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The PlayStation 4 Sony PlayStation 4 Review And Giveaway Sony PlayStation 4 Review And Giveaway Ladies and gentlemen, the next generation of video game consoles is here, with the Sony PlayStation 4! Read More and Xbox One are out, officially signaling the start of “next-gen” gaming. There’s just one familiar problem; console launches kinda suck Should You Buy A Next Generation Game Console At Launch? Should You Buy A Next Generation Game Console At Launch? Read More . Both new boxes are currently the largest, least attractive and most expensive they’ll ever be, and neither has knock-out launch titles. The games everyone is waiting for won’t arrive until early next year, at the earliest.

There is, however, a console that’s been out long enough to mature, and that’s the humble Wii U Nintendo Wii U Review and Giveaway Nintendo Wii U Review and Giveaway Despite the increasing shift to mobile gaming, consoles are still very popular devices for playing immersive, graphics-intensive games; and that won’t change anytime soon as long as the major console makers continue to improve with... Read More . Though indisputably less powerful than the hardware Microsoft and Sony have put together, Nintendo’s console has also been around long enough to start building a library, and it has unique features its rivals don’t offer. Here’s why you might be better off buying a Wii U this holiday season.

The Games! They’re Here!

A console without games to play is nothing more than an over-priced Roku Roku 3 Review and Giveaway Roku 3 Review and Giveaway As more content becomes available online, the need for a traditional television subscription may not be enough anymore to justify the costs. If you’re already subscribed to services like Netflix or Hulu Plus, now may... Read More . The Wii U ran into this problem at its launch, just as the PS4 and Xbox One are having the issue now. But the Wii U is now a year old, and that means developers have had time to push out some great games.

windwakerhd

The highlight is no doubt Super Mario 3D World, a recent release that has received the best critical reception of any Mario game since Mario 64. But there’s also the more conventional New Super Mario Brothers U, the high-definition remake of The Legend Of Zelda: The Wind Waker, and the cute puzzle-strategy title Pikmin 3. And that’s just the exclusives; cross-platform games that are great on Wii U include Rayman Legends, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, and Skylanders Swap Force.

But wait – there’s more! 2014 will see the release of other heavy-hitters Lost Faith In Wii U? These Recently Released And Upcoming Games Will Change Your Mind Lost Faith In Wii U? These Recently Released And Upcoming Games Will Change Your Mind If you've been eyeballing that Wii U, but just have not found that it's worth spending the money on, now might be the perfect time to head to your local game store and put one... Read More like Mario Kart 8, Super Smash Brothers Wii U, and Bayonetta 2. These titles should easily keep a smile on your face while the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One beef up their libraries.

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Still Backwards Compatible

While the new consoles may lack a game library, at least gamers can pop in games from the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 and enjoy them with the new controller and interface.

Oh, wait. They don’t support that.

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The Wii U, however, has excellent backwards compatibility. If a game runs on the Wii, it will run on the Wii U, end of story. This opens up a huge catalog of games for those who never owned a Wii, and many of them are excellent. If you don’t enjoy Kirby’s Epic Yarn, for example, you simply don’t have a heart.

A Second Screen

Sony has been going on about the PlayStation Vita’s PlayStation Vita 3G/Wi-Fi Review And Giveaway PlayStation Vita 3G/Wi-Fi Review And Giveaway Today, we'll be taking a look at the PlayStation Vita (specifically the 3G/Wi-Fi model), Sony’s latest entry into the portable gaming space. How will it hold up? Read the review to find out. Plus, we'll... Read More ability to stream games from a PlayStation 4. The feature is nifty and potentially useful, particularly for people who have only one large-screen television to serve everyone in the family. Just one thing; the Wii U does it better.

wiiuofftvplay

The reason why the Wii U has superior off-screen play is simple. The console’s gamepad, which has its own touchscreen, comes with every Wii U, and that means developers don’t have to put extra effort into making off-screen play possible. While it’s apparently possible for a game to hit the Wii U without “Off-TV Play” (Nintendo’s official name for the feature), no developer has released a game lacking support so far.

Sony’s Vita looks even worse when price is considered. You’ll have to spend about $200 for a Vita, and that’s without a memory card, which is necessary for Vita games. A 16GB memory card is $50 while a 32GB card is about $75, so you’ll end up paying almost as much for the Vita alone as you would for an entire Wii U.

The Price

Even if you decide not to buy a Vita you’re still going to pay a lot more for a PlayStation 4 or Xbox One than you will for the Wii U. The Deluxe model with 32 gigabytes of built-in storage and two games (Super Mario Bros U and Super Luigi Bros U) can be had for $340. Alternatively, you can grab a version bundled with The Legend Of Zelda: The Wind Waker for $330, or the basic model with 8 gigabytes of storage for $299.

wiiudeluxe

The amount of storage may not seem like much, but it’s off-set by the fact that games on disc don’t have mandatory installs and full game downloads are just a few gigabytes in size. If you do need more storage, you can readily hook up any USB external hard drive. There aren’t any peripherals of note to buy, and old Wii controllers you have lying around work with the Wii U, saving Nintendo loyalists even more cash.

An Experience For The Whole Family

Gaming has turned into serious business, and it’s no longer just for kids. In fact, the market for family friendly games has undeniably become a minority, buried (in terms of sales and revenue) by adult-oriented franchises like Grand Theft Auto and Call Of Duty. While some parents are happy to let their children play those games, it’s clear that minors are not the target audience, and many a father (or mother) is forced to wait until after the kids are put to bed before they can go on a murder-spree in their favorite shooter.

supermario3dworldcoop

And that’s a shame. Video games can be great group activities, but families with children clearly aren’t the audience Microsoft and Sony are targeting. Only Nintendo continues to attract developers who enjoy building family friendly games that support shared experiences 8 Awesome Couch Co-Op Games To Play When Family Comes To Visit 8 Awesome Couch Co-Op Games To Play When Family Comes To Visit Read More .

At the same time, though, Wii U games aren’t being dumbed down to appeal to a broader audience. Playing New Super Mario Bros U is easy. Beating it and unlocking all of its secrets is extremely difficult. There’s something for everyone, no matter their age or skill, to enjoy.

Conclusion

Though it has struggled to gain the traction it needs to be a financial success, the Wii U is beginning to mature, and offers more entertainment value right now than either the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One. While the competition will start to come into its own during the next holiday season, there’s no reason to buy a console until the games you want to play are actually available. And, from that perspective, Nintendo’s option makes more sense.

  1. saniya
    December 17, 2013 at 8:58 am

    Uh, no. For the commercial writing Google is “forcing” every business to produce, what you’ve said is really “spend some of your profits developing the career of an independent practitioner with no expectation of any return on that investment”. That’s not how business works.

  2. Chris B
    December 12, 2013 at 4:17 am

    I never considered buying a Wii U, but now that it's going to die a Dreamcast death I got to go get 1, Really. it's not a bad system, it's just bot for this age of hard core gamers, like the OUYA. This is the gamer I have become , a casual gamer. thanks for the review.

  3. Damian C
    December 9, 2013 at 3:07 am

    Most people already have a Tablet so there is no additional investment to get a second screen. If you think backward compatibility between Wii and Wii U is great, then you are simply playing already bad games on a new shiny turd. :-)

    Let's face it. The Wii U is a big failure. Some in the industry have even suggested that Nintendo get out of the hardware business and just make their first party titles available to the current leaders. (Sony and Microsoft). Nintendo's response is as you would expect. "There is no problem with the Wii U". The truth is, there is a problem. It failed.

    A failure does not mean you can't buy one of course and if you really think it's your best option, then go ahead and buy it. I am sure you will get some enjoyment out of it even if it's not the best hardware on the market and has very little staying power for the future. Just remember that you may be purchasing a soon to be brick is all.

    • SG77
      December 13, 2013 at 4:16 am

      I honestly don't get what's so wrong with the hardware anyway. Sure it's not impressive but it's not like it really matters when you're playing the game. The games run smoothly and beautifully even with it's limited hard drive space so honestly I couldn't care less. Also not all wii games were bad. Smash bros Brawl (while still kinda broken) was fun and so were the mario galaxy games. Super Paper Mario was decent too and I'm pretty sure there are plenty wii games I've never played that are great. Even though as a wii u owner I will obviously defend it, I won't disagree by saying it has its faults.

  4. SG77
    December 5, 2013 at 5:07 am

    why so much hate? I mean the console isn't that bad... I've played games like mario 3d world on it and it looks BEAUTIFUL even if it's only in 720p. Apparently it still looks great upscaled though... also the games run smoothly at a steady 60 frames! I held the tablet controller in my hand when buying it and it's really light! If battery life is your problem you can just plug it into the charger! And you can't really expect it to have backwards compatibility with a gamecube... that console may have been amazing but it was 2 generations ago... anybody thinking they'd release compatibility with gamecube discs is a fool.

    • Slashee the Cow
      December 5, 2013 at 9:00 am

      Actually, there's a good reason why you might expect backwards compatibility with the Gamecube. You see, the Wii was basically two Gamecubes duct taped together (same CPU and GPU architectures, same pretty much everything, just more powerful) - hence why a Gamecube emulator like Dolphin was easily able to play Gamecube games.
      Just as the Wii was some multiple of Gamecubes, the Wii U is basically some multiple of Wiis (hence the complete Wii backwards compatibility). So, thanks to the transitive property (if the Wii is a souped up Gamecube and a Wii U is a souped up Wii, then the Wii U is a really souped up Gamecube) it might not be unreasonable to expect some backwards compatibility.
      So why didn't they? Cost and size reasons, probably. You need extra hardware (which takes up space) to plug in Gamecube controllers and memory cards) which costs money, and you need a custom slot loading drive (also more expensive) to take both the smaller GC discs and the regular size Wii/Wii U discs.

    • chyron
      December 6, 2013 at 2:44 pm

      Problem is that other than Nintendo's exclusives there's not many games better than on "current-gen" consoles. I mean - other than exclusive Mario/Zelda/Wii[...] series there's not much it can offer to people already owning Xbox360(or PS3) - and even Wii[..] series is lacking compared to Kinect games(or their PSEye/Move counterparts).
      And given that many gamedevs see no interest in WiiU it's can't become strong competitor to new gen. So basically - it's still a replacement if your Wii (or it's TV) died.
      Original Wii was properly codenamed "Revolution" with it's Wii Remote (and later Balance Board), there's nothing revolutional with WiiU...

  5. Doc
    December 5, 2013 at 1:54 am

    "The Wii U, however, has excellent backwards compatibility. If a game runs on the Wii, it will run on the Wii U, end of story." Wrong. The Wii U is *not* compatible with GameCube discs, and plays GameCube titles only via Virtual Console....meaning you have to buy them all over again!

    • chyron
      December 5, 2013 at 4:06 am

      BTW infamous "controller hell" of original Wii is still there (GC controller out, WiiU 'pad in - and maybe WiiU Pro controller for those who use WiiU 'pad only where second screen/touch is really needed). This makes !4!-!5! items (sans BalanceBoard - and some GAMES use it - for.ex one of Rabbids series, not just fitnesses) for single player just to play normally. Compare to 1('pad) or 3('pad +2 moves) items for X1 or PS4 ...
      As for GC discs - didn't original Wii also dropped compatibility since Gen 2? Mine is first-gen black and nobody else around own a Wii.

    • chyron
      December 5, 2013 at 4:28 am

      And btw Wii games are just upscaled, not rerendered on WiiU - ie it's the same jagged pixelfest Wii on HD TV is, SD-res blown out to HD.
      Something that is simply unacceptable when Dolphin emulator can rerender games in full HD for several years already.

    • Slashee the Cow
      December 5, 2013 at 8:54 am

      " and plays GameCube titles only via Virtual Console"
      There's no GC games on VC. Might be nice, but then they can't sell us HD remakes.
      Double Dash HD, anyone?
      (I kid, I kid)

    • Matt S
      December 5, 2013 at 6:20 pm

      I can't believe people are complaining about a console not being backwards compatible with a console two generations before it.

      Actually, I can believe it - but boy does it seem silly.

    • Howard B
      December 9, 2013 at 1:42 am

      Actually, I've got a white Wii with homebrew installed on it, so I can play just about anything I want...the black Wii I don't consider a Wii, since it's been so very crippled by Nintendo.

  6. blacker than pewdiepie
    December 4, 2013 at 7:40 pm

    Most gamers play on playstation and xbox be like everyone else in the gaming community and dont waste money on a wii u.

    • Slashee the Cow
      December 5, 2013 at 9:01 am

      Play what on the PS4, exactly? The best game at launch (at least that you can't get anywhere else) is Resogun. Shadow Fall is a pretty disappointment and Knack is pretty boring.

  7. Proximo
    December 4, 2013 at 5:48 pm

    No you did not just say it. "I still enjoy playing with my Wii".

    You see, that is just funny.

    Your article failed to mentioned all the top developers who announced they will be making no future games for the Wii U and beleave the platform is not successful enough to invest their time and money into. Just do the research and you will find that some of the best developers have no interest in the Wii U. No even Nintendo can fully explain what the Wii U provides because it's such an awkward concept. They are trying to get more developers excited but instead, more and more of them are simply going public to announce they will not develop for the Wii U.

    There are enough games right now on the PS4 and XB1 that will provide far more entertainment value than a Wii U. You are also spending money on a system that has technically failed in the market.

    Oh and that second screen comment. Both PS4 and XB1 support second screens. Sony has the PS Vita and soon any Tablet on the market will work as a second screen. XB1 has smart glass which will also allow any Tablet on the market to be used as a second screen. You see, these second screens has value outside of gaming and most people own one already.

    Sorry. I have been gaming since pong and have supported Nintendo over the years, but they simply are producing things that people don't care about and the Wii U is the latest slap in the face to an industry they are loosing touch too.

    I could write a 10 page article on all the areas the Wii U has failed, but I don't get paid for this and I am not a very good writer anyway. :-)

    Good luck to those who decide to adapt a system that developers are leaving. Hey, at least Nintendo will always make the same tried and true franchises they own like Mario and Link. So you will have a few games that will work on it.

    • Matt S
      December 5, 2013 at 6:22 pm

      No, there aren't enough games on the PS4 or Xbox One. Just go look at Metacritic for the PS4, XO and Wii U. Which platform has titles that rank 90 or higher? Which platform has at least 5 games that are must-plays? The Wii U.

    • Josh
      December 8, 2013 at 11:22 pm

      Okay so our table can connect to the PS or Xbox? Awesome.... so you've invested $1000 dollars into a gaming system... and I haven't even included 1 game yet.... Yeah... I'll go with the Wii U at $300.

  8. Maggie
    December 4, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    Great article! I still enyoy playing with my Wii , the legend of Zelda and Resident Evil 4 are the ones I'm re-playing right now :) I was planning not to buy a Wii U but your review has make me think that it wasn't the right decision. I might give the Wii U a chance :)

  9. Proximo
    December 4, 2013 at 2:48 pm

    Seriously, a Wii U? I must have stumbled on an article not related to gamers. Let me make this simple. Just repeat the name Wii U over and over. That familiar sound is an ambulance carrying a dead console. "Wii U, Wii U, Wii U, Wii U".

    • Julia Bair
      December 4, 2013 at 3:53 pm

      I had to laugh out loud at that. But seriously a game that makes you get up and move rocks!!

    • JP
      December 4, 2013 at 8:59 pm

      Hah! Nice.

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