Impressions: Wii U

The Loot

Scott and I decided to invest in a Wii U.  I have to admit, I was mixed about getting it despite having pre-ordered soon after the pre-orders started.

Why the trepidation?  In short, will it live up to the hype and not be a significant waste of our money?  After all, the Wii which was the first of the current generation consoles was a bit of a waste of money given it’s poor resolution.  But the games were fun.

Of the other consoles of the same console generation:

  • The Playstation 3 is what stands out for me.  I LOVE that system, the games and the trophy system.
  • I despise the XBox – the fact you have to pay to play games online, and all the advertising.  It doesn’t add up.

At launch, the Wii U is showing pretty much everything that the Playstation 3 and XBox 360 can do and then some.  That’s to be expected given this is a next generation console, however from a company that has been somewhat behind the ball and playing catch up – High Definition, Surround Sound and a real online strategy being the most notable items.

What about the whole second screen phenomenon?  Nintendo and Microsoft seem the most ahead with the Wii U and Smartglass – both which I now have some degree of experience with.

Wii U’s ability to steam to the Gamepad is amazing – and with very little lag.  The display is relatively crisp with some of the colour differences between the TV and the Gamepad causing missed detail on the Gamepad, which I think is to be expected.

I’ve not had a chance to play a game with Smartglass, just controlling the dashboard and experimenting with the video apps.  It will be interesting to see how the gaming functionality is.

Playstation with Vita and PS3 integration?  Who knows where that is.

The resistive display on the Gamepad is LAME.  I’m calling is straight up and I’ve had misses in games as a result of it.  The screens on Vita, Surface, and iPad are considerably better.

All in all, the WiiU has a lot of potential to lead for the next stage of the gaming consoles.  It is going to be interesting to see what the XBox 720 and the Playstation Orbis are like and how much they kick up gaming to whatever the next level is which will probably be:

  • Better move-enabled gaming – XBox has been the undeniable leader here with Kinect.  Playstation Move, though it had high potential, has been somewhat lame and felt like a secondary project.
  • Second screen/augmented gaming.
  • Better graphics cards.
  • While it’s too early for 4000k display support, it wouldn’t surprise me if Sony added that level of support.
  • Cloud gaming infrastructure.
  • Hopefully, backwards compatibility with the previous generation.

The Wii U is the gaming console I’ve been waiting for.  High resolution graphics, a beautiful display…  I’m thumbs up on this one.

As for the Wii?  I might just send that to Scott’s Mum so she can practice her Wii Bowling. *GRIN*

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