Wii U coming soon!

15 Oct

It hardly seems possible in some ways that it is time for a new Nintendo platform to be released and in others, it seems like forever since the Wii came out.  I was, like many, an early adapter, but haven’t played my Wii in a year or two now.  I really think it failed to live up to its potential but I loved the virtual console, ability to play Gamecube games, and a few of the games like New Super Mario Bros Wii and Mario Kart Wii.  When at first I heard about the Wii U, I wasn’t excited, but within the last few weeks, I have become enthralled by the idea of a new Wii.  Finally, I convinced my wife to let us be on a growing waiting list, that probably won’t have orders filled until after Christmas.  So what’s the big deal?

1)      Game Catalog – Nintendo has a history of incredibly fun first party games.  A new Super Mario Bros Wii U is a rare game I know I will be able to convince my wife to play with me.  And although Mario Kart Wii U and the new Smash Bros haven’t had dates announced (or in the case of the Kart even an announcement yet), but the kids and I will greatly enjoy them.  Meanwhile, all of the Wii games we bought will be able to be played on the Wii U and others will be much cheaper.  Even more exciting, there is the possibility of Gamecube games arriving to the Virtual Console.  And finally, all of the virtual console games I bought on my Wii (A Link to the Past, Mario 1-3, etc) will transfer over the Wii U.  That worried me a lot!

2)      The Gamepad – I came along at just the right age for the original Nintendo.  The simple days of two action button controllers are long gone. And now, a controller is going to be realized that utilizes a tablet for a controller. As someone who lives and dies based on my iPad, I am thrilled with the possibilities.  A recent Wii trailer showed a couple playing Othello just using the Gamepad.  Also, like with the mirroring function on the iPad, you will be able to send information from the web on the Gamepad to the television screen. The added screen will serve as a menu, status screen, map, etc for console games.  But my favorite use for the controller (and the concept that won the wife over) is the fact that on some games, I can play the Wii U on the controller, even after she takes over the TV.  And we can still sit together in the same room!

3)      And the final new bit of information I heard was the new Wii TV.  Now, I don’t know much about this function, and perhaps others of you can explain it to me in better detail, but they have stated that the Wii U will connect to your local cable, satellite, or TiVo service.  This will allow you to pause, rewind, etc your TV using the Gamepad.  They have stated it will have improved functionality with the TiVo to enable you to record TV from the Gamepad also.  Netlflix, Hulu, and the other staple video sites will also work with the Wii U.  It will even allow you to set preferences for TV viewing bassed on which Mii is signed in at the time.

The Wii U really seems to serve the best of many worlds.  It’s a video playing device, a tablet, a game console, a social networking tool and more.  Games from the Wii, Wii U, and the virtual console will all play.  And the peripherals I bought for my Wii will transfer over to the Wii U.  I certainly recommend you give the Wii U a chance if you like Nintendo or ever did.  And if you got burned in the long run by the Wii, give it a shot anyway.  The potential is endless and the sky is the limit.

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