U gamepad
- Interface is slow and needs refining
- Current and near future exclusives are spares
- New owners greeted with a lengthy mandatory update