Nintendo hoped to change the gaming landscape once again by releasing the all-new Wii U on Nov. 18. With many stores either sold out or in limited quantities, the supply may have a difficult time meeting the demand just in time for the holidays. Nintendo fans that had an opportunity to get the system have been impressed.
“The ease of use [has been most impressive],” Wii U owner Max Hanson said. “The kids have actually been able to play it. The graphics are really good, compared to the previous Nintendo system. They are in HD. The mobility of the tablet, being able to play in a different room is huge. My kids want to play Mario, [so] I can let them play Mario and I can watch something else.”
Perhaps the newest feature on the Wii U is the touchscreen controller, called the GamePad controller, which many have compared to a tablet. The GamePad controller adds a dimension to the game in which gamers can view different menus and functions on the gamepad. Some games even allow you to play the entire game on the gamepad while someone else can watch TV. Some of the functions the GamePad controller include: providing a screen to look for a fair ball while playing baseball, holding the golf ball on the tee while you use the Wii remote to hit the ball and providing crosshairs while the television is in full view of what your shooting. Some games, such as Zombie U, use the touchscreen controller to open different menus like the avatar’s bag of supplies in the game.
“[I like] the way they integrated the tablet into some of the games,” Hanson said. “Using Zombie U as an example, you use the tablet as a night vision, looking into your backpack if you need to move items around, radar [and] your mini-map. Just the way the tablet is integrated is amazing,”
Along with Zombie U, the Wii U launched with titles such as New Super Mario Bros. U, Madden NFL 13, Disney’s Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two and Nintendo Land. There are also 23 other confirmed games that launched with the Wii U that came out previously on other systems, including Assassin’s Creed III, Batman: Arkham City (Armored Edition), Darksiders II and Call of Duty: Black Ops II. Some games set to come out in the “launch window” of the Wii U’s release date and March 2013 are 007 Legends, Pikmin 3, Rayman Legends and Wii Fit U.
“I am interested to see how they adapt those to the tablet and the Wii U,” Hanson said. “They just came out with [Call of Duty] Black Ops II as part of the original launch titles, as well. I haven’t had a chance to play that yet, but I think it will bring a lot more attention to the system, for sure. Mass Effect 3 is on the Wii U as well.”
The excitement of having more than just a few games stems from Nintendo’s usual lack of having third party games. Third-party games refer to games that are not produced by one of the three major console producers. For example, Microsoft’s Halo, Nintendo’s Mario and Sony’s God of War are first-party games because they are exclusive to their respective companies. Whereas games like Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed, Activision’s Call of Duty and EA Sports’ games are third-party games because an outside party makes them for release on multiple consoles. With Nintendo’s previous consoles such as the Wii and the Nintendo 64, their controllers and sometimes graphics engines were too different from their contemporaries, Microsoft and Sony.
Though the Wii U has the hype and excitement of the new console and the games to go right alongside it, it is going to be hard for gamers to get a hold of, especially in the holiday season.
“Nintendo’s Wii U sold 400,000 units during its first week of sales, and Nintendo’s president has said the console is ‘virtually sold out’ at retailers,” Chelsea Stark of Mashable reported on the website. “For context, the Wii sold 475,000 units during its first eight days in the U.S. marketplace in 2006.”