Nintendo was the first company with a next-gen video game console on the shelves. Unfortunately, the Wii U feels more like competition to the PS3 and Xbox 360, rather than a true next-gen console. The Wii U's Gamepad is an excellent gaming controller, and the console offers amazing potential. However, there are some major issues preventing the system from becoming a great gaming machine. The Wii U may be the last console to utilize unique components and coding, since it is not cost effective to program games for most consoles in one language and then create a separate port for Nintendo's console.

The Nintendo Wii U has proprietary technology, so it is hard to find exact details about its performance. We found the exact numbers about the console's performance, but rather than bore you with specs, we'd rather look at the available games. While Nintendo claims that the Wii U is the most powerful system on the market, its multiplatform games consist of titles that are available on the PS3 and the 360. The truly powerful part of the Wii U is its tablet-like Gamepad, which allows you to play games directly on the controller while others use the TV.

Unfortunately, there is a lot of wasted potential with the Wii U. Although the console supports up to two Gamepads, there aren't any games that utilize more than one controller. All multiplayer games use Wii remotes instead. Also, the Gamepad must be within range of the Wii U console to use the remote play capabilities, so you cannot download games onto the controller and play on the road. The biggest reason to buy a Wii U is to continue playing the games from some of the best franchises in history, including Super Mario, Zelda, Kirby and Metroid.

Perhaps the biggest flaw with the Nintendo Wii U is its antiquated online service. Like the Wii, the Nintendo Network requires Friend Codes to connect with others. Also, you cannot search for other players that you met online, so if you had a great experience with a stranger, do not count on meeting a new friend.

Even with all of its faults, the Wii U is a Nintendo console, so you'll see some of the best first-party games exclusively on this system. From Mario to Zelda, Nintendo develops fun games for its fans. In time, we hope that other publishers will see the potential in Nintendo's unique video game console and deliver innovative games for the system.

Nintendo Wii U Summary:
7.2/10

The Nintendo Wii U is a unique video game console that fails to offer great gaming experiences. Although the console has lots of potential, it cannot compete with the newest consoles from Sony and Microsoft, and many of the system's features do not work in today's gaming environment. Fortunately, the Wii U is the exclusive home of new Nintendo exclusives, which are some of the most enjoyable family-friendly games available.

 
 
 

Nintendo Wii U

Pros
The Wii U's tablet-like Gamepad offers gameplay potential similar to the DS and 3DS.

Cons
The Nintendo Network is a poor online system, forcing friends to trade numeric codes to stay connected.

The Verdict
: 7.2/10

The Nintendo Wii U is full of potential, but without the software to support it, it will gather dust on your shelf.