Hardware Review: Nintendo Wii U

In recent years, Nintendo have come under great criticism from 'core' gamers. This being because their consoles have become considerably weaker in terms of power, compared to counterparts from the likes of Microsoft and Sony. Some have said that Nintendo wouldn't have been able to survive if it wasn't for their legendary first party franchises.

Well, step aside supposedly 'core' gamers. The Nintendo Wii U is the raw power that you crave for, with the legendary franchises that we all love and a bit of Nintendo innovation thrown in.

We'll start with the raw power and capabilities that the is Wii U able to offer. The Wii U is Nintendo's first home console that is fully capable of 1080p HD graphics. That's quite something compared to the mere 480p standard offered by the Wii. Just imagine the prospect of playing Mario and Zelda in fully fledged HD, well, you don't have to imagine for much longer.

Other than the new extremely tight capabilities of the Wii U, it's biggest selling point would be the innovative new controller. Which attempts to put a second screen into the main console gameplay, we haven't seen something like that attempted since the Dreamcast days. Although, this time it actually works!

It would be a complete understatement to say that the Gamepad simply just aids the main console gameplay, because it doesn't. It's quite a strong thing to say, but we believe that the Wii U's Gamepad is a complete game changer. Providing that the Gamepad is used by the game in an effective way, as some games simply mimic the gameplay onto a second screen.

Speaking about the Gamepad in a little more detail, it features a very nicely sized 6.2 inch resistive touch screen, along with two analogue sticks and all the usual features you'd find on a controller. Although, the addition of a camera and microphone is pretty interesting. The Wii U controller is one power-house of a controller.

In recent years, Nintendo have been quite heavily mocked for their rather weak online infrastructure. In this instance, we find it very difficult to disagree. Remember those extremely lengthy numerically based friend codes? We don't! Nintendo Network modernizes and strengthens Nintendo's online infrastructure and in our opinion is much more intuitive than the services offered by Microsoft and Sony.

MiiVerse is the front end of this shiny new online infrastructure. It's essentially a glorified version of your Wii's Mii Plaza. Although this time, it's all online. You'll see gamers from across the world, wander your Wii U home screen. But that's not all MiiVerse is about. This service brings together Nintendo Fans, with communities and drawings.

The eShop is essentially a refined version of the equivalent service offered on the 3DS. It offers some extremely unique titles, as we have come to expect of Nintendo's download stores. Along with demos and full retail titles, which are sadly again overpriced, as with the 3DS eShop.

Quite obviously, the Wii U is backwards compatible with all things Wii. That includes all of your Wii Games that you have built up over the years. Along with your Wii Remotes.

Sadly though, there are a few small problem's with Nintendo's latest king of games consoles. Alot of these issues coming with the front end of the interface. This is mainly just about some quite slow loading times, but Nintendo have promised that these problems will be ironed out with future updates.

In conclusion, whilst some gamers thought that games consoles had reached their peak, Nintendo still seek to innovate and change the way we play video games. Nintendo have proven that gaming is now alot more than plugging in a game and playing. Despite what anyone says, the Wii U is a game changer. + Josh Moorcroft-Jones

Review console provided by Nintendo

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