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The Wii U, is it for you?

The Wii U has been reviewed by some publications across the net, but is it something you will want?

Many people are yet unsure of what is ‘under the hood’, so first, lets list the specifications:

  • IBM Power-based multi-core processor
  • AMD Radeon-based High Definition GPU
  • 8GB/32GB storage options
  • 1080p video output
  • Supports HDMI

It has just been released in time for the end of the year sales. In America the 8GB basic version is $299.99. The 32GB Deluxe version if $349.99 and makes more sense to us.

The Basic Set is a 8GB white console with all white components. You get a GamePad Controller, charger, sensor bar and (yay at last), an HDMI cable. The Deluxe Set is a 32GB black console with black components – all of the above with Nintendo Land game.

The size of the console has been discussed. Some say it is ‘big’ and ‘heavy, with power cables that are too large.

David Pierce from The Verge said “Time to clear a spot in your home theater stack. The Wii U’s console is a hefty piece of machinery, a glossy black (or white) rectangle that may or may not slide neatly next to your TV.

I’m not sure I’ve ever written about a power cable in a review before, but the Wii U’s merits a mention. Because it’s massive. The power brick is almost the same size as the console itself, and it made installing the system a lot harder — hiding something that big behind your TV can be tough.”

One of the biggest talking points is the controller that is supplied with the console. Nintendo have built a very cool controller system which is almost like a tablet – this GamePad can offer an additional screen for various concept ideas within a game.

Ars Technica’s Kyle Orland said “The biggest ergonomic problem with the GamePad comes in the shoulder buttons. Two of these buttons, ZL and ZR, rest on top of the back ridge and provide a perfectly natural resting place for your index fingers. The others, labeled L and R, sit on the top edge of the GamePad, roughly an inch higher. With your middle fingers under the ridge, reaching up to hit these shoulder buttons with your index finger is an uncomfortable stretch.

Moving your index fingers quickly between the two sets of shoulder buttons is also quite a bit more awkward than doing the same on the Xbox 360 or PS3 (where the buttons are at the same vertical height). It’s possible to put your ring finger under the ridge and rest both your middle and index fingers on the shoulder buttons, but this setup felt a bit unnatural to me.”

David Pierce at The Verge said “The Wii U is close — tantalizingly close — to being a portable console. So close, in fact, that I found myself wondering constantly why the GamePad wasn’t the console, and the TV-connected piece a peripheral. The GamePad and console connect to each other via an ad-hoc Wi-Fi connection, which works absolutely seamlessly — there’s no lag, and I had no connection issues whatsoever. Nintendo says the two parts will work up to 25 feet apart, but I found that it could sometimes be much farther; they stayed in touch anywhere in the Verge offices or in my apartment, even through walls.

That means for games like New Super Mario Bros. U, where all the gameplay also takes place on the GamePad, you don’t even need your TV anymore — just turn the console on, and play on your GamePad. That’s a great way to avoid monopolizing your family’s TV, and it frees you from even needing a TV. Anywhere there’s a power outlet, you can play some Wii U games using the GamePad.”

What about the games so far? Jeff Bakalar from CNET said “So far, Nintendo has yet to do an overly impressive job of locking up exclusive titles only available on the Wii U. Aside from forthcoming first-party titles like Pikmin 3 and Game and Wario, Nintendo has only teased exclusives like Bayonetta 2, Lego City Undercover, and The Wonderful 101. Of course it’s safe to assume the usual crop of first-party franchises will show up down the line, too: more Mario, Zelda, and Metroid, etc.”

Bakalar summed up with a concerning line for Nintendo. “In almost every other department, save for what Nintendo TVii is supposed to provide, the other consoles on the market have the Wii U beat: network and offline media playback, diversity of streaming services, exclusive games, and speedy operating systems.

Despite its unique dual-screen presentation, innovative GamePad controller, and ambitious Nintendo TVii service, the Wii U still has a lot to prove.”

Kitguru says: Are you impressed, on your ‘to buy’ shortlist or do you already have one?

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