The next generation of game consoles began on November 18th with the release of Nintendo’s Wii U, and unfortunately for Nintendo their next gen console is comparable (slightly better) than the current generation of consoles from Sony and Microsoft. And that means that (if the rumored specs and developer talk is to be believed) when the next Playstation and Xbox hit the market (possibly this year). Wii U will be in a similar situation as Wii was. Wii U already isn’t getting highly anticipated third party titles.
Of course any Nintendo fan knows that you buy a Nintendo console to play Nintendo games and a handful of third party exclusive games that find their way onto the system. One of the games I’m most looking forward to being announced is the first 3D Super Mario game for the system (in fact the only game I’m more looking forward to being announced is the sequel to Red Dead Redemption). Super Mario Galaxy and Galaxy 2 are not just at the top of the best Wii games list, but also around the top of the best games of the current generation list as well. And while they weren’t in HD, those games were gorgeous and looked better than some Playstation 3 games.
I bought the Wii U on day one, but I haven’t turned it on in over a week and it has probably been close to a month since I played a game on it. Granted I still don’t have but a couple of games for it, but prior to getting a Samsung Galaxy 2 tablet I was mostly using the Wii U Gamepad to browse the Internet in a different room while watching TV and as a remote for the TV. I will say though that Nintendo TVii is a much better remote than the Peel Smart Remote app is on the Galaxy Tab 2. Nintendo TVii is a great feature.
Of course the big thing with the Wii U is the GamePad controller, which works great and feels good in the hands. I wish some of the big developers would realize that the GamePad has all the buttons that a PS3 or 360 controller has and is thus capable of playing any game you can get on those systems. Just because it has a touch screen doesn’t mean you have to use it. Too many developers are going with the “we don’t know how to utilize the screen with this particular game in a way that would be meaningful” approach. If you don’t want the screen to be black put a map on it or something. The games don’t have to be gimmicked up in order to be “meaningful.”
Since the Wii U’s launch, there hasn’t been much of anything released for the system outside of the launch day titles. The eShop is particularly barren, as week after week goes by with nothing new outside of a handful of demos (which actually have a certain number of plays available, which is nonsense).
There’s no doubt in my mind that Wii U is a good system, with all the potential of being a great system, but that’s to come in the future. Right now, purchasing the system on day one is a regret I have almost two months later. I do like the system, and the games and demos that I have played on it, and I do believe it can be slightly better than the PS3 and 360 currently are, but that requires third parties to bring their games to the system. We’ll see how it holds up against next gen offerings from its competitors, but really as of right now I’d recommend waiting on getting a Wii U if you don’t already have one. Wait for the price to drop.
Nintendo Wii U gets a three out of five: GOOD.