Nintendo’s next wave into the gamers market has arrived this week with the Wii U going on sale in United States and elsewhere. Much like anything from Nintendo, the reception has been all across the board. Some have their legitimate points, while others are clearly looking for anything to critique. Instead of having to go all over the Web to seek a mess of different reviews, it could be best to form an aggregate of reviews to gain an easier perspective.
Background of Wii U
The Nintendo Wii U is the successor to the trademark Wii console that was released six years ago this month. The Wii has gone on to be one of Nintendo’s most successful gaming consoles, outlasting the test of time. This year had brought much anticipation for the new Nintendo Wii U, which acts as hybrid gaming console of sorts – not just for playing games but other entertainment services as well.
The look of the Wii U’s controller looks to be a mashup of modern touchscreen technology, and handheld stand alone gaming consoles of the past. The most unique part of Wii U is that players actually focus on two screens – one on the controller, and one on the TV screen.
This dual-screen allows for enhanced interaction, especially for two players. One player can use the Wii U controller, whose screen is actually a touchscreen, and help out another player who is playing on the TV. Even better, the TV screen shows Wii U games in high-definition – a first for the company.
What People Like
The controller has been met with generally positive reviews so far, with a pair of writers for the Washington Post taking note of the well-optimized controller that can act not just as a gaming device, but can control one’s television for channels as well. The options for TV are expanded as well, since users can find services that are online and more. This whole hybrid idea is to make Wii U an “everyday device” according to Nintendo.
Others have been pretty happy about how well a two-screen console actually out, despite many people expressing doubt that the performance would pull through. Matt Peckham of CNN called having the two-screen option a “liberating” feature, since users/players don’t have to go down just one route while using the device. If someone wishes to watch TV while another rather keep on playing, this can be pulled off just fine.
People also seem to be pleased with the overall gameplay, saying that having a dual-screen interface opens up more for the player since more options are available on more than just one screen. The portability is key as well. The gaming blog All Star Game TV said in a comparison among new consoles that the home system design of Wii U is “revolutionary”.
What People Don’t Like
One of the common criticisms that have been going around concerns the size and shape of the controller, with common terms being “chunky” and “bulky”. With the 6.2 inch screen that is part of the controller, it’s understandable why Nintendo went the way that they did. Otherwise, the controller sounds to be comfortable to hold – which is all that should matter anyway.
Another point that hasn’t been too warmly received is that Wii U will not come with an aggregator that keeps track of your accomplishments of any of the games. If you are a competitive gamer, you might not be a big fan of this and will have to rely on “in the moment” play.
The third point – one that I think people will get over quickly – is that Wii U games are more expensive that Wii games of old. Fact is, people are getting more out of these U games than most others, and the prices should be seen as validated. How much more expensive anyway? According to CNN, Wii U games will be on average ten dollars more than a Wii game.
Ezra Melino is a tech writer and reviewer for a selection of tech and entertainment blogs. Leave your thoughts on the Wii U below.