Nintendo has never stopped innovating on their products. From the Nintendo DS to the Nintendo Wii, the company certainly introduced new products to the market that potential customers should look at. Over a few years back, they introduced and popularized a stylus-powered gaming console like the DS and a motion-based based gaming through the Wii. Now, Nintendo is taking another leap of combining the features that you’ll see both on the Nintendo DS and the Nintendo Wii, hence, the new Nintendo Wii U. To better understand what I’m talking about, let’s take a look at the Nintendo Wii U.
Nintendo Wii U Hardware
Out of the box, you’ll basically get the console and the gamepad. It comes with two different options that you can choose from. It has the basic version which comes with 8GB of storage, the gamepad, and costs around $300. The other version is the deluxe set that comes with 32GB of flash storage, a gamepad, gamepad stand, gamepad cradle, Wii U console stand, and costs around $350.
Looking at the front of the Nintendo Wii U console, on the far left, you’ll see the disc eject button, power button, sync button, disc tray, and a flap. Inside the flap are SD card reader, and two USB 2.0 ports. While at the back of the device, is an AC adapter port, sensor bar port, an HDMI out, two USB 2.0 ports, and the exhaust grills. On the bottom of the console, you’ll see additional ventilation which is great to keep the device cool. Under the hood of the Nintendo Wii U console is an IBM multi core processor that drives the processing power and a Radeon high definition GPU for the graphics.
Now check the Nintendo Wii U gamepad. It has 6.2 inches touchscreen display with 854 x 480 screen resolution and has 16:9 aspect ratios. However, the screen is not a capacitive multi touch but a resistive type of touchscreen, so what that means is that you are not able to do some pinching gestures on the screen just as what you usually do on smartphones to zoom in or out on a page. The Nintendo Wii U gamepad also features two analog sticks found both on the left and right side of the screen which feels a little flimsy, arrow keys on the left, A B X Y buttons on the right, you also have the plus and minus buttons that replaced the start and select button, the power button TV control button, battery indicator, a home button, built in front camera, built in microphone and above the gamepad is a 3.5mm jack for your headsets, volume controls, the sensor, left and right trigger buttons and the stylus. Moreover, if you wanted to use the controller for a multiplayer, you would need the previous controllers from your old Wii if you have one or you can purchase the pro controller for the Nintendo Wii U.
Nintendo Wii U Software
One of the applications that it came with is the MiiVerse. On this app, you’ll be able to share the progress that you have on a certain game you’re playing, get feedback from other players and share to others what you think, or if you have any questions on how to defeat a certain level, or probably just post a drawing of your character as you please.
Another application on the Nintendo Wii U is the Shop. It basically functions just like the Apple app store that you’re familiar with, where you can buy games and download it directly to your device. You also have the Web Browser. Just like browsers on other manufacturer’s consoles, this is not something that you would like to use for hours due to its limitations, but compared to other console’s browsers Nintendo Wii U’s web browser is a lot easier to use. Furthermore, you also have built in applications like the Wii U chat, the Netflix where you can watch a movie aside from YouTube, and many more.
Overall, the device looks pretty sleek and shiny; it offers backwards compatibility to some of your games when you update the firmware so you need not buy all the games you’ve previously purchased, great graphics on full HD at 1080p, and has good features like the TVii that would absolutely improve your television experience. On the other hand, when you select an application, it takes an awful lot of time to load, around 25 to 30 seconds without a progress bar, battery life on the gamepad would only last roughly around 3 to 5 hours, independent use of the gamepad is just limited to some games only, the gamepad’s resolution is not that appealing, and they could have thought more of making a multi capacitive touchscreen than a resistive type, which would have made the overall experience better. Nonetheless, a huge step up from Nintendo that I believe has rooms for improvement that would help realize the great potential of the device.