Since the Wii U launch on November 12 of last year, it has been at the center of some mixed reviews and much discussion about Nintendo’s current business model. It launched with some good games, but it took us the whole first year to expand from that and start getting some strong and unique titles. Priced at $ 349.99 for the 32GB “Deluxe” model, it has struggled to reach its target market when competing with the PS3 and Xbox 360. That may not change with the upcoming Xbox One and PS4. , but the Wii U is fetching a price tag of $ 50. price drop on September 20, and either way shouldn’t be ruled out just yet.
The system is a good piece of hardware; it feels sturdy and not cheap at all, despite being slim and streamlined. Even after being on for hours straight, it doesn’t heat up or make noise. It has HDMI and composite outputs (it comes with an HDMI cable), an SD card slot, and 4 USB ports. The Wii U comes with either 8GB or 32GB of system memory that can be expanded with a USB hard drive (up to 2TB), so a lot of memory can be added if you ever need that amount. Being able to buy a base system with some memory and expand it that much should be cheaper than what current systems have been doing at least. Even though it has a USB slot, you can’t use SD cards to download games, that’s just for Wii stuff and saved games.
Much of the discussion and controversy is based on how it compares to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, and the upcoming next-gen systems. Honestly, Wii U games look great, with very modern and clean HD graphics. New Super Mario U looks very sharp and ZombieU (like most launch titles) it had good points and a few sloppy things in the graphics department. I haven’t experienced any frame rate issues yet, which is a huge plus and more important than other parts of a game presentation. So is it really underpowered? On paper, yes, but remember that at the launch of the 360, some of their games resembled Xbox games. The Wii U has some games that look like current PS3 games. But look at how far those systems have come in 6 years – the Wii U hardware is more current than the PS3 and 360, and it shows promise. Games on the way and those released since launch have shown some very nice HD graphics presentations and it really can only get better as the years go by. Nintendo has the knack of getting the most out of their systems, just watch Super mario galaxy on the Wii.
The actual gameplay is very interesting and very new, and at the same time it feels familiar. Most of the WiiU experience (for now at least) involves the GamePad, which provides a dual-screen experience (your TV and the screen in your hand). Each game uses this differently and it can be as complicated a dual screen experience as the DS, or it can only be used for maps and inventory or additional buttons and / or just to allow off-TV play. ZombieU He mainly uses it for inventories and maps, but it is also used for in-game events and as a camera, all cool features that help develop the game. It also allows mini events like picking locks to take place on the GamePad screen while your game on the TV changes views for optimal perception of your surroundings. Nintendo Land use the Gamepad with more control of the camera, full game, secondary buttons and as an input device. Balloon ride (Based on Balloon fight NES), you have to use the touch screen to control the wind and move your character. This is a very laid-back approach and very reminiscent of many DS games and will likely appear in many casual titles. The most recent titles like Pikmin 3 used it as a map and to play off TV; the map is always ready for quick multitasking. Of course, some games may not use the GamePad at all; possibly those developers who are targeting more “hardcore” crowds will forgo it entirely. That would be a shame; the GamePad doesn’t really slow down anything and allows for more options. But using both the Pro controller and having the GamePad on your stand to use it for other things could be a cool feature as well.
The GamePad is an impressive and comfortable controller to use. It is not too heavy and the grips make it easy to hold, relaxed on your lap or with one hand. All the buttons (known ABXY) feel very responsive. The D-pad feels classic and a good size and the joysticks respond very well, are smooth, and click well when used as buttons. The side buttons, not triggers like the Gamecube controller, but buttons like the Wii professional classic controller, are well done. There’s a camera built into the controller that works well, plus loud and clear speakers. Battery life is not an issue; By the time your battery runs out, you should probably just let your system crash anyway. And although the system cannot charge the GamePad, the dock with the deluxe package makes it easy to charge and looks good on the screen.
The Gamepad screen is the main focus and it really brings a lot to the table. It’s just as responsive as DS and 3DS touchscreens, just a lot bigger and pretty good resolution. It won’t be as clear as your HD TV screen, but it won’t look sloppy either. I also found that reaching for the hotkeys with your thumbs is easy (even with the shortest fingers). The last thing it does is act as a remote control for your cable box and TV. You can change your TV’s input or turn up the volume while playing the game without having to get up or use another remote control.
Nintendo has finally taken a big step towards online gaming and connectivity with Miiverse. Sure, you have video chat and friend lists, but MiiVerse integrates everything when you turn it on or play it. MiiVerse as an app is essentially where you manage your friends and your profile, but it also functions as a giant Nintendo forum or social hub where you post updates and photos of your Twitter-like gaming experiences. It also allows you to chat with friends; Hopefully, he’ll be able to send you a notification later when your friend responds.
While this is all great, the best part is how it integrates directly into games. When playing New Super Mario U, MiiVerse updates can appear on the world map related to each level. Or when you’re sitting in the Mii plaza, the Miis that appear are essentially speaking using the MiiVerse posts. You might even see Miis appear in games; the best example at the moment is in Nintendo Land where they walk through the theme park plaza or appear in the background of the games. MiiVerse can also be accessed on the go while playing any game, so you can always update it or see what someone else is saying about the game. When you switch to MiiVerse, your game stops and that screen is what you can post to MiiVerse if you wish. Some games may even implement a kind of achievement system where they ask you if you want to post to MiiVerse when you do something interesting; New Super Mario U do this now.
All of this is linked to and used with a Nintendo Network ID, also known as your username. This makes it easy for users to find and find friends, a big and welcome change to the deservedly maligned friend codes. Unfortunately, these IDs are tied to the console where you register them; surely this is related to some kind of privacy and protection policy, but it is inconvenient if your system dies or if you want to upgrade to a special edition color later. Nintendo has hinted that it will change this, but nothing has happened yet.
The Wii U is backwards compatible with the Wii and Wii U games are compatible with Wiimotes and other Wii accessories. Wii game compatibility features start you up to a new menu. You will be using your Wiimote at this point and only the Wii accessories. Wii games actually play in 1080p, as are all the menus and anything else. I played Golden eye for a moment and you can see a difference, both good and bad. Some things in the game look much smoother from the top level, but bugs or ugly filters stand out more; the cut scenes looked really gross. This is because it is a high-level resolution, but no re-rendering is taking place, no new filters or anything. This is not like an emulation where new rendering processes can be applied; it’s just a resolution boost. So you will get good things and bad things playing Wii games on Wii U, it depends on the game. Either way, backward compatibility is a nice and welcome feature.
In short, I am quite happy with my Wii U and I feel like it has a promising future even after a very slow year. My Wii had its moments of constant gaming and a huge buildup of dust and even if my Wii U meets the same kind of fate, I don’t feel like my money was wasted. The system was decently priced which is only better with the recent $ 50 price drop and has already proven that it can be a lot of fun and opens up a world of new gaming possibilities. As the library of games grows, we will see some fun games; If you are a social gamer and a lover of social media, it can be a system to verify just for that. The only issues the Wii U has is a meager library, which should improve, and the fact that, despite being a good piece of hardware, it won’t hold up as well during this next generation of games. It’s a crisp HD system, but due to the small gap in power, it will eventually go back to being a Nintendo exclusive system.