Summary: So at long last, the next generation of consoles is finally here. Even though the last generation of consoles technically started in 2005, it doesn’t feel all that long ago that we were still referring to the PS3 and Wii as the “next generation.” Well, their successors are finally coming, and even though the Wii U may not have the graphical jump hardcore gamers are looking for, the Wii U provides a unique experience that truly offers something we’ve never seen before.
Summary: Nintendo promised consumers a modern HD gaming console, and the Wii U delivers on that promise ... in some respects. Games look gorgeous (HD Mario!); the risky controller is another successful control innovation; and there's a ton of promise on the horizon . But there are also some major missteps and half-baked ideas: a befuddling Friends List/Miiverse connection, a complete lack of many system-wide console standards (group chat, achievements, the ability to play...
Pros: Innovative, comfortable controller, Backward-compatible with last-gen Wii, Off-screen play fundamentally changes console gaming
Cons: Incredibly short battery life on GamePad, Slow, antiquated UI, Confusing social functionality
Conclusion: The Wii U is a difficult piece of hardware to review for two reasons. First, it is unavoidably competing with hardware that exists in a different space, and second, the entire system is betting on a future that isn’t entirely clear yet. If you compare the Wii U directly with the PS3, Xbox 360, or even against the rumors of what Sony and Microsoft’s next-gen consoles will be, it certainly comes up lacking on several fronts. But that isn’t really a fair comparison.
Pros: A fresh, original way to look at gaming, GamePad means previous released best-sellers can be ported to the Wii U with a new twist, Can play console-quality games on the GamePad without the TV, Miiverse is a ready-made community, Backwards compatibility with Wii games, controllers
Cons: Much of the software has been delayed, Short battery life on GamePad, Relatively high price compared to rivals, Won’t play Blu-rays or DVDs, and does not have an onboard video player, No networking abilities, Tiny internal hard drive forces you to buy more storage soon, Several promised online functions are not available at launch
Summary: The Nintendo Wii U doesn’t have the same immediate impact that the Wii did all those years ago, so if you’re getting one for Christmas expect to do a lot of hand-holding if your granny wants to have a go. It’s not as intuitive as its predecessor, which may not be a bad thing, especially when you consider how primitive some Wii games were.
Excerpt: The next-generation of home gaming consoles has arrived, with Nintendo's new Wii U leading the charge. Again opting for an innovative control method over brute graphical and processing power, will Nintendo be able to replicate the wild success of the original Wii with this new machine? Read on for our full verdict!
Summary: Nintendo has stolen a march on Microsoft and Sony by launching the Wii U before the Xbox 720 and PS4 have even been announced. But can the Wii U’s dual-screen gaming and raft of launch titles do enough to repeat the runaway success of the original Wii? And can games like ZombiU tempt hardcore gamers away from their Xbox 360s and PS3s? Time to find out.
Pros: Great fun, Clever uses for the Gamepad, Brings multiplayer back to the couch
Cons: Will be overpowered by rival next gen consoles, Sluggish UI, Not as accessible as the Wii
Excerpt: Console launches don't happen very often. So when Nintendo announced the Wii U - its sixth generation gaming machine - back in 2011 it should have been cause for the usual ruckus of pant-wetting over-excitement.
Pros: Reasonable selection of launch titles, Nintendo exclusives, GamePad conceptually innovative, backwards compatible with Wii titles
Cons: GamePad shortcomings, questionable ongoing third party support, slow OS
Excerpt: It's almost unbelievable that Nintendo launched the original Wii eight years ago. A games console that changed the way people viewed gaming, one that meant anyone young or old could pick up a controller and play almost without instruction. Updated on 17/12/12 .