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Wii U Launches in the US: reviews, impressions, details

Monday, 19 November 2012 01:34 GMT By Brenna Hillier

A massive day-one patch, a pile of eShop games, graphical doubts and mixed hardware reviews. Everything you need to know from the Wii U’s first day is here.

The Wii U launched in the US at midnight on Sunday November 18. Pre-launch, Nintendo maintained a tight control on information regarding the console, but the floodgates have well and truly opened now. You’re drowning in the torrent, so let’s start with the most important question: is it any good?

Wii hardware reviews and impressions

Everyone seems to agree that there’s plenty of fun to be had with the Wii U, but after that, things get messy. 1UP praised the console for its USB and SD card compatibility, while criticising the lack of video and audio out options and expressing doubts regarding the memory allowances – and said the modest, current-generation hardware won’t blow you away.

The Penny Arcade Report showed a lot of enthusiasm for the console, but bemoaned the sluggishness of its system menus and cumbersome game swapping process. The report concludes by calling the current firmware “half-baked”, but editor Ben Kuchera says he ‘adores’ the system and its games regardless.

GameInformer called a day one firmware update a “beast” and “excruciating”, but noted that the system is almost useless without it. The site seemed unimpressed with the Wii U’s video and browser functions; called MiiVerse “creepy”; and criticised the GamePad’s signal range and battery life.

MTV Multiplayer also had issues with charging the GamePad but otherwise was all praise for the new console, noting that “all signs point to a reality where Nintendo has learned from a lot of their mistakes with the Wii”.

The gamepad’s battery was an issue for Destructoid too, but the site called the controller “inherently superior” to the Wii’s even as it bemoaned the “simplistic” touchscreen.

Over on RipTen, criticism of the Wii U’s lack of audio out options was repeated, but the site also noted that the “lengthy” set up process was “painless”, and that the GamePad screen is “really lovely”.

The Wii U “doesn’t feel exactly like the next generation”, Joystiq said in its own review, but noted that the gamePad does feel futuristic and seemed impressed with the semi-portable tech.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 Wii U graphics
comparison.

In a lengthy, detailed report, Kotaku concluded that it couldn’t whole-heartedly recommend the Wii U as it would have the Wii. That said, despite not committing to a “must-buy” status, the site did say the Wii U “is a good machine that makes one’s console gaming life surprisingly more convenient and luxurious”.

Polygon was one of the few outlets to give the hardware a score, and went for an alarmingly low 6.5. The review was written before the day-one patch, and makes note of the total lack of online features – as well as Nintendo’s inconsistent messaging in this regard. The site is “cautious and indeed, somewhat pessimistic” about the Wii U’s chances against next-generation hardware and cast doubts on the likelihood of decent third-party support.

Gamasutra also took a somewhat negative tone, saying the console just doesn’t “sing” to the consumer straight out the box, and may be “half-baked”.

On a more positive note, Shack News made mention of the system’s “seamless integration of TV and second screen” which “must be commended”. The site said it’s “clear the tech works”, but did wonder whether the Wii U will stand up, graphically, to next-generation hardware.

One criticism repeated on multiplate sites is that the console has launched without TVii. Speaking to MTV Multiplayer Nintendo of America boss Reggie Fils-Aime discussed the delay.

“One of the things that we were criticized for yesterday was for the lack of some of the video on demand content, but I can tell you that when consumers buy their system, Netflix will be live,” he said.

Batman: Arkham City – Armored Edition
graphics comparison

“I share that because it really reflects how this is a living and breathing system. In the days and weeks ahead, the other three video services will be up and running. We’ve said that Nintendo TVii is coming in December, and so it truly is a living, breathing system that will bring more and more elements to bear over the days, weeks, months, and years ahead.”

One user has already taken a Wii U apart to find out what makes it tick, and according to a report on Kotaku, the answer is 2GB of Samsung-manufactured DDR3 RAM. Critics say this RAM runs at 17 GB per second, which is slower than alleged PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 speeds of 22-25 GB per second. The figures are a little meaningless at this point however as we don’t yet know how much eDRAM the console has, which could significantly impact performance.

Wii U’s huge day-one firmware update

As many reviews noted, it was difficult to judge the Wii U pre-launch because so many of its online features – Miiverse, the eShop, the Internet browser and backwards compatibility – are not bundled in, but instead delivered by day one firmware update.

Wii U eShop catalogue

Assassin’s Creed 3 – $59.99
Darksiders 2 – $59.99
Epic Mickey 2 – $59.99
ESPN Sports Connection – $49.99
FIFA 13 – $59.99
Game Party Champions – $49.99
Just Dance 4 – $49.99
Madden NFL 13 – $59.99
New Super Mario Bros. U – $59.99
Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge – $59.99
Nintendo Land – $59.99
Rabbids Lands – $49.99
Scribblenauts Unlimited – $59.99
Sing Party – $49.99
Sonic and All-Stars Racing Transformed – $39.99
Warriors Orochi 3 Hyper – $59.99
Your Shape Fitness Evolved 2013 – $49.99
ZombiU – $59.99
Chasing Aurora – $14.99
Little Inferno – $14.99
Mighty Switch Force! Hyper Drive Edition – $9.99
Nano Assault Neo – $9.99
Trine 2: Director’s Cut – $19.99

This patch has raised ire among early adopters thanks to its heft; Siliconera noted with displeasure that the update took almost a full hour to download, and then half an hour to install.

Speaking to Polygon, Nintendo of America’s director of product marketing Bill Trinen said a firmware patch was necessary to give Nintendo’s engineers time to make specific features as perfect as possible.

“They’re craftsmen. And as craftsmen, they want to use every last possible moment to continue to make things the best that they can possibly be,” he said.

“If it’s live the moment [consumers] bring the system home, that’s what really matters,” he added when asked about press frustration with missing features pre-launch.

Multiple reports suggest powering off the Wii U during this huge system update can cause serious technical issues – “bricked” consoles – but none have been verified yet. Best to play it safe and ensure your console is powered during any download or install process.

Setting up your Wii U

Of course, you won’t be able to get this update at all if you can’t get your Wii U online, and this is something users have reported difficulties with. If you have a reasonable understanding of networking you can probably sort it out on your own, but if you’re a bit baffled by IP addresses and subnet masks, here’s a solution provided by a Nintendo forum user.

After install, reports suggest a Wii U Premium’s available system memory will drop from 32GB to 25GB; the 8GB model has only 3GB of usable space. Apparently alert to complaints about both the 8GB and 32GB consoles’ memory limits, Nintendo has provided a hefty FAQ on how to get the most out of it – one notable point is that Nintendo Land cannot be downloaded and installed on an 8GB system, but must be purchased at retail. Nintendo recommends padding out your console with USB storage devices if you intend to use the eShop a lot.

Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge Wii U
launch trailer

Once the patch is installed, you’ll have access to backwards compatibility, and will want to transfer your Wii profile across. We’ve touched on this before, but Kotaku has a visual guide now. GoNintendo reports not everything can be copied over – you’ll lose your Wii system settings, pre-installed WiiWare and Virtual Console games, GameCube save files, software already present on both consoles and content which is prohibited from transfer.

Nintendo’s hated friend codes have been overhauled for the Wii U but reception of the new system has been mixed. IGN has full details of how and when you can make friend requests, either in MiiVerse or from the Home menu, and notes that both areas use a different system, which seems complicated.

One last interesting little note about setting up your console: registering a user profile for a minor costs 50¢, charged to a parent or guardian’s credit card. The restriction only applies to children aged under 13, and exists so Nintendo can verify an adult is actually making the registration in compliance with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act; hopefully this will result in caregivers learning about and utilising parental control systems, too.

Wii U launch software impressions, details and complaints

Impressions on the Wii U’s launch software – especially of ported games – have been mixed. 1UP seems unhappy with Mass Effect 3, while IGN isn’t impressed by Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge (although Kotaku says it “sucks less” than previous versions). Questions have been raised regarding the console’s graphical capabilities; a number of videos are available throughout this feature showing side-by-side comparisons.

ZombiU is also getting a bit of a beating from some quarters.

Wii U launch titles on Metacritic

New Super Mario Bros U – 84

Batman: Arkham City – Armored Edition – 84

Nintendo Land – 75

Scribblenauts Unlimited – 75

ZombiU – 70

Darksiders 2 – TBD (75-90)

Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge – TBD (50-76)

Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two – TBD (58)

Meta-game MiiVerse went down on day one, according to Kotaku, which hasn’t impressed users (and may be related to NeoGAF‘s discovery of a rumoured debug mode).

As for eShop games, post-patch the storefront is live and well populated; see the list in the sidebar. GoNintendo reports games must be downloaded and installed in a two-step process, as with the PlayStation 3, which has disappointed some users who just want to get on with the game. Trine 2, for example, apparently takes 17 minutes to install after downloading. On top of that, some games – like ZombiU – require day-one patches, proving Nintendo really has joined the connected age.

There are plenty of games on the eShop worth checking out, especially thanks to the Virtual Console archives, but note – the Pro Controller isn’t compatible with Virtual Console games. Purchasing from the eShop seems a relatively painless affair; it saves your credit card details for use in future transactions.

One game which surprised users is Trine 2: Director’s Cut, which was expected during the launch window but managed to hit release day. Joystiq reports the $20 game is a 2GB download, includes 20 levels, and boasts a special new multiplayer mode called Magic Mayhem, exclusive to the Wii U version.

Launch and supply issues

The console’s performance and software probably isn’t the motivation for it, but as Kotaku notes, the on-sell market for Wii U hardware, games and accessories is already booming. The site found well over 600 consoles on eBay for $520 or more, with premium bundles going for as much as $800. Nintendo isn’t expecting the kind of supply issues it had when the Wii launched, but bids on these grey market consoles are only rising, and the general social media noise suggests supplies are limited.

“Our goal, of course, is to manufacture as many as we can as quickly as we can,” Trinen said when asked about hardware shortages, saying Nintendo hoped to match the Wii’s sales performance.

“I think it’s gonna be a strong first year and I think there’ll be more to come after that as well.”

Trine 2: Director’s Cut Wii U launch trailer.

As Gematsu‘s photo coverage of the New York Wii U launch shows, Isaiah Triforce Jones was once again first in line to grab the latest Nintendo console.

Fils-Aime turned up at the New York event to surprise those in queue 24 hours before launch; Kotaku has video of the visit.

Finally, Nintendo’s promotional efforts are full of information and deals for fans looking to pick up the new console.

The Wii U released in the US on November 18, as a $300 white 8GB basic bundle, and a $350 black 32GB premium bundle. The new console arrives in Europe and Australia on November 30. It hits Japan on December 8.

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34 Comments

  1. Zohar

    So day 1 annoyances aside, it looks like a pretty solid console. I watched several hours of Giantbomb’s Wii U live stream, where they went through a myriad of games and all of the system’s features, and it looks pretty cool.

    Things like Day 1 patches are meaningless and will be forgotten by next week. Ports are not a judge of a console’s overall quality in comparison to their native console releases so I’m not worried about Batman: Arkham City having a crappy framerate.

    Black Ops II seemed to look and run totally on-par with the 360/PS3 versions, and the ability to play 2 players and let each player have their own screen is cool.

    Gotta laugh at a website that assigns a numerical score to a console on day 1. Look at how much the 360 and PS3 have changed since their launches. It’s insane to judge a console launch by it’s launch line-up, too. Actually I’d say the Wii U has a very good line-up compared to what was available to PS3 and 360.

    In typical internet fashion it’s looking like a lot of people are ready to tear it apart for every single perceived flaw, but from my viewpoint it looks like a great successor to the Wii and the gamepad has a lot of potential.

    It’s nice to at least know that Wii U owners won’t be hamstrung by terrible controlling ports due to the lack of a traditional controller design. No doubt the PS4 and next Xbox will have superior raw power, but at least the gameplay between ports won’t have to suffer.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. G1GAHURTZ

    What a shambles of a launch.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Patrick Garratt

    We still haven’t received our boxes. The only time I’ve used one properly was on the ZombiU visit to Ubi Montpelier. The GamePad’s really good, from what I saw. Feels well made and heavy. The Pro Controller seems cheaply made, which was odd. It’s nowhere near as good as the 360 pad or a DualShock. Light and clicky.

    In terms of “power,” it just looked like a 360/PS3 to me. I saw Assassin’s Creed III running on one as gamescom and it’s the same game. ZombiU looks “alright”.

    I dunno. You really can’t tell until the software line-up sorts itself out. All it needs is a few decent unique games and it’ll work. Not sure if they can manage anything like Wii again as regards popularity, but I was impressed with the way the pad was used in ZombiU. It definitely is doing something different over the other consoles, so that has to be positive.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Fin

    How big is the firmware patch?

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Digital Bamboo

    It all feels a bit anticlimactic to be honest.

    I was pretty hyped yesterday, (even though I’m not planning on getting a Wii U any time soon) but after seeing all the reviews come out today & hearing all the negatives, I’m just kinda disappointed it wasn’t stronger.

    I was hoping for a couple of knockout titles, & maybe a surprise hit or two, but the averages are looking well below favorable. Not that review scores matter a whole lot…except when they do.

    I guess if I pick and choose my reviews then some of the games sound pretty great. Maybe I’m just feeling off.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. naffgeek

    Cannot help thinking this is going to be a very short lived console for Nintendo.

    Why didn’t they up the hardware spec?

    Why didn’t they have at least one killer app at launch (ZombiU is getting massively varied scores) a Zelda, Mario or even release Pikmin and hold Super Mario WiiU back.

    I know there is a lot of love out there for Nintendo but there business model seem bizarre lately.

    I was seriously thinking of getting one for ZombiU but after the mixed reviews I think I will just wait for State of Decay for xbox live and save about £300

    #6 2 years ago
  7. mistermogul

    Brenna – why don’t you wait until you have your own unit to judge the system on rather than just rehashing negative comments from third parties?

    #7 2 years ago
  8. DrDamn

    @7
    They are rehashing comments. Kind of useful and the sort of thing this site does well. If they come across negative then that’s a good indication the sources are generally negative.

    Euro preorder still wavering here.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. Zohar

    @5

    You gotta know though that the games media and especially people who post about games these days are excessively cynical and always focus on and destroy any product based on even the most meaningless and minor issues. Like @2 said “what a shambles of a launch.” Really? How can you come to that conclusion?

    Not to say the Wii U launch was flawless, but it’s really not at all bad. I watched about 6 hours of the Giantbomb live stream, and other than a couple of lengthy updates, they were able to play every game with no issues.

    As far as the launch line-up goes, this one seems pretty good. You’ve got New Super Mario Bros. U which is a really good game (just a little tired if you’ve played the other ones recently) and Nintendo land has some genuinely fun games within it. Black Ops II is also an option if you don’t already own it. There are some ports of good games out there, too, if a little dodgy in their quality. Overall, the line-up here available at launch is great compared to past launches.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. Digital Bamboo

    Yeah, I realize the internet is full of uber-cynical types & should not be taken too seriously. I don’t know why I got so bummed out by the bullshit, maybe because I haven’t had a drink today, or I won’t be able to play a Wii U myself for a long time.

    I agree the Wii U launch is a lot stronger than most. Goddamn, looking back at the PS3 launch, there’s not a single game I’d be interested in playing, and look how far it’s come. Yeah, once the HD Zelda, Metroid, 3D Mario, & yet-to-be revealed hits start rolling out, I’m sure I won’t be able to get a Wii U fast enough.

    I really am excited about the future of the Wii U, I just wish it was firing on all cylinders right off the bat. Then, no console ever is.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. G1GAHURTZ

    @9:

    I say it’s a shambles, because of the huge amount of negativity from the media. I’ve only looked at a few reviews, but I’ve already seen one that’s advising people to ‘probably wait for the next MS and Sony consoles’.

    We’ve got people apparently accessing debug menus, consoles getting bricked, a patch that you can’t get without a net connection, low scoring game reviews, etc, etc, etc.

    Just look at most of the games media sites today. So many of them don’t even have the WiiU as a lead story! There are few ads online that I’ve come across, and in general, the whole thing is just coming across like a damp squib.

    That’s why I said it was a shambles.

    If the Xbox 720 had a launch like this, I’d probably buy a PS4, instead.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. Len

    Love the Wii to WiiU transfer vid, especially the end:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=SDDARCooJhE

    #12 2 years ago
  13. Cobra951

    Nothing I’ve seen here today is going to change my decision not to buy this system. If anything, my negative feelings have been affirmed. Most of the games are available on well-established systems, and the rest don’t do a thing for me. Add the ho-hum tech facts, and there’s just no draw here for me. Without a killer Mario or Zelda game, it just doesn’t measure up to what I already have.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. Telepathic.Geometry

    http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/df-hardware-nintendo-wii-u-review

    EG’s impressions…

    #14 2 years ago
  15. Len

    @13 Gotta agree with you sadly. Just not at all bothered by it, hope they can change my mind in the coming months.

    #15 2 years ago
  16. OlderGamer

    We talking about the same console?

    Ok look, what you have to understand are that there is a whole host of game people that are prebias towards Nintendo. Now, if you are one of those people your going to snicker at me and call me a fanboy. But really all that makes is at most two fanboys.

    I have my WiiU. The update was lengthly. And many of the games I have alos hadneeded updates. Reminded me of Playstation. They were long and a pain in the ass. But not fully unexpected in todays game world. I also transfered my Wii purchases to my WiiU, that took a few mins to do, but if you can read it is easy and painless. Honestly, I am just glad I didn’t lose my investment in those games. Backwards digital compatibilty is a HUGE sticking point for me(for all of the consoles), I am glad Nintendo included it. I own a lot of TG16 games for my Wii.

    Setting up the system took time and patients. I expected that, think about it. Do you expect Orbis and XBXNXT to be any different?

    As for graphics comparisions…on ports really? If your even thinking about doing that you devalue your opinion right there. I played BF modern Combat for XB360 at its launch, it looked exactly the same as it did on Xbox one. I remember getting down right pissed at ports hitting Dreamcast that looked exactly like their PSx counter parts. It is a port, it isdesigned to cash in on a second piece of hardware. Minimal effort and cost. And multiplat 3rd parties won’t want one platform out performing their other ones. That is why despite better hardware most of the time xb360 is on par if not better then(because it is the main designed system) the PS3 version.

    Chew on this, right now at launch, the WiiU games are on par and in a few cases better then xb360/PS3. Yet the games won’t drasticly grow or improve on PS360, this is a WiiU launch. The games are only going to get better as the hardware gets figured out. And make no mistake about it, some of the WiiU games are stunning. Ports, not so much.

    Nothing unexpected. Nothing. It will be the sameway with the systems from MS and Sony. I told you guys there are graphical cielings involved. Unless those systems are high end PC game rigs(and they aren’t the GPUs are already three years out of date), most of you graphics guys are going to be dissapointed.

    So, welcome to next gen boys and girls. The conversation is no longer about graphics. Faster and smoother with improved texturing/lighting is going to be the results. Btw, that describes the WiiU. The screens(TV and gamepad) are sharp, crisp and the colors pop. Play Mario, Sonic and Epic Mickey(and even two of them are ports).

    The measure of graphical poweress can’t be measured right now. At least not potential. Makes sense right? Lets see what happens when second gen and thrid gen WiiU games roll out. Imagine judging PS3 based on itslaunch games? Or judging xb360 because of a low budget port of BF Modern Combat?

    Stop getting stuck up on graphics anyways. And stop thinking that WiiUs are somehow bad. They aren’t. They aren’t Pixar Studios level, and again it isn unrealistic to expect that out of any console at this point.

    If not graphics, why buy a new system?

    Fun. Short answer.

    The WiiU gamepad changes the way games are played. And not in a waggle type of way. These are core experiences. Be it, me playing Madden entirely off TV on the gamepad to having maps, radar and inventory managed on the gamepad with the touch of the finger in Epic Mickey 2. That is a big deal. Sure you can convince yourself it isn’t, esp if you haven’t tried it. But it is. The gamepad alone is huge. There are so many “wow, look at that” smile type moments with the thing.

    I love the thing. I wasn’t sure if I would or not. I even considered selling the system on Ebay. Any doubts I had are completly gone. This is the most excited I have been scince Dreamcast. I know when playing on the thing that it is something special. You can’t convey that in a post. All it ends up sounding like is fanboyism. Whatever.

    Most of the aundiance on sites like that dispise Nintendo at this point anyways. And if the WiiU goes on to be a big success many of you guys will just hate them even more. It is like you think Nintendo is anto game or something. Maybe Mario should start havng blood splatering brain matter infused headshots? Maybe thn it would have a higher “Cool” factor for you lol.

    Do I think WiiU will out sell Wii?

    No. Hell my local Walmart and Gamestops have told me that even this year Wii is selling well. The Walmart is sold out in stores and a couple of bundles are sold out on their website too. And we aren’t even at Black Friday yet. But I expect the WiiU to do great this holiday and have strong sales for the next 18months or so. After that, time will tell. Dpends on price, software, and what MS/Sony do with their new system on the same points.

    Worth noting, I don’t think MS or Sony match the Wii next gen either. I think consoles are on a decline and will eventualy be replaced with smaller mobile to TV devices.

    All I can tell you is this: don’t read hype don’t read critisim. Think for yourself. If you like Nintendo, you will enjoy the WiiU. If you want a new console to play OMP shooters on, wait a couple of years for the new MS/Sony systems. If you are looking to enjoy games in a new and fresh way…think about WiiU.

    Buy it or not, your choice. I am not going to try and convince anyone of buying it. All I can tell you is that I freaken love it right now. Will I still love it in two years? Don’t know. I think so, because I still played the Wii years after it launched. I like Nintendo games. Do you? Because the answer to that question is far more important then if someone else does.

    #16 2 years ago
  17. Ireland Michael

    @16 Regarding backward compatible, I was wondering – are the Wii games and digital titles upscaled for HD output, or does it default to a 480p output? I obviously don’t expect a resolution increase, but even outputting through a HD signal would have a noticeable improvement in clarity, especially over my Wii’s SCART lead.

    #17 2 years ago
  18. OlderGamer

    Sad to say 480P. And I was hoping I could play them on the gamepad, but you can’t. There is a Wii button on the menu. It bascily morphs your system into a Wii(GUI) anywise. At that point you need to pick up a WiiMote and it is just like playing on the wii. The graphics are crisper(because I am using a HDMI as oppossed to the standard cables), but they aren’t upscaled thro the hardware, you TV can upscale if you have a TV that does that. But your TG16 games won’t suddenly look like WiiU games.

    #18 2 years ago
  19. Dragon246

    OG, just for the sake of argument, you missed a lot of negatives in your argument. If anyone wants a balanced review of hardware, look up the DF article. It just confirms that wiiu is overpriced. Also, if you think there will be any significant graphical changes in “2nd and 3rd gen” wiiu games, then you are sadly mistaken. Ps3 games improved because of its new hardware , whereas wiiu is made-up of somewhat standard pc parts. You can expect an increase, but most will be on par with ps3/360. Anything else stated otherwise is misinformed.

    #19 2 years ago
  20. G1GAHURTZ

    I’m pretty sure that once the 720 and PS4 get released, no dev outside of Nintendo is going to try investing any serious money in the WiiU.

    There will be absolutely no point in wasting money trying to get a WiiU game to look like something that the system isn’t capable of.

    So very, very scaled down ports from 720/PS4 look like pretty much all that the WiiU can expect, outside of exclusives.

    #20 2 years ago
  21. zinc

    Who got the first WiiU in the USA? Was it that guy who camped outside for a month?

    #21 2 years ago
  22. OlderGamer

    Dragon, I am not here to give some sort of bias or unbias review.

    I am was jut saying I am enjoying the system. I don’t need to covince anyone of anything. You are still clingling to the notion that the hardware is outdated. It isn’t. I think what your not grasping here is that graphicly speaking there isn’t as much room to grow as people are thinking. I think there will be the same graphical jump between MS/Sonys next system as there is between PS360 and WiiU. Small steps forward.

    Graphics are nice tho. While sitting here and writting this, my wife just said “Its’s just unbelievable” under her breathe. She is playing Epic Mickey 2, I bought it for her Bday. Not making that up, but I chuckled. The WiiU doesn’t do bad graphics. But the thing is, PS360 games don’t do bad graphics either. Slap on some AA effects, crisp up the rez, bring out some more color, better lighting/shadows and smooth out the frames of PS360 games…and your going to have Oribis/XBXNXT games. That is pretty much what the WiiU is doing on my TV right now.

    IMO, current gen games don’t suffer from bad graphics, they suffer from stagnet formula and experiences.

    As far as what G1GA said, I believe the samething to be true. Except, I call into doubt the sales of next gen systems. I don’t think their success is guarnted. I don’t think they will fly off of shelves. Making Pubs to really choose between an installed user base or new hardware. I bet most pubs stradle that line for a long time. I think all systems sell briskly at launch, but fall flat shortly after that…unless they offer new experiences. Will the masses buy a 500usd system just to play CoD, when they already can just buy CoD and play it on the system they already own? Not if it plays EXACTLY the same way. New systems all need killer apps. For WiiU it is the gamepad. Often times in history the killer app has been much improved graphics.

    I don’t think that will do it anymore. Graphics are more evolutionary now. I don’t think that sells systems. WiiU > PS360 graphicly, but that isn’t what is driving sales of the WiiU. MS will have services, that could drive sales. I am not too sure what Sony will hang their hat on yet. Time will tell.

    But two things need to be understood, graphics don’t sell systems and neither do brand name 3rd partie games. Wii sold extremly well without either. And the exploding indie scence thrives without both. I think the conversation has changed somewhere along the way. But some folks are traditionalist and either can’t see it or just disagree.

    #22 2 years ago
  23. Triggerhappy

    @ zinc: LOL I actually want to know that too :D

    #23 2 years ago
  24. Mike

    Sounds like a troll but yesterday’s hardware capability and games with a new pad really don’t appeal. It’s like it’s 2006 again. HD GRAPHICS!! Etc. ball dropped, again.

    Will probably sell billions. Although I hope it doesn’t. Nintendo’s cheap gimmicks are now insulting, imo.

    #24 2 years ago
  25. DrDamn

    @OG
    “New systems all need killer apps. For WiiU it is the gamepad”

    Killer Apps are never hardware, its the application of the hardware in software. Wiis killer app wasn’t motion controls, it was Wii Sports. WiiU has lots of interesting possibilities for killer apps, but no actual killer app *yet*, imo.

    Got a few questions which it would be good if you or someone else could answer.

    How much of Nintendoland specifically requires Wii motion plus? There was something about some (like swords in Zelda) requiring it.

    How are you finding battery life on the control pad off a full charge – I.e. Not straight out of the box but once you have charged it yourself.

    #25 2 years ago
  26. Gadzooks!

    Well I’m out I think.

    I was expecting a modern console with a slick, fully integrated online system and a slick, fast OS.

    What has been delivered sounds just like the PS3 OS. Lurchy (apps and menus taking ages to load) not well integrated (no unified achievements or voice chat, rebooting to alternates OS to play Wii games – really??) and generally not well engineered (no delta patches, installs after downloading).

    I don’t care that the machine has no more horsepower than current consoles, I prefer new ideas to teh shinies. What I do expect from a new machine though is an advancement in the OS. The OS and online service on the PS3 pissed me off every time I switched it on. I can see the WiiU OS doing the same.

    It’s been nearly 7 years since MS showed the world how to do a console OS with integrated online service correctly. Standards have been set that should be maintained by all console makers.

    I just don’t see a smooth machine to use.

    #26 2 years ago
  27. OlderGamer

    Doc, I would point out that while Motion wasn’t the killer app for Wii, Wii Sports couldn’t have been experienced without it. Just the like WiiU gamepad. So trying to dstinguid between the hardware and software is trivial, plus it is the experience that the two things combrined that makes the killer app.

    As far as WiiMotion plus, I have two WiiMotion Plus WiiMotes in my house. So that was all we used. Most of the Multiplayer “attractions” in NintendoLand use one player with the WiiU gamepad and the other players using the WiiMote turned on its side. TBH, I can’t recall one that uses the nunchuk.

    The Mario Chase might be my suprise fav. It has one player using the WiiU Gamepad, while the other players turn the WiiMote sideways, NES style. The player with the GamePad can see where the other players are and runs like the wind through a Maze. The other players need to work together, calling out directions and chase down Mario(player with GamePad). You wouldn’t think so, but we played that damn game for prolly an hour yesterday. Just the Mario Chase. Crazy, stupid, simple … and a hell of a lot of fun. I have not tried Metroid or Zelda. We just sunk so much time into Donkey Kong Mine Carts, Lugis Ghost Mansion and Mario Chase we ran out of time.

    Battery life depends so far seems good. there is a small, light, and inatrusive cord that goes between the GamePad and the wall. It has it’s own charger. You can leave it pluged in to charge when not in use, or just leave it pluged in while playing. I don’t think I have owned the system enough to be able to give much insight yet. The Gamepad came fully charged for me. And so long as you plug the cord in, you can use it when it is out of juice and needs charging. I would say it lasts 4-6hours per charge. Takes maybe 20mins to charge, even when playing. I have no complaints.

    The only draw backs I see are the updates when you set up the system. That and well…my wife has the week off and has been hogging it playing Epic Mickey 2 all freaken day lol.

    If you aren’t sure man, wait till spring, maybe even wait till first price drop. I love mine, but fully understand that not everyone will(esp if those people want to see a revolutionary leap forward in graphics).

    #27 2 years ago
  28. OlderGamer

    I haven’t played Online yet Gad. I can’t talk about that yet.

    None of the apps I have used are slow or laggy. And none of them take a long time to load. I absolutly love the eshop. Very slick and game videos(in HD) are everywhere and they load an play instantly. Far better then PS3, imo.

    I would expect Live is still the king of online and services. MS is just really good at doing what they do.

    I will have to wait till Dec to test out the WiiTV.

    I fully agree the need to boot into a Wii Mode is a BS move. I was even hoping for upscaled VC/WiiWare/Wiigames, graphicly speaking. And that is a bummer that it isn’t doing that.

    #28 2 years ago
  29. Gadzooks!

    All the things I mentioned should be fixable through system updates.

    I really hope Ninty put some effort into evolving the OS, cos I’m still very much drawn to the concept of the controller.

    #29 2 years ago
  30. Zohar

    I agree with everything you’re saying OG except your predictions about next gen graphics. IMO it’s going to be a generational leap in graphics, not just a modest upgrade. There have been 3-4 generational improvements in GPU technology since the consoles launched. It’s gonna be far greater than the PS2-PS3 leap. That’s just my prediction, but I’m sticking to it.

    #30 2 years ago
  31. OlderGamer

    It might be Zohar, I mean the length of time between the start of this gen and now has been so long, you would think the next step forward(graphicly) would be huge. But I think that doing that would over price the next couple of systems. I mean WiiU loses money at 350usd? Hard to imagine Sony making a system that losses money at 600usd or 700usd, I just don’t think that would sell. It would be like PS3 all over again.

    But…I would imagine that much of the cost of WiiU is the GamePad. They are very sexy. Sharp crips visuals(as good as or better then my 42inch HD TV in most cases). The thing just looks great, works great, etc. So I bet that is a cost hiker for WiiU.

    Without a second screen controler the new MS/Sony systems are bound to costs less. Maybe even substitute unique controler for more raw graphic horsepower.

    But if I recall correctly we have seen some of the rumor chips to be used in Orbis. They are already a couple years old, and the system won’t be on shelves for another couple of years. So…

    But the chips are likly to be modified, newer, smoother, better, etc and right now it is all rumor. Best to just wait and see what happens.

    Fun to watch tho ;)

    #31 2 years ago
  32. fearmonkey

    I got my hands on the main controller and I have to say I wasn’t that impressed. The buttons felt cheap and the screen wasnt bad but not great. The actual gameplay looked as good as any current xbox game, I thought the rayman legends graphics were lovely. I would have loved to play with the pro controller but didn’t have a chance to.

    #32 2 years ago
  33. OlderGamer

    I am writing this from the WiiU gamepad. My wife and I are watching The Voice as I am testing this. The WiiU is on, but everything is transfered to the gamepad. Seems to work pretty well.

    I should note I had trouble with the Captacha in the sites forum.

    #33 2 years ago
  34. Da Man

    Ahahaha.

    /lolconnor.

    #34 2 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    With the first episode of Life is Strange releasing tomorrow, Dontnod Entertainment has released the last developer diary for the title as well as the launch trailer. Titled Creating Arcadia Bay, the video provides more information on the licensed soundtrack as well as the voice actors behind Max and Chloe. It also touches upon how […]

  • LEGO Jurassic World and LEGO Marvel’s Avengers out this year

    LEGO Jurassic World and LEGO Marvel’s Avengers have been announced by Warner Bros., the former was outed by Toys R Us and then teased at the end of LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham, if you recall. LEGO Jurassic World encompasses all four Jurassic Park films and will be made available in June for 3DS, PC, […]

  • Pokemon, Super Smash Bros. top Nintendo’s million units sales list for Q3

    Nintendo has posted a list of titles which have sold millions of units as part of its quarter three earnings release. Global unit sales of 3DS titles for the nine months ending December 31, 2014: Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire: 9.35 million (life-to-date, same) Super Smash Bros.: 6.19 million (life-to-date, same) Tomodachi Life: 2.11 […]

  • How to take a screenshot on Xbox One: a lesson in frustration

    Trying to do just one simple thing seems to have 360 steps with Microsoft – why is the Xbox One’s functionality such a car crash? “The Xbox One’s definition of usability is in fact the exact opposite – this is a console designed to make life inconvenient for its players unless they sign up for […]

  • Game of Thrones’ Westeros is being made in Minecraft by 125 people

    WesterosCraft, the project dedicated to creating the entirety of Game of Thrones’ Westros has resurfaced. There are more than a few ambitious Minecraft projects, but hardly any as impressive as WesterosCraft. We first came across it all the way back in January 2013, but it looks much better now. “I would say the world is […]

  • Dying Light exploit gives you unlimited money and items

    Dying Light has been out for just over a day and an infinite money and item exploit is already out there. A simple exploit has been discovered in Dying Light that lets you duplicate weapons, all of which you can sell for profit. Win/ win. YouTuber PowerPyx lays out the steps in the handy video […]

  • Sunset Overdrive concept art is as jovial as the game itself

    Sunset Overdrive is a colourful game which is partly due to its concept art. The concept art featured below is created by Vaughan Ling, one of the concept artsists who worked on Sunset Overdrive. Anyone who’s played the game will immediately recognise the locations, weapons, character designs and general atmosphere of the game through these. […]

  • Get an extended look at the PS4 version of Project CARS

    The PlayStation 4 version of Project CARS has been shown in 1080p 60fps. The video below is captured by racing game enthusiasts Team VVV from a preview build. You can see different racing disciplines being demonstrated here, on different circuits. The game’s impressive visuals get even better when the weather gets worse.

  • Battle Pod is the Star Wars arcade game you’ve waited your whole life for

    Star Wars: Battle Pod is an arcade game that lets you replay the battles of the original trilogy, and features an incredible cockpit. If you’ve never played a game at an arcade before, Star Wars: Battle Pod will definitely be the one to change your mind. It’s an arcade cabinet out of a classic Star […]

  • CoD Exo Zombies: how to unlock the Ride of the Valkyries Easter egg

    To no one’s surprise, Exo Zombies mode in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare has some Easter eggs. The first Exo Zombies Easter egg, of surely many more to come, has been discovered. It’s a musical one that involves Richard Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries. How you unlock it is not as convoluted as you might […]

  • Dying Light is sub-1080p on Xbox One, full 1080p on PS4 – report

    Early analysis of Dying Light on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One has revealed a few technical details about both ports. Digital Foundry has produced some analysis of both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One ports of Dying Light based on some early testing. Both versions manage a solid 30 frames-per-second, only dipping below that in […]

  • Battlefield 4 Second Assault DLC free to all EA Access members

    EA is offering Battlefield 4′s Second Assault expansion free to anyone with an active EA Access subscription. Anyone with an active subscription to EA Access can download the Second Assault expansion pack for Battlefield 4 starting January 29 and through February 28, free of charge. All you need to do is find it on the […]

  • The Witcher 3 is getting optimised, but no visual downgrade

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is in the final stages of development and developer CD Projekt RED is making sure optimisation work doesn’t impact the game’s visuals. The Witcher 3 art producer, Michal Stec, spoke to Eternity in an interview and was asked whether the team will downgrade the visuals to get better performance. “No. […]

  • Can’t download Dying Light on PS4? Here’s a fix

    If you’ve bought Dying Light on PS4 and you’re having trouble downloading it, you’re not alone. Here’s how to beat the bug. Techland’s Dying Light is stumbling out of the blocks a little this week, with many PS4 users experiencing problems with their full-game downloads. A bug’s to blame. Your console thinks you’ve already installed […]

  • What The Witcher 3 owes to Skyrim – and how it surpasses it

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt owes more than a nod to Bethesda’s Skyrim. I went to see The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, and had a great time. I went in a fan of the books but not very experienced with the first two games. I came out with The Witcher 3 top of my gaming […]

  • Dragon’s Dogma Online has great monsters

    Dragon’s Dogma Online looks pretty rad – an undesirable quality in a game unlikely to come west, from our perspective. The first Dragon’s Dogma trailer was released this afternoon; admire its beauty below. The free to play online RPG was announced for PC, PlayStation 3 and PS4 overnight, but Capcom doesn’t intend to bring it […]

  • Xenoblade Chronicles X map about five times the size of last game’s

    Xenoblade Chronicles X is not a small game. This week’s Famitsu has a feature on Xenoblade Chronicles X giving some details on Monolith Soft’s next RPG and first Wii U game. According to Siliconera‘s translation of reports on the feature, the game’s map is about five times the size of that in Xenoblade Chronicles. The […]

  • Take on Mars expected to hit beta in April

    Take on Mars, the space sim from Bohemia Interactive will soon be reader for wider consumption. According to a new Take on Mars development roadmap, the sim will go into beta at the start of April, with full release expected in June. The project is currently available via Steam early Access, but between now and […]

  • Can you guess the next Mortal Kombat X character reveal from this fatality audio clip?

    Mortal Kombat X will have at least one very liquid-sounding fatality. NetherRealm is revealing Mortal Kombat X’s cats one character at a time, and has promised a new reveal during a community Twitch stream tomorrow. It also provided the following teaser video – it’s audio only, and apparently taken from a fatality sequence. What’s your […]

  • Nintendo Creators Program now recruiting YouTubers – PewDiePie, others weigh-in

    Nintendo has opened a Creators Program designed to ensure creators get a slice of ad revenue from videos featuring Nintendo assets, and some prominent YouTubers aren’t pleased with the company. Update “What Nintendo are missing out on completely is the free exposure and publicity that they get from YouTube,” wrote Felix Kjellberg (PewDiePie) on his […]

  • Xbox Live issues under investigation

    Can’t sign into Xbox Live? Microsoft is on the case. Xbox 360 and Xbox One users report being unable to sign in to Xbox Live. Microsoft is already aware of and working on the problem. “Our team is hard at work right now trying to get this resolved. Thank you for staying patient while we […]

  • Make money from your non-Valve mods with Steam Workshop

    Valve has opened the money-making side of Steam Workshop to third-party titles, giving enterprising modders more ways to make money. Steam now hosts curated Workshops for Dungeon Defenders: Eternity and Chivalry: Medieval Warfare, the first non-Valve games to support the scheme. What that means is that community members can create, vote on and eventually even […]

  • Check out DmC: Devil May Cry’s new manual lock-on

    DmC: Devil may Cry developer Ninja Theory has released a video showing off the new, controversial lock-on mode. The new manual lock-on is causing quite a stir, although its reception is probably better than the white-wigged Dante who makes fans even more upset than the original makeover. “The primary purpose of this video is to […]

  • Dragon Quest Heroes looks pretty fun

    Dragon Quest Heroes is yet another Omega Force take on an existing property – like Hyrule Warriors or the One Piece games. And it looks pretty sweet. We haven’t heard much from Dragon Quest Heroes here in the west because it hasn’t been confirmed for release outside Japan. This isn’t terribly surprising as we still […]

  • Square Enix to reveal new PS4 game this weekend

    Square Enix is doing something pretty mysterious right now. The Final Fantasy publisher is teasing something called Project Code Z. The project, which Square Enix is tweeting about in Japanese, English and German, is due for reveal at Tokaigi 2015 on Saturday. It’s a PS4 game, but that’s all we know. There’s a website you […]

  • Tetris has crowned its first known western Grand Master

    Tetris fans have a new western champion. Tetris is one of those gaming obsessions that goes much deeper than you might expect. For example, did you know that some versions of the game assess your performance and over you the chance to become a “grand master”? Turns out that’s a thing, and according to Polygon […]

  • Ken Levine’s next game teased as “sci-fi-ish” small, open-world RPG

    A series of tweets from BioShock creator Ken Levine has shed a sliver of light upon his next project. According to Levine he and his team are considering something a bit sci-fi and contemplating first-person mode. The team is developing the game for PC with a large in scope, expandable, systems-based narrative where more can […]

  • Become a lynx in new Shelter 2 trailer

    Shelter 2 casts players in the role of a lynx, which makes for quite a different experience to the badger of the first game. The first Shelter game had you evading predators, but in the second, you becomes one yourself. That doesn’t mean there are no dangers to face, of course. Judging by the trailer […]

  • Why King of Fighters 13 isn’t coming back to Evo

    Evo, the premiere western fighting game tournament, has dropped support for a few previously favoured titles. King of Fighters 13 had a loyal following, but isn’t featured in the Evo 2015 line-up. “Many things go into what games makes it to Evo, but the most obvious one is, ‘Is the community playing this game?’” Evo […]