The Wii U Review, Part 1: The Good Stuff

So, my birthday was this weekend, and much to my surprise I received a shiny new Wii U as a gift. Wait, I take it back — what I meant to say was Nintendo sent me one because I’m a respected and influential video game journalist. Yeah, that’s it.

What do I think of Nintendo’s latest console creation? Hit the jump for the first part of my review…

Note – This is just a general review of the hardware. I won’t be delving into specific games to any great degree.

Stuff I like

The GamePad is Beautiful

I…I’ve never felt this way about a video game controller before. The Wii U deluxe bundle comes with a little plastic cradle you can stand your GamePad in — it doesn’t serve any real purpose, and yet I still find myself putting the GamePad in the cradle just so I can gaze at it.

The GamePad is a shiny, surprisingly comfortable thing of beauty. If it were a full-fledged handheld it might be the nicest looking and feeling one Nintendo has ever made. Online video and images don’t do justice to how much you’ll love this thing.

Hello there sexy…

Dual Screen Gaming Works

Anyone who’s owned a DS already knows this, but if you aren’t a handheld gamer, trust me — gaming across two screens may not sound particularly exciting, but it’s a sound concept and it’s cool that it’s now a part of the console experience.

“Oh great” you say “so I’m just paying 300 bucks for a not-fully-portable DS?”

You could think of it that way, but I prefer to think of it this way — with the Wii U you’re getting the best of both worlds. You’re getting the powerful hardware, big screen and more elaborate games of consoles and the immediacy and intimacy of handheld gaming. There’s just something cool and immersive about a game like Nintendo Land sending all sorts of extra information right to your hands or drawing doodles on your GamePad and seeing them show up on your 40-inch TV. At it’s best the Wii U is connectivity done right — the handheld and console experiences finally brought together as one.

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