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Nerd’s Corner: ‘Wii U’ join the revolution

19 September 2012 By Brent Girard, Columnist One Comment

Nintendo’s next-generation console, the Wii U, is selling out at online retailers.

The Wii U is slated for a Nov. 18 release date in the U.S., just in time to be Johnny’s Christmas present.

The Basic Bundle includes one GamePad, the new controller that can stream the game to its own screen. The Deluxe Bundle includes one GamePad, a game, more storage, a charging cradle and Nintendo Premium subscription. And they’re selling like hotcakes.

Best Buy, Toys R Us, Sears, Walmart, and Gamestop have all run out of the Deluxe Bundles. Currently, only Best Buy and Gamestop still have the basic bundle available.

The Wii U will be able to play all of your Wii games, too, and even older games through the virtual console.

The Basic Bundle costs $299 and the Deluxe Bundle costs $349. That price looks great now, but if you want an additional GamePad, then it will cost you an extra $170. Yes, that’s more than half the cost of the Basic Bundle. Sad wallet.

The console is only slightly more powerful than that of the current generation (PS3 and Xbox 360). A few of the system’s launch titles are ones that will have already been released, such as Assassin’s Creed 3 and Mass Effect 3.

Also, the frame rate of Wii U games that stream to two GamePads slows significantly, and it is unclear if developers will be able to work around that.

The Wii U will only be the fastest console on the market for 12 months before the “Xbox 720″ and “PS4″ come out.

If you’re going to buy a Wii U, it is for Nintendo’s greatest strength: intellectual property.

Nintendo is known for creating massive franchises like Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, Metroid, and Star Fox. It will continue to build upon these time-tested formulas.

Unfortunately, Nintendo has yet to confirm when the new Super Smash Bros. is coming out. Playstation’s clone of the popular fighting game, Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale, will hit stores only two days after the Wii U’s launch. Coincidence?

Another concern many casual gamers have with the Wii U is its lack of conventional motion control. Wii bowling and golf brought the console into every family’s home, regardless of prior experience. The GamePad might turn these players off.

Nintendo is known for innovating, but its 3DS system greatly underperformed. Nintendo needs the Wii U to sell. Why would it try something new when the Wii concept was so successful?

For now, though, The Wii U is a preorder success. Are Nintendo’s exclusive titles enough for you to come back for another console? Do you crave princess-saving plumbers in glorious HD?

One Comment »

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