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Nintendo Wii U Review - Can Nintendo Continue to Compete with Sony and Microsoft?

By Edited Dec 28, 2015 1 2

The Nintendo Wii U is the latest video game system in today's gaming industry. In simple terms, it is a combination of the popular Nintendo Wii gaming system and the Nintendo Gameboy. Many older gamers probably have very fond memories of the Nintendo Gameboy.

Nintendo Wii U has two different components - the console and Gamepad. The Gamepad has a 6.2 inch touch screen, and if you decide to turn the television off, you can still play many Wii U games on the Wii U Gamepad without a TV. With this no TV play feature, many people will find the Wii U a very innovative addition to the next generation of home gaming devices.

Nintendo Wii U Gaming Console

Nintendo Wii U Console
Credit: http://www.nintendo.com/wiiu/features/

Wii U Controllers

There are three primary controllers for Wii U Gameplay – Gamepad, Pro Controller and the original Nintendo Wii Remote and Nunchuck.

Wii U Gamepad Controller

The Wii U Gamepad Controller is the main controller that allows gamers to easily play without a television. This controller has a camera with enough megapixels (1.3 MP) to capture reasonable quality photos with ease. The Gamepad has a gyroscope, dual analog sticks like in many other gaming controllers, and an accelerometer. The built-in accelerometer and gyroscope allow for intuitive motion controls. The motion control can easily detect you position and movement when needed by gameplay.

The Gamepad was promoted by Shigeru Miyamoto who personally enjoyed the idea of being able to play video games on the controller even when someone was trying to watch television.

Wii U GamePad Virtual Tour

Wii U Pro Controller

The Wii U Pro Controller is more of a “standard” controller, which is similar to other gaming controller available from other brands. This controller does not come with Wii U console, as it can only be purchased separately. Researchers and gamers have noticed that this gaming controller has a very similar design to the Xbox 360 controller. This controller is would be used when playing the Nintendo Wii U with a television, but if you’re wanting a different and often more exciting experience, the Wii U Gamepad is what you will want to play your games with.

Nintendo Wii U Pro Controller - Black

Nintendo Wii U Pro Controller - Black
Amazon Price: $59.95 Buy Now
(price as of Dec 28, 2015)

Nintendo Wii Remote and Nunchuck

It’s important to note that many Wii U games can be played with the Nintendo Wii Remote and Nunchuck controllers. This is something to keep in mind if you currently own a Nintendo Wii gaming device.

The Console

The new console for the Wii U is the most powerful Nintendo gaming system every created. It has the capability to deliver high definition graphical output and has a sleek, more professional design. However the console's graphic capabilities aren't as powerful as the Xbox 360 or Playstation 3.

Like most Nintendo offerings, the Wii U console was expected to be extremely different and it needed to be in order to complete with upcoming offerings from Microsoft and Sony. Also, the console needed to continue to differentiate itself from the current competition - mostly the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. The Wii U gaming console has been well received thus far, mainly because of the new features that past Nintendo gaming systems have never had.

Nintendo Wii U Console - 32GB Black Deluxe Set

Nintendo Wii U Console - 32GB Black Deluxe Set
Amazon Price: $349.99 $324.99 Buy Now
(price as of Dec 28, 2015)

Nintendo Wii U Console 8GB Basic Set - White

Nintendo Wii U Console 8GB Basic Set - White
Amazon Price: $317.95 Buy Now
(price as of Dec 28, 2015)

Nintendo's Wii U Differentiates Itself with Features

What are Some of the Best Features of the Wii U?

Motion Controls

Like the original Nintendo Wii gaming device, the Wii U includes very intuitive motion controls. However, the most notable new feature of the Wii U is the Gamepad controller. The innovative controller allows you to experience games in ways that were previously not possible.

For example, some games require you to play with the Gamepad controller being turned vertically. This really allows you to experience games in ways that you never have before. Each new Wii U game has the ability to offer a unique gaming experience. With many games, you have the option of playing the game on a television or on the Gamepad controller.

6.2 inch Touch Screen

The 6.2 inch touch screen is big enough to accommodate handheld gaming. However, Nintendo has design a controller that doesn’t feel too large – even though the Wii U Gamepad is noticeably larger than any other video game controller on the market.


The Gamepad Controller integrates a front facing camera that may be incorporated into games and used for video chat sessions. For example, some games allow you to customize your in-game character by taking a picture of yourself to use as the face of the in-game character. You can also use the camera to connect with other gamers within Wii U online environment.


The microphone on the front of the Gamepad Controller can be used during gameplay or for video chat.

Internet Browser

The Wii U internet browser allows you to browse the web both on your Gamepad and on your television. While the browser is not perfect (i.e., it’s not Google Chrome), it is still a great feature that many people will find to be quite useful.

NFC Chip

The Gamepad includes a Near Field Communications (NFC) chip. This can be used to communicate with other devices that contain an NFC chip. It’s unclear currently how Nintendo plans to leverage this technology during gameplay.

What Games are Available?

The Wii U console has a ton of games available. Three of the more popular games are Nintendo Land, New Super Mario Bros. U, and Call of Duty: Black Ops 2. Plus, Nintendo is known for offering a very strong first party line-up of software. The key will be third party support.

Can the Wii U Compete?

The graphical capabilities of the Nintendo Wii U gaming console are extremely powerful and provide just what you would need to get the most out of your gaming experiences. The early Wii U games have been considered different from anything else on the market.
The biggest downside is that the console's firmware hasn’t been fine-tuned yet. I have already had to download firmware updates and the console has only been on the market for a few weeks. Another downside is that the Gamepad controller doesn't have great battery life, as the battery drains quickly after only a few hours of game play.

The Nintendo Wii U is a very capable video gaming system. It will change the way people play video games. Since it is fairly new, it is still very different compared to other gaming devices on market. However, the key to the Wii U's success is pretty simple - software. If Nintendo and third party developers produce great software that takes advantage of the system's capabilities, then there is a great opportunity to gain early market share as the next generation of gaming consoles are released.

New Super Mario Bros. U

New Super Mario Bros. U
Amazon Price: $59.99 $54.78 Buy Now
(price as of Dec 28, 2015)

Wii U Preview Presentation


Dec 25, 2012 10:23pm
I've played the Wii U with friends and we only had Nintendoland, which just hosts a series of very simple minigames. Let me tell you though, we can spend hours playing the simplest of them.

Also of note, some really great games have been ported to it (Mass Effect 3, Assassin's Creed 3, and some others) so there's a good sign it can compete with the current models. As for next gen, however, I'd expect the PS4 will give it a good run for its money. The Xbox 720? Meh. Maybe.

Good article; always glad to see more about video games make it to IB!
Dec 26, 2012 8:32am
Brandon - I would agree with the early games for the Wii U. Mass Effect 3, Assassin's Creed and Call of Duty Black Ops are all performing very well on the Wii U. I'm excited about the next generation of gaming. I grew up a huge gamer, but now I'm married with 3 kids (2 really young). I don't have time to play nearly as much as I used to. Also, I tend to play games that the kids are also interested in. So, there isn't much Call of Duty time for me, but I can spend a good while playing New Super Mario Bros. U. I can't wait to see what Microsoft and Sony are cooking up in the their labs.
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  1. "Wii U Features." Nintendo.com. 25/12/2012 <Web >

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