Wednesday, November 14, 2012

WII U Review

by Richard Smith

The big enigma this season happens to be the next big video game console made my Nintendo. I am talking about the WII U. The specs are as diverse as any can get. Let’s tone it down some swim through the hype and deal with the facts. It’s being released on November 18 and will be the hottest thing this 2012 holiday season. Your biggest decision is going to be based on price. Don’t let that fool you because it goes beyond just that.

There is a lot to be said about Nintendo to lay it all on the table. It’s all listed on their website with all the details and diagrams. Let’s start with what you get at the $299.99 price point. This is what they are calling a basic set. You will get a white system with 8 Gigabytes of internal storage. This is your memory or hard drive what you store your game saves on to restart a game from where you left off. A WII U game pad which we’ll talk about later. You get a stylus, which is an instrument for interacting with game pad. To describe it is like the pen you sign your name on the machine at the supermarket using your credit card. Next up is the sensor bar that tracks your body movement for game play like a camera. Last but not least A/C adapter for the system, an A/C Adapter to charge your game pad, and HDMI hookup that goes to your TV. Remember to make sure to have a HDMI on TV or this system will not hook up to it.

Now let’s check the $349.99 price point. You still get what is listed in the basic set with a few changes and additions. One small difference is this system will be black. It has a lot more storage built in a whopping 32 Gigabytes. It says it is ready to play right out of the box. You get a Stand for the system plus a cradle and stand for the game pad. These are all ways of setting down your system when not in play other than thrown on the table. Of course a big thing is that you get the Nintendo Land Video game. If you buy the basic set you will have to buy a game for it separate. Essentially you are probably better chipping in to get this set because you’ll probably spend that much getting a game anyway. Lastly it includes what they call a digital promotion. Simply they want you to buy more so they are giving you 10% back on digital purchases. When you buy something in the shopping area of the system or at certain retailers, they are going to give you points used to reduce cost on a future purchase. It is all a vicious circle of buying more.

Let’s talk about the features and the game pad. The new game pad is quite a feat in technology all on its own. Not only is it a game pad, but it is a remote. They say it will give you all new ways to function with your TV, Satellite, cable box, and TIVO. It says all that you subscribe to including video on demand. You can also use it to video chat through the internet service you use with the system. You can see and talk with anyone in the world as long as they too have a WII U. You’ll use the game pad to browse the internet. The game pad can be used in all different directions vertically or horizontally, and with the stylus you can effect change like with a Nintendo DS. You can use up to five of them for five total people to play. Also on certain games they claim you can see different content while gaming like the zoom feature on your camera.

Some of the additional things to touch on are its wireless internet and browsing capabilities. You can also do the usual and purchase games and such through Nintendo eShop. It is also backwards compatible meaning it will play your original WII games and use controllers and nunchuks from it as well. The new game pad has a microphone, camera, built in motion controls, speakers and a touch screen. You can also buy regular game pads which are an updated version of the old WII classic game pad. Something weird it says it has is NFC. I see this technology not of much use now but a future application. They say through the new game pad you could read and write to special cards without even touching them. I suppose like you read and right to a flash drive. The information is vague and I feel that they probably have plans for this later on, but do not have it at this time.

Well that’s a lot to sink your teeth into. I hope it lives up to the hype and internet functionality is better than its predecessor. There is a lot to be said, but then again you will not know until you try the thing. Every kid will want one, but I am not so sure on the hard core gamer. Nintendo claim it has made deals with third party publishers to get the hard core gamer games for the U. We will see, but for a family system Nintendo doesn’t let us down. Don’t kill each other on the black Friday deals on the U. I hear there is going to be limited supplies, but be patient. I find this the typical holiday craze everyone buys into. You know when supplies run low and people charge outrages prices on EBay. I think I can wait until after the first of the year when of course they will have plenty. That’s just my opinion. Check it out yourself at