final rating

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Criteria Comments Rating
  • Game library 12 months after launch and there are still few exclusive games for the system. poor
  • Graphics Mostly on par with the 360/PS3. I have yet to see Nintendo release a game that stretches the graphical horsepower. good
  • Controller(s) The controller has some great things going for it, however it doesn't quite fit the hand comfortably for longer gaming sessions. so-so
  • Design and form factor The box itself is unassuming but well made. The controller has some neat features like NFC, etc. but they are not yet fully utilized. so-so
  • Other features (media, online, etc.) The OS is slow. The system has decent implementations of Netflix, etc. but even those apps miss some features like auto-play. so-so
  • Noise Pretty much a silent box. great!
Detailed review
The Wii U is supposedly slightly more powerful than the 360 and the PS3, and clearly will not be as powerful as the upcoming PS4 and Xbox One. That being said, there is still plenty of horse power under this hood to showcase some beautiful games. The recent remake of Wind Waker HD demonstrates that with the right artistic style, the games are gorgeous.

The biggest downfall of the Wii U so far though is that Nintendo just seems to be sitting on the hardware and not doing anything with it. We all know that third party support here is going to be lacking so this is your Nintendo box. A year after launch though and the system has few Nintendo exclusives and the ports from third party developers are so-so at best.

One of the most unique features of the system is the touch screen controller, which actually works really well. The screen is very responsive and allows for "off-TV play". IT makes the system essentially a DS for your living room, which is actually great. This controller does suffer from some minor ergonomic issues. I can't seem to get my hand super comfortable on it, and the buttons don't fall naturally to my thumbs.

There are also features like NFC built into the controller that are still largely unused.

The OS is cute, but mostly way too slow to really make jumping around any fun. Apps such as Netflix are good, but not the best. Certain features like auto-play found on the Xbox are missing and are frustrating.

It appears though that games are finally starting to come out for this system over late 2013 and into 2014. Once you get into the game you can forget about that slow UI design and just enjoy your Nintendo box for what you really bought it for. Nintendo games.