Nintendo Wii U Console - 32GB Black Deluxe Set

4stars

Nintendo Wii U Console – 32GB Black Deluxe Set

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The Nintendo Wii U Console - 32GB Black Deluxe Set was reviewed by 549 of purchasers of this product.

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Like most people I was hesitant to pick this up because of all the mediocre reviews. I’m a 28 year old married working professional(pediatrics resident) and like many adults I don’t have time to spend playing hours and hours of video games. I wanted something I could pick up recreationally and just have fun with (although i do look for a deep meaningful gaming experience, as well). I also wanted something I could use for party games with other people. I strongly considered xbox one. But a couple things really turned me off to that. For one I think its stupid (and genius) that you have to pay a subscription fee for any online service. I already paid $500 and now I have to pay $60/year more! That’s ridiculous! Then I also realized that no game in the xbox one or xbox 360 lineup sounded as fun as nintendo games I had spent hundreds of hours playing (wii sports first, then mario, donkey kong, mario kart!!!, the ‘trauma’ series, just dance). I could pull out mario kart and EVERYONE loved playing it.

The wii u piqued my interest for many reasons but mostly the price seemed right. The deluxe bundle with two games (mario and luigi) was $299. I also picked up nintendo land at gamestop for $13.50 and two wii motion plus add-ons for like $15 each.

This has been the best gaming decision I could have possibly made!!!

Reason #1: backwards compatible
I can play all my old wii games that I know and love!!! And I don’t have to invest in all new controllers and stuff. ALSO, I just found out that a recent update now allows you to do a one time transfer from your wii!!! That means I don’t have to re-purchase super mario 3, super mario world, street fighter, or the other games I had bought. No one seems to know about this (even thr nintendo reps I had asked!) But for previous wii owners this is a huge plus!!!

Reason #2: the second screen is a God send to every married man or person in similar situation
I’m with friends and they want to watch football, I wanted to mess around with the wii. No problem!!! my wife has certain shows that I like to avoid (ie real housewives).. this offers a perfect way to do it. You can even use the wii remotes with the screen to make it like a miniature tv.

Reason #3: the FUN FACTOR
Remember the first time you played wii and it was cool because anyone could just pick it up and play. All of a sudden everyone wanted to try bowling. my mom, sisters.. people who previously hated how video games stole the tv. I never thought that would be replicated on the wii u. To be fair, I had doubts because the interface is less intuitive (although sometimes more intuitive with the ease of touching the gamepad).. there also have been a lot of updates which take time and could make the most casual gamers lose interest.

But don’t let that dissuade you! Nintendo land is literally the most fun I’ve had on a game system with family since those first days of owning a wii. My wife, who’s never been into games (even the wii) has been asking to play nintendo land! The games are simple but just SO MUCH FUN!!! The smiles on her face and our laughs as we play these games more than cover the cost of the system. The asymetric gaming is something revolutionary. It allows people to have different roles in the same game. The uses for the second screen seem to be endless.

The other fun part is creating your mii. They actually resemble you. And when you see yourself in the game it just adds something to the experience.

Reason#5 – the future
I don’t know what will happen with wii u. It may be too late to be successful. But I do know there are new games on the horizon that make it even more worth having (mario kart!!!). And best of all the games look GREAT! They are in true 1080 hd. There comes a point where better graphics only add so much. If you want that I’ve heard people say a gaming pc is better than xbox or PlayStation. but if you want fun invest in the wii u. Your kids will not be disappointed, and neither will you.

Ps.. one additional hypothetical app that would make this system even cooler is Skype. If wii u was able to get this app (it already has netflix, amazon video, and hulu plus.. which work GREAT btw it even shows extra imdb content on the gamepad as you watch!!!). You could leave your wii u on and the second screen could recieve skype calls while you watch tv. How cool would that be!!! Xbox one has gotten a lot of attention for being a total entertainment system but wii u could be comparable. So what if you can control channels with xbox? You can do that with the nintendo gamepad. You can’t control dvr or ondemand content so I think xbox is going to be less seamless than people think.

Great News. Today (4/30/2013) Nintendo released an update that resolved a lot of the problems that the Wii U had. My personal favorite is that you can now download and install games in the background and fully automatically. Yes, it should have been like that since the beginning. Three cheers! I’ve updated my review to reflect this new information.
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Original review (edited due to improvements by Nintendo):I remember that Nintendo came under a lot of criticism for not having an HD version of the Wii. HD was around when the first Wii came out, and a lot of people were a bit skeptical that they stuck to the lower resolution. As HD became common, Nintendo told fans that they had to do something “more” than just come out with an HD version of the Wii.

Well, thats just what Nintendo did. The Wii U is more than “just Wii HD”. But Nintendo hasn’t changed the Wii experience very much. You still use Wii remotes every time you play. The Wii U is not “completely different” like the Wii was when it came out. The Wii U is the Wii’s younger, smarter brother. And if you liked the Wii, you’ll like the Wii U.

The 3 main features of the Wii U are:
1) Its HD, which brings it (finally) up to speed with the Xbox and Playstation … and everything else out there.
2) The Wii U has a single video controller. The video controller opens up new game experiences. Whoever is playing on the video controller sees something different than the other players. For generations people have wanted multiplayer games that didn’t use a “split TV screen”, and the Wii U gives you that in one console. This is a really big deal. The video controller is also a touchscreen which you use to flick something at the screen, or move things on screen. The new video controller allows for new control options … just like the “Wii balance board” allowed Nintendo to sell yoga and ski games.
3) Videos, videos, videos. Netflix, youtube, TiVo, amazon instant video. It will keep track of the TV shows you want to watch, and when they will be on. You’ll also be able to use the Wii U as a social outlet to chat about TV shows and movies. Nintendo calls this Wii TVii, and it would be a revolution in TV watching… if only all the features were available now. So you can use the Wii U as a control for all your Video experiences with your TV. The video controller will act like “PIP Picture in Picture in the palm of your hand”. I use the Wii U with Amazon Video to watch movies for free, and the Wii remote lets me see information about the movie on IMDB WHILE the movie is playing. For sports, you’ll be able to watch instant replays on the small screen… while the rest of your buddies continue to watch the big game on the main screen. So its going to be a remote controller on steroids. To be honest, this is going to be a really big big deal but since not all the features roll until “later” I can’t give the WIi U a star for it yet. Maybe it will change your life, maybe not. Time will tell.

And that concludes the main appeal of the Wii U. We finally get HD, the video controller adds a new dimension to the usual Wii gaming, and it also serves as a “TV command center”.

FAQ:::Some people have asked me about the Wii U, and the short answers are:
1) No, you don’t have to own a Wii to have a Wii U.
2) You can only use ONE video controller with your Wii U. All other players use the old Wii remote.
3) 5 people can play at once, making it even more of a “game party” console than before.
4) You can’t play DVDs or Blu Ray discs. Blue Ray is Sony Playstation territory, as you probably know.
5) You can surf the internet on it (why would you want to? I don’t know)
6) Should I get the deluxe? Probably. You get 32gb of memory, which will become more important the longer you have the console, and the more you do with it. You get the Nintendo Land game. You get the cradle for charging the video gamepad. And until 2014 they will give you a store credit of 10% every time you make a purchase of digital content (games). If you buy digital content regularly, you might “earn back” the extra $50 you pay for the deluxe Wii U. (I tried this yesterday, read below for more info on the credit)

NintendoLAND:
Nintendo Land has a nice set of games that introduce you to life with the video controller:
1) Some of the games are a lot of fun. The most popular minigames in our house are the game where one player pretends to be a ghost and scares other players. This is accomplished by having two screens, the ghost can see everyone, but nobody else knows where the ghost is. This is always a howling good time at our house. The Mario hide and seek works the same way and is also popular with us. (update: after a month of play, the Kids now play Zelda and Metroid the most)
2) Some of the games would be worth about $1 in an “app store”. (race game, balloon game, and yoshi game: I’m talking to you!)
3) Some games have more than one control scheme. The Pikmin game is enjoyed by my 4 year old because he can use a stylus to direct “Captain Olimar” instead of the joysticks/d-pads. He just points at what he wants to do. So for the first time even my youngest can join in on at least some of the action.
4) Metroid and Zelda show off what the Wii U can do for multiplayer combat/FPS. In Metroid, the player with the video controller operates a “helicopter” while everyone else are “ground troops”. The two screens allow for different perspectives in battle.

NintendoLand has satisfied my kids for a whole month, but its really starting to wear off now. NintendoLand is particularly good if you have a lot of friends come over to your house. But, its just a variety game and not very deep. You’ll probably want to buy another game shortly after buying the Wii U. (PS I bought Trine2 from the Nintendo eShop for $20, but, I think it was worth about $10.)

Other games: since I wrote my original review, I have bought a lot of other wii U games. However, I’m generally disappointed in the use of the video controller. In many games, the video controller either shows you a map of the area, or, shows a version of whats on the big TV screen. Party games, like the Rabbids game and Nintendo Land, make the best use of the video controller. Single player games tend to make the worst use of it. I don’t have all the games for the Wii U, but, thats been my general experience.

The Wii U has a host of “lesser” features:
1) A person can play the Wii U without having the TV on. Expect a smack on your head if you want to play ZombiU while your wife watches a movie.
2) Its backwards compatible with all older Wii games (but maybe not dance pads!), which is nice if you bought Zelda Skyward Sword this summer.
3) Just as with the old Wii, you can download games from the Nintendo store. If you buy online content for your iPhone, Xbox, or PS3, you know that this is a big deal. I used to buy songs for guitar hero to add to the songs that came in the box. If you buy this DELUXE version, you get a 10% credit back for all online purchases, see more about this credit in “The Bad” below.
4) The Wii U video controller is like a universal remote. You can turn on your TV and change the volume from the gamepad which is a convenience.
5) Most of the old Wii hardware is compatible too, which is nice, EXCEPT that round “gamecube style” connector is not present on the Wii U. Games that use a mat like “outdoor challenge” and “Dance Dance Revolution” become history in your house.
6) There is a big, easy to find “download again” button for all digital content, so if your Wii U got fried by a power surge you wouldn’t lose your purchases. That’s always nice.

The bad:
1) The menus aren’t intuitive. There are two menus… the Wii U menu and the Home menu. The Home menu is found by pressing the Home button. Note that now that downloads are automatic, the unintuitive menus aren’t so bad. But they still seem redundant.
2) Transferring data from the Wii to the Wii U should be easier. In particular I didn’t like that when I imported my Miis, I had to do a separate step on the Wii U before I could actually use them in the games. The day I got it the patch took way too long to download and install, and after I transferred my data from my Wii I felt like I had spent 2 hours on the whole thing. But, since then, there has been no problem.
3) Freezing. I did have a problem with NintendoLand locking up, but, that went away after one day. This will be something they fix and becomes a thing of the past. I wouldn’t sweat it.
4) Long updates. I feel that the time that it takes to download stuff and install it has improved over time.
5) Installing downloaded content. I wrote a long rant about how annoying this was, but as of the most recent update you can buy items in the store and they download and install automatically, as they should.
6) Digital Content 10% back has a $50 minimum, and I feel that its high. For every $50 in digital content you get a $5 credit. If you spend $65 on digital content, then you still get $5, until you spend another $35 to get it to $100. You go to a separate website using your computer, and log in, and then copy the code onto a piece of paper. Then you go to your wii u and put in the code. I’ve become accustomed to the process and I’ve decided its not very restrictive, but I still wish that credits just “appeared” in your account 24-48 hours later. The codes are good until 2015. The codes remain on that website even after you’ve used them, they don’t disappear. When you add the codes to the eShop there is no expiration date.

Ok now that I’m done complaining…

Your decision matrix:
1) If you still like playing on your Wii, and you have the money to spend, buy a Wii U and sell your Wii. You’ll enjoy it.
2) If you are considering between an Xbox+Kinect and a Wii U, I think its a tough call. I really like the “second screen” gaming, it really opens up a lot of possibilities. But most of the wii U stuff looks really juvenile. The kid down the street told me he still wanted an Xbox because the Xbox has games for teenagers. I said “whatev.”
3) As a side note, every kid who has seen and played our Wii U in the last two weeks has put this as the top item on the Christmas list. Its the “next big thing” for them and you can be sure that the little things that I complain about in this review won’t matter to them. Not at all.

Games: Nintendo now has decent amount of digital content to buy online. I paid .35 for “kirby’s great adventure” or something like that. Its a grainy looking old game, but it was only thirty five cents. Nintendo has started offering games at the $2, $5, and $8 price points as well. I’m VERY pleased to see this, because I want to be able to log into the shop and grab a game for cheap when I want to.

I rate this item 3 stars out of 5 because three stars means “it’s ok”. Nintendo has made a lot of improvements in 6 months, and while they have fixed most of the problems with the system, I find myself reluctant to raise the review to 4 stars until some more exclusive games are released. Pikmin 3 has been delayed until August, for example.

1 month UPDATE:
We’ve become “heavy users” of the Wii U. My wife, who always preferred the Kinect, has started to warm up to the Wii U. But I think its because my son is converting her, I sure couldn’t.

Big negative: CRADLE and battery have limitations: The battery on the video controller can’t hold up to extended play. I picked up one of these cables: Global Game Gear GGG0040 Deluxe Split Extension Cable for Wii U Video Controller which resolved my problems. Now its easier to keep the video controller charged. I’ve removed my rant about the video controller battery not lasting.

DOWNLOADS: I removed my rant about problems with downloads because its been fixed.

The Wii U is getting better. I think it may turn into my favorite console of all time, if they can just get some good exclusive games out, and improve the use of the video controller in those games. I really don’t want another game where the Wii U video controller shows a map. Gimmie a break.

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