Nintendo Wii U Review

The Good
  • Nintendo’s first high definition console, a long overdue improvement
  • The GamePad concept is innovative, curious, and might actually work
  • Compatible with all games made for the company’s original Wii console
The Bad
  • Use of two screens while gaming is decidedly quite awkward
  • GamePad tablet controller has extremely short battery life
  • Graphics on-screen are definitely good, but not really great
The Verdict
★★★★☆

The Wii U is a worthy successor to the Nintendo Wii, if only because

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it offers HD graphics and another unique take on gaming’s future.

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Nintendo Wii U Review

When Nintendo launched the original Wii console some time ago, many criticized it as a bit too forward thinking and awkward. Soon enough, though, every other gaming company was emulating the features found in the Wii. The story is true once again for the Wii U, which has been heralded as both very innovative and very awkward. Many people aren’t convinced that two-screen gaming is a good idea at all, and the console has so far not done very much to change anyone’s mind. The Wii U is a great follow-up to the Wii, however, and is certainly worth purchasing.

Design

Nintendo’s Wii U follows in the footsteps of its original Wii console with a relatively small footprint that employs minimalistic design. Unlike the original Wii, this model does not look like a wedge at all. Instead, it’s a small rectangular box that accepts CD-ROM media from the front. The console is available in both black and white, both of which are equally stunning.

The controller is known as the GamePad, and it’s designed to be big and intuitive. Effectively, it ends up being big and awkward. The central screen is hard to get used to, and the controls are placed quite far apart on either side of the screen. The GamePad is a concept whose time has not yet come, so buyers should be aware that they’ll be growing with the Wii U for the next several years.

Interface

The user interface applied to the Wii U is just as refreshing and intuitive as the original Wii’s variant. The main difference here is the use of high definition graphics and a widescreen appearance. Considering most buyers do own HDTV sets, this welcome improvement will make things more readable and easier to see from far distances, with less blurring and stretching overall.

Features

The point of the Wii U is to bring gaming into an era dominated by smartphones and tablet computers. That is why Nintendo has replaced its relatively standard controller with what it terms the “GamePad.” The GamePad is a console controller with a large tablet screen in the middle. Some games tae advantage of that display and enable two-screen gaming that is decidedly new, different, and awkward. Other games allow for gameplay to take place either on the TV screen or on the GamePad screen, giving users a way to disconnect themselves from the traditional console and enjoy a game wherever they happen to be in the home.

It’s a concept whose time may not yet have come, and that makes it awkward to get used to. Even so, many users may find themselves growing into the GamePad feature as their time with the Wii U gets longer.

Performance

The Wii U is faster and more capable than its predecessor, and games launch much more quickly. That’s even more impressive when considering that games made for the Wii U are in high definition for the first time in Nintendo’s very long history.

Conclusion

The Wii U is a big departure from every console ever sold to consumers, and it represents a big gamble for Nintendo. Whether or not that gamble pays off will depend entirely on whether or not buyers can overcome the awkward nature of the new GamePad controller and two-screen gaming setup.

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