When Nintendo first announced the Wii U, many initially thought it was a tablet that would link with the existing Wii console. Later, Nintendo announced that the Wii U was a new console with a tablet-like controller, named the GamePad. Nintendo's new video game console catches up with the graphic potential of its main competitors while continuing innovation and experimentation.
With this new control pattern, you can move the main play screen to the tablet controller to allow others to watch TV, or you can keep all of the menu information in the controller so you don't have to pause the game to access it. With Wii controller integration, you'll be able to enjoy new ways to play multiplayer games, using the tablet controller's screen for one perspective and the main television for another. With its new control scheme, the Nintendo Wii U earns our TopTenREVIEWS Silver Award for video game consoles.
The Nintendo Wii U plays catch-up in a lot of ways with its competitors. With this unit, Nintendo removes the difficult Friend Codes of the Nintendo Wii and finally introduces the gamertag-based Nintendo Network. This hub for all online interactions will include multiplayer and social networking options. The base subscription for this will be free, but Nintendo announced plans to launch a premium service. Nintendo Network Premium will return ten percent of all digital purchases in the form of points, which can be redeemed for more games, downloadable content or other goodies.
The Nintendo Wii U can be upgraded for additional storage space, and through the Nintendo Network, you can store over 500MB of data to Nintendo's cloud service. This cloud data is limited to saved data in games, but it frees space on your local unit for downloading more games.
The Wii U supports up to two GamePads and four additional Wii controllers. At launch, the console will come with one GamePad. Initially, GamePads will not be sold separately. Fortunately, none of the games in the launch window allow for two tablet controllers. The GamePad only supports five hours of usage, so you'll never want to be too far away from your charger.
The Wii U supports full 1080p HD graphics. This means that Nintendo favorites, like Mario, Link and Samus, will finally get a high-definition facelift. Most of the components powering the Wii U are exclusive and kept secret. In early benchmark tests, the processor clocked up to 550MHz, making it slightly faster and more powerful than any other console currently on the market.
Many third-party developers, once opposed to developing for Nintendo's Wii, publicly stated plans to upgrade and port games to the Wii U. These developers announced that the Wii U demonstrated major power and could easily handle the games currently on the market.
The most exciting potential in the Nintendo Wii U's performance comes from the GamePad. Some games will allow you to transfer the main playfield from your HDTV to the tablet controller, so while you're playing "New Super Mario Bros. U," your family can watch movies or television. Other games remove the need for a pause menu by displaying all tools and items on the tablet controller, able to be selected with the press of a finger. Finally, using a combination of the GamePad and Wii controllers, some players can get one perspective through the tablet while other players use the TV as a different perspective, working either with or against the GamePad player. As developers create new experiences, the optional play styles between the screen and the GamePad make the Wii U versatile and a top performer on the console market.
For the first time, Nintendo will allow strangers to meet and communicate, but to address parents' concerns of inappropriate online communication, Nintendo will heavily monitor all interactions and public statements. The Nintendo Network allows a closed social network with the Miiverse, a place where your Mii can hang out and meet other Miis.
As you post announcements or comments about what you're playing or watching, Nintendo screens what you say to make sure it is appropriate before posting to the Miiverse. This means you'll have to wait several minutes before what you say is live.
Nintendo wants to make sure that its name is never soured by the actions or statements of one rogue user online, so when using the Nintendo Network, do not expect total freedom. However, this ability to see other Miis and post your ideas to the rest of the world is a step in the right direction for Nintendo.
Nintendo offers multiple ways to get the information you need for technical support, from online forums to direct customer service contact. The company prides itself in excellence, and if you run into a problem with your console, Nintendo will do everything possible to find the problem and solution. Working with Nintendo representatives is a pleasure. If you'd rather check for answers on the support site, Nintendo's FAQs section delivers a wealth of information for troubleshooting any problem.
The Nintendo Wii U takes an early lead from its competitors by introducing a new console with impressive possibilities. However, graphically, it's trying to catch up to the rest of the gaming world. Nintendo's GamePad offers a new way to play games, and as games are developed, the potential for innovation will make the Wii U a worthy contender among video game consoles for many years.
The tablet controller offers unique gameplay mechanics with creative possibilities, like internet browsing and new ways to enjoy multiplayer games.
Most games only support one tablet controller.
The Nintendo Wii U's new control scheme offers a fun new way to play games without requiring additional purchases.