Nintendo Wii U
• Contemporary GamePad
• HD gaming
• Optimized online approach
• Sluggish UI
• Some developers don’t see the value
The Wii U is an exciting new console and we can see Nintendo are trying to piece together the new generation of entertainment and controllers. The problem is sometimes the vision lacks quality, some games do not run well with the interface and controller and the irregular design makes some developers nervous.
The Wii U console is predominately just a port; it serves no real purpose other than a disc tray to work games. The real beauty is in the controller, with a 6-inch touchscreen. Many old time gamers still see touchscreens as a technology not fully utilized or durable for gaming. The design of a touchscreen is tacky and lacks proper control that buttons and keys have. Nevertheless, we see the positives in the touchscreen, including a way to check backpacks and maps. In addition, having a UI on a 6-inch touchscreen, instead of fiddling around with keys and toggles, is a beautiful idea.
Despite the previous consoles being almost a decade older than the Wii U is, the console still feels underpowered compared to the Xbox 360 and PS3. Gaming is okay, we have seen big launch titles run well on the Wii U, although we question the performance, frames per second and graphical intensity against the Xbox 360 and PS3.
Nintendo still seem adamant that the way to make a great interface is to coat it in cartoon animation and we do not agree with this ethic. If we look at the Xbox Dashboard, it is clean, well designed and works very well. Comparing this to the Wii U, we find it sluggish and sometimes awkwardly placed. Overall, you will get around the UI without any major problems, but sluggish design and a poor UI do not do the console any favors.
What do content providers want? A platform that is consistent, allows them to make their games without any different design options and has an audience that will get their game some money.
This is not what Wii U is offering, Nintendo changed the rules of controllers and of gaming generally on a console. This will make many content providers confused, and some may just port the game without a touchscreen design. Other content is fine, entertainment is now necessary on a gaming console for it to succeed, and Nintendo has been swiping up some sweet deals with content providers.
Nintendo obviously noticed that their Wii console was lacking in a few areas, and one of them was multiplayer. They have tried to make an attempt at multiplayer and asked developers to make intuitive multiplayer experiences. The problem we find is that not many of the games on the Wii U are optimized for a great multiplayer experience. Zombi U, for example, could be a great co-op multiplayer experience, but 12 players on one server? Doesn’t sound great. The Wii U desperately needs a Left 4 Dead game or Call of Duty, something to bring multiplayer in a completely new design, using the TouchPad.
The six-inch touchscreen is good and bad, for some gamers, it will never be used unless it has to be, for others, it will be a welcome edition for swiping through menus and other game related activity. HD gaming is finally on the Wii U and this just makes it all the more better, considering both the PS3 and Xbox 360 had HD almost a decade ago. A normal Wii U controller can be used if you really hate the touchscreen, although we believe you have to buy it in the Pro bundle.
You can connect through an Ethernet cable or WiFi and both work very well, we found that the console can connect automatically very well and you don’t need to add your connection password every time you turn on the console.
Starting at $299 for basic and $375 for bundle, we agree it isn’t the cheapest console right now, although Nintendo has said they are losing money on every product they ship, in the hopes people buy software and content. We would advise going for the Pro bundle, because it has more storage and a good amount of accessories.
The Wii U is a unique console that has tried to integrate the experience of a touchscreen with the power of console games. They have almost succeeded, but in some areas sluggish performance and lack of good content and games design drops them down.
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