Words: John Cartwright
The Wii U is the latest console from Nintendo, their follow up to the massively successful Wii. What makes this different from the original Wii is the new GamePad controller, which features a 6 inch touchscreen.Acting as a second screen, it shows additional game information but can also mirror what is being sent to the television, so you can keep playing your game on the GamePad while someone else watches TV. Original Wii remotes are used as secondary controllers.However, its battery life is a bit lackluster; clocking in at 2 hours and requiring a mains charger to charge it seems somewhat problematic for everyday use.
There will be a number of games available at launch. Here are three of the most interesting launch titles:
1. New Super Mario Bros. U (Nintendo)
It wouldn’t be a Nintendo console launch without a new Mario game,now would it? At this point Nintendo are being fairly liberal with“New,” so don’t expect the formula we all know and love to change drastically.
2. Nintendo Land (Nintendo)
This is almost a filler game, and is included with the premium edition of the Wii U (more on that later). It’s a party game with different game modes, with one person using the GamePad and everyone else on Wii remotes. It’s a throwaway game and seems to just be a little bit of fun, albeit forgettable.
3. ZombiU (Ubisoft)
While the other two games have a much more casual audience in mind, ZombiU is aimed towards the hardcore gamers Nintendo somewhat alienated with the Wii. It is a zombie survival game set in London, using the GamePad screen to display everything from sniper scopes to inventories (taking your eyes off the screen to change weapon gives a scary sense of vulnerability).
Price and availability
The Wii U is available as a basic pack which includes; the Wii U console with 8GB of storage; a GamePad and charger; a sensor bar and a HDMI cable to connect it to the TV. It is also available as a Premium set which includes all the above but with 32GB of storage, a GamePad charging dock and Nintendo Land as well. The basic pack will retail for £250; the Premium pack for £50 more. Considering internal storage is non-expandable, and the included extras, the Premium pack represents better value for money.
Released on 30th November, it would make an ideal Christmas present (just remember to ask nicely!). However, it might be a better idea to wait to see what Microsoft and Sony have in store with their new consoles expected to be released next year and are anticipated to be a major advancement on the Xbox 360 and PS3.