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Random Musings on a New Wii U


I bought a Wii U today. I picked up the black deluxe version, which comes with a couple of stands, some extra HD space, and a copy of NintendoLand.

I never owned the Wii. I played it a bunch of times at other peoples' houses. I thought it was alright, but it seemed designed more for the casual player than the hardcore gamer. I feel the same way about the Wii U (also, is the correct styling "Wii U" or "WiiU"? I have no clue).

But I was interested in getting something different besides the PS3 I recently bought, and I grew up with Nintendo. I figured the Wii U would be a natural fit. I love the idea of playing old Nintendo games through the Virtual Console, plus all of the Wii games that most of you have probably played to death are new to me, so there's that to look forward to, as well.

Well, the Wii U isn't without its problems. First, I can't access the VC without a remote, and the deluxe box didn't come with a remote. Apparently you need the remote to access the Wii menu of Wii U and you need the Wii menu to access the Virtual Console. Huh? So I guess I need to buy a $50 remote to play old games that I could (and do) emulate on my computer for free.

Setting the Wii U up was a huge pain, too. The fancy controller sometimes disconnects itself for no apparent reason. The screens load painfully slow. So slow that I often think the machine is frozen. And the WiFi didn't connect itself automatically. Instead I had to manually enter an IP address, Gateway Server, and all that jazz just to connect to the Nintendo eShop to find out I can't buy the old Nintendo games that I have a nostalgia hard-on for.

The controller looks cool, though. I think that developers will be able to come out with some pretty neat stuff in the future for it. There are a lot of games out for Wii U already, but not really that many exclusive titles that catch my eye. I'll end up buying the Super Mario Bros U at some point, I'm sure. But I would rather play Call of Duty or Assassin's Creed or whatever on the PS3. I also think for those games you would need the Pro Controller, which is another $50 or so.

The game that came with the system was NintendoLand. It's basically a dozen mini-games. I find the games to be the quality of stuff you can download for free on your cell phone. I wouldn't have paid $60 for this title, that's for sure. However, it's an okay addition when buying the console just to test out the capabilities of the Wii U, since most of the games on NintendoLand seem designed to show off cool things the controller can do.

There's also the MiiVerse, or whatever it's called. This is Nintendo's social networking platform for people that own the Wii U, so I guess we can get together and talk about how awesome it is to spend money on Nintendo stuff. The coolest part about this thing was seeing all of the neat drawings people created with their stylus pen on the Wii U controller. Other than that, the literacy level is about the same as what you'd find in YouTube comments, perhaps with less bitching about Justin Bieber.

Speaking of YouTube, there is also an app for that and for Netflix. I am so sick of Netflix. The problem is that here in Canada, Netflix sucks balls. Canada's telecommunications industry is basically a network of criminals operating cartels to protect intellectual property they license from more creative American companies, which means that it's hard to get stuff in Canada onto Netflix, or even get Amazon Prime at all. So the addition of Netflix is no big deal. Besides, everything these days comes with a Netflix app. I think my cat came with a Netflix app.

That's my take on the Wii U. As with any new electronic, it's buggy. The best time to purchase these things always seems to be a few months after they are first released, so the initial bugs are swatted and you get a much smoother experience out of the box. But overall I think it's pretty cool, although the system seems designed to get people to outlay as much money as possible on endless accessories.
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About JeremyDaleWallone of us since 8:21 AM on 12.16.2012

28-year-old university student and writer who spends far too much time playing video games.