Wii U Deluxe Edition Review
Wii U Deluxe Edition Review
I’ve finally purchased a Wii U console after it spent nearly a year on the market. What convinced me to buy a Wii U? Well, the first factor was the Wii U price drop. Consumers can now buy the Wii U Deluxe Edition for $299.99, which is $50 less than it was last year. However, price wasn’t the only factor in my decision. I truly believe I needed a Wii U so I can review games for MiniFortress.com and keep the website relevant. Lastly, the lineup of incoming Wii U games seems incredible and I don’t want to miss those games. With that being said, what do I think of Nintendo’s new console?
Wii U is a gigantic leap for Nintendo, even if it doesn’t “measure up” to the PS4 and Xbox One in terms of power and features. While some may consider it “too little, too late” for Nintendo’s entry into the HD era of gaming, I certainly welcome the change, especially when Nintendo packs an HDMI cable in the box. I haven’t been able to test many games yet, but the ones that I have (New Super Mario Bros. U and Nintendo Land) look absolutely gorgeous. Admittedly, the most exciting thing about Nintendo finally going HD is that gamers are finally getting Nintendo franchises in HD.
Besides diving into the world of high definition games, Nintendo is providing gamers a unique controller called the Wii U GamePad. Nintendo’s Wii U GamePad looks a little intimidating at first, but those fears melt away after holding the controller in your hands. I like the controller’s button layout, though I have to admit that the two analog sticks lay a little high on the gamepad. Regardless, the buttons feel good and have a nice click, plus the L, R, and ZL and ZR buttons feel like a natural fit. The Wii U GamePad is also deceivingly light, which makes it a pleasure to hold, but it’s the built-in touchscreen that really steals the show.
Having the ability to flip through menus with the touchscreen makes it easy to navigate the Wii U console; however, the Wii U GamePad’s greatest feature is the ability to play games on the controller2. This doesn’t make the Wii U a portable device by any means (I can barely walk five or six feet before the controller loses its connection with the Wii U) but being able to change the channel to watch TV and play Wii U games at the same time is an awesome feature.
While the touchscreen is an awesome addition to the controller, there are some small concerns I would like to address. I find the touchscreen’s lower resolution to be a little off-putting. It’s not a make or break feature, but to be frank, watching the resolution dip after playing games in HD is disappointing. It would be nice to see Nintendo include a HD screen in the controller in the future, though I’m sure that will drive costs up so it might be years before we see that happen. My other concern revolves around the battery life of the Wii U GamePad. After a full charge, it’s very likely that you will only get about 4 hours of gameplay out of the controller.
One great thing about buying a Wii U now is that there have been a few system updates (four to be exact) that have brought some improvements and features to the console. One of the big complaints about the Wii U during the launch period was the console’s loading times. Moving between menus used to be a pain, but those issues seemed to have been squashed. I guess there is room for improvement, but I’m content with the loading times as they are now. The only downside about doing these system updates is that they are fairly large and take a considerable amount of time to download – dependent on your Internet connection – and install. I was able to download and install all the updates in a little over three hours, though your experience may be different.
There are plenty of other new features that can be enjoyed on the Wii U. You can watch YouTube videos on your TV or enjoy an evening of movies with your Netflix, Hulu Plus, or Amazon Instant Video accounts. If you want even more gaming experiences you can hop on the Nintendo eShop to buy and download retail games, exclusive games developed for the Wii U eShop, and Virtual Console games. Of course, there is also the Miiverse, a social network for Nintendo gamers that happens to be a lot of fun to use, and a friendly friend list to be built.
Overall, I think the Wii U is a more attractive buy after the price drop. The game library is beginning to grow with first-party Nintendo titles – third-party support is meagre at the moment – and the Nintendo eShop is beginning to show its brilliance. Still, before you buy a Wii U you have to ask yourself this question: Do you want to play games from the Super Mario, Mario Kart, The Legend of Zelda, Super Smash Bros., and Donkey Kong Country franchises? If the answer is yes, then the Wii U will definitely appeal to you, even if some of the aforementioned games are a few months away from release. If you answered no, then maybe the Wii U isn’t for you at the moment. What I know for sure is that Wii U will definitely appeal to lifelong Nintendo fanatics.
Here are some frequently asked questions that many consumers may have about Wii U. If you want me to answer a question about the Wii U, please ask me in the comments section below and I will answer your question and add it to the list below.
What is Wii U?
Wii U is Nintendo’s newest video game console and successor to the Wii. It is a brand new console and not an add-on for your Wii. Wii U games will only work on the Wii U console.
What comes with the Wii U Deluxe Set?
- Nintendo Land game
- 32 GB internal memory for storage
- Black Wii U console
- Black Wii U GamePad
- Wii U AC adapter
- Wii U GamePad AC adapter
- High-speed HDMI cable
- Sensor bar
- Wii U GamePad cradle
- Wii U GamePad stand
- Wii U console stand
Is the Wii U backwards compatible?
Yes, the Wii U is backwards compatible with your Wii games and Wii controllers, which includes the Wii Remote, Nunchuk, Classic Controller, and the Wii Balance Board. Nintendo has dropped backwards compatibility for the Nintendo GameCube.
Is the Wii U region locked?
Unfortunately, the answer to this question is yes; only Wii U games from your region will play on your Wii U console.
What is Miiverse?
Miiverse is a feature unique to Wii U (will be coming to smart phones and Nintendo 3DS later) that lets gamers interact with each other and their games like never before. It is very much like Twitter in that it lets users create posts with a limited number of characters and Yeah others’ posts (think of retweeting), but there are more things you can do with your Miiverse profile. You can also send hand drawn art and messages to friends and socialize within communities built for Wii U games.
1The Wii U Basic Set does not come with a game, Wii U GamePad cradle, Wii U GamePad stand, or a Wii U console stand. Also, the Wii U Basic Set only has 8 GB of internal storage.
2Not all Wii U games support the off-TV play feature.