The Wii U: Pricey, but Fun

Courtesy of Nintendo

On Nov. 18, 2012, Nintendo launched its newest console, the Wii U, in North America. With a limited number of systems available for pre-order, a waitlist was formed quickly to alert those who wanted the system but were too slow on the draw. I placed myself on this waitlist, and luckily managed to score one. To begin, I’ll go over the technical specifications regarding the console.

The Wii U comes in two varieties, the basic and the deluxe sets. Both sets come with the console, a matching gamepad (the controller), a sensor bar, an HDMI cable and all the necessary power cords. The basic set has an 8 GB memory and comes in white, while the deluxe set comes in black with a 32 GB memory, as well as a cradle and charge stand for the gamepad, a stand for the console and a copy of the game “Nintendo Land.”

If you are considering this system but do not have an HDTV, the traditional red/yellow/white cables can also be used (either taken from the Wii or purchased separately). It is backwards compatible with the Nintendo Wii games, but is not compatible with GameCube games, so you may want to wait on trading in your Wii if you still have GameCube games.

The Wii U is a great system and there are so many great things to say about it. I’ll start off by saying that the HDMI output looks fantastic and I can’t imagine going back once I’ve already started. The games I do have are both fun and challenging. “Nintendo Land” is a great party game yet can keep you busy for hours playing the solo games. “New Super Mario Bros. U” brings back the nostalgia of a classic “Mario” game with HD graphics, but with new features that keep my interest piqued.

The gamepad is an excellent addition to the Wii U, as it makes the gameplay very unique. With one person on the gamepad and the rest using Wii Remotes, intense one vs. four matches can be played. With the gamepad also capable of producing the images on its screen, it allows some games to be played without the need for a television.

The gamepad can also be used as a television remote without the need to power on the whole system. I could keep this list going, but I would rather you readers find out how great it is for yourself.

However, for every great thing about the Wii U, it does have its list of faults. To begin, the console is not cheap: the basic set runs for $299, while the deluxe set costs $349. The Wii U is incapable of playing DVDs and Blu-Ray discs, which is undesirable compared to its competitors. Also, the Wii U doesn’t come with any Wii remotes, which means multiplayer is non-existent unless you make a new purchase or already have the remotes leftover from the Wii.

In terms of games, the Wii U currently doesn’t have a great selection, with not that many exclusive titles. I’m not really excited about many of the games that are currently out, but with the release of future titles (“Pikmin 3,” a possible “Super Smash Bros.,” a new “Legend of Zelda”) it’s sure to level up in my list of favorite systems.

Overall, the Wii U is an excellent system. It’s fun and innovative, yet challenging enough to keep me wanting more. However, I will agree that the console is not for everyone. If you are planning on using it solely as a media player, then this console isn’t for you. With no DVD playback, you’d just be paying $300+ for a Netflix streamer.

If you are considering buying this system, I strongly recommend the deluxe instead of the basic set. The first thing you are probably going to do after buying the console is buy a $60 game, but for only $50 more you get the game and four times the memory. I do love my Wii U, but I strongly urge to wait until the larger titles are released.

Perhaps even wait for a price drop for all you money-conscious students. However, if, after reading this article, you are strongly compelled to buy the Wii U, then U Wii-ll definitely love it.