Nintendo Wii U is here. The wait has been long, since its announcement last year and half at E3. Now it is time to face a very difficult challenge: getting to live up to Wii, fill gaps in it and especially love again. Let’s see if our analysis is capable of this.
The console, designed along the lines of Wii
Nintendo Wii U in the name, not only shows you that inherits the spirit of that console that debuted in 2006. It also owes much to the guidelines that define the design of this new console. After out of the box you see that all this is obvious.
Obviously the good and the bad. On the plus side you have a continuity design but predominantly curved lines. A little bigger but the feeling is tempered by the shapes themselves. In black, you have reviewed the premium model has a very elegant touch resolution.
All connectors are concentrated in the back and with them a generous vents. The base allows to put in vertical or horizontal position while the say that does not affect operation nor how to dissipate heat.
You have said that inherits good things, but there are aspects that do not convince you. While black is an elegant color, manufacturing and materials leave a little to be desired. Not that this aspect is vital but could have a bit more careful. Even so, this line also goes to the company.
The first few hours with the console, is an experience that could be polished a little Nintendo. The previous setting is a process something heavy, something somewhat elongated load times up to thirty seconds is not much help.
Another thing is to download the update. Required to access online services. The process is a bit tedious but once you have gone through this whole process is greatly improved.
Also maintained some unique details are appreciated, as the ability to insert the disc automatically when approached. As in the original Wii, you can turn the console from the command and talking about it, let the GamePad.
The GamePad, the epicenter of the new way to play
The innovation of the Wii U goes through your GamePad: this command and tablet hybrid that wants to be the first, although it has a resistive touch screen. Although the dimensions are large, it is surprising how light it is. Not too much to be weird but enough so that the arms do not get tired.
When playing, the most natural position (thumbs on the sticks and fingers on the triggers) is really comfortable and play titles that do not require pressing many buttons is a joy, see if Nintendo Land for example.
However, when you need to use the left stick and right buttons crosshead things change slightly. Not uncomfortable but at first the feeling is strange, until you have the mindset that they are distributed as you find it a bit strange. It is part of the learning curve, within GamePad own design are well positioned.
On the other hand you have the gyroscopes. In some games you will have to move the knob to look through the screen as if it were a window. Well implemented but sometimes uncomfortable hard cornering. Maybe it takes getting used to but in the hours I have been playing the experience has not been satisfactory in this section.
The screen is center stage. Technically it has a couple of minor gripes that perhaps the most techies do not overlook the rest will continue to enjoy her. Let’s begin: first resolution for the size that it is rather low: 854 × 480 pixels.
Playing from a normal position without the screen and eat you know, vision is perfect. He noticed some pixels, yes, but not a problem. If I want to see everything in high definition and smooth I have a monitor or a higher quality television.
On the other hand it is resistive. Maybe some do not forgive but so far all games introducing touch capabilities in command sorely lacking not be resistive, Just as was the case with Nintendo DS and sister dimensional. Technologically not toe the screen, but it does.
Autonomy is perhaps the great, and real Achilles heel and the GamePad. Its range of three to five hours, depending on usage and volume, low-craving and force us to load it with some frequency. However, you can play with it while charging but of course, loses its essence and portable.
The distance which supports the command is more than adequate under normal use of a home console. If you had thought the house playing with the GamePad, sorry to tell you that it is not possible. However if it is possible, as you will now play with the TV off and lying on the couch. More in line with what you would expect, that you have other portable platforms.
The experience of playing with GamePad
Leaving behind the more technical aspects, it’s time to talk about the experience with the command. As Nintendo has already washed up on more than one occasion, his GamePad is one of the central elements. When you fire the console for the first time all will go through the command.
From there, you set to move through menus on the console or from the command itself or the traditional way, using the TV or monitor. Integrating this far is good and is easier to navigate with the remote using the WiiMote.
When playing, then talk to the catalog, the GamePad is configured differently. There are some titles that you can use the screen as if it was the TV. In others, you can use it as secondary. Is integration good in this case? Depends on the developer.
In the games that you could try, its use as a supplement is right and its integration varies widely from one title to another. The only thing you miss is the ability to play any game from the command directly, sometimes rather be relaxing on the couch or just using another window and rover.
In multiplayer also looks pretty and offers the possibility of integrating a fifth player. Again, it all depends on the development: New Super Mario Bros U serve to lend a hand in Nintendo Land shows a different view glimpsed many possibilities and so far you have seen little.
Overall the experience with the remote is really good. On one side is familiar, as analog controls follow a pattern you all know. The integration of the screen is an important development and at first will have to get used to looking there, or exchange the monitor if the game requires.
Because Nintendo has no online services enabled the days before the launch, you have not discussed. As they become available you will update this section. Sorry for the inconvenience.
The catalog of games, a starting point
Finally, when you buy a console or other video games are one of the key factors. When a system is vital debuts make a good start and in this case Nintendo has done well, with nods to everyone: casuals, hardcore and all those who love their triple A multiplatform how bad life had on the Wii.
However there is a differential that can be seen in many other consoles: be exploited even more hardware. Obviously this first batch does not show everything that gives of itself but there is a line now marked between the games developed by Nintendo and third parties.
The first, Nintendo Land and NSMBU, look very polished. Something obvious when you consider that is what has made Nintendo hardware. Everything works very smoothly and the graphics engine brings out the benefits of hardware. On the contrary, the experience varies.
They note that other companies have not yet caught the trick and while there are games that look good, are still far from what they can offer. Give them a vote of confidence and hope in the coming developments, exclusive or otherwise substantially improved.
On the other hand you have the indie sphere, which takes center stage through the eShop. Nintendo wants to improve much this and be an alternative to the more mainstream current, distributed both in physical form and online.
Nintendo Wii U, conclusions
It is difficult to reach a number of conclusions on a project that has a very long life and today has taken its first steps so talk about this, of what there is. Nintendo has been the basis for creating new ways to play.
His proposal is ambitious and wants to touch many clubs: the critical mass they already had (thanks to the adaptation of the WiiMote and other accessories) and other sectors that had been neglected a bit but they were present. Nintendo wants to reach all sides.
The hardware is good and makes up for the shortcomings of its predecessor. Some may criticize it for not contributing anything in this section and simply catch up to the others. I applaud the effort made and while the competition does not show any better, I think the standard is more than fair.
The new way to play, is perhaps the most doubts sown. It is true that a lot of potential, already has some ideas created but today, I know it is early, yet makes clear what the way forward is. WiiMote made it very clear from the outset, while GamePad shows many alternatives but none is consolidated.
I applaud the ambition of Nintendo. It has achieved a great console but today generates more questions than answers. It has potential to succeed again but still has much to prove. It is a good starting point, but there is plenty to go, yet.