Wii U – The U stands for Underrated

I bought a Wii a few years ago (2007?) and while it had some initial appeal it was quickly relegated to third-tier status behind my PS3 and the workhorse, the Xbox 360. All of my multi-platform games went on the 360 and exclusives went to the other two. The Wii though was hardly played. That started changing a bit when my kids learned how to play, and now it gets regular use.

I had only paid lip service to the next generation of consoles, mostly because I have a huge backlog of games still to get through. The Xbox One and PS4 as of this time do not offer backward compatibility, so there is no point in buying them right now. Perhaps at time of the first price cut or a really good sale. The Wii U didn’t really interest me due to the lack of playing time I gave the Wii. However with the way my kids and I have been enjoying Mario Kart Wii, and Mario Kart 8 coming out, I was starting to get interested. A good price presented itself one day and I picked up a Deluxe version (black, more memory, game included).

What pushed me initially to the Wii U was the backward compatibility along with MK8. After I got it home I discovered some pretty cool things about it. I thought the tablet controller was a dumb idea until I realized I could play certain games solely on it and not the TV screen. I utilized this yesterday playing Super Mario while the kids played Kinect on the TV. I like that all the Wii accessories I have work with it.

I’m a bit disappointed that really one one pad works with the console. It would have been cool to have a couple. Very disappointed that the Wii games, particularly the Virtual Console older games won’t work without paying an upgrade fee. Really? Also disappointed that MK8 apparently won’t work with five players. You’ve got that second screen, why not? I wish there was an attachment to play 3DS/DS games like the Gamecube had. They’ve missed a nice tie-in and install base with their strong handhelds.

You’d want this for what Nintendo does best – Nintendo IPs. Mario. Kirby. Yoshi. For those, this console has it’s place. It’s not going to be a strong contender for multi-platform titles. It’s still going to be a bit gimmicky, but at least some of the motion controls are being put to the background.

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