The Buyer's Guide

Find it, buy it and tell us how you really feel.

Nintendo Wii U

Nintendo Wii U

from  $460+
product image
74 Engadget Score
A dependable product that doesn't really stand out from the competition.
74

A dependable product that doesn't really stand out from the competition.

How we score

The Engadget Score is a unique ranking of products based on extensive independent research and analysis by our expert editorial and research teams. The Global Score is arrived at only after curating hundreds, sometimes thousands of weighted data points (such as critic and user reviews).

Engadget Review

Nintendo's Wii U is full of promise, but it may have launched prematurely. Longtime gamers will want to snap one up immediately, but mainstream users should wait a few months before diving in.

Read Full Review
Pros
  • Innovative, comfortable controller
  • Backward-compatible with last-gen Wii
  • Off-screen play fundamentally changes console gaming
Cons
  • Incredibly short battery life on GamePad
  • Slow, antiquated UI
  • Confusing social functionality
74 Engadget Score
A dependable product that doesn't really stand out from the competition.
74

A dependable product that doesn't really stand out from the competition.

How we score

The Engadget Score is a unique ranking of products based on extensive independent research and analysis by our expert editorial and research teams. The Global Score is arrived at only after curating hundreds, sometimes thousands of weighted data points (such as critic and user reviews).

Scores

Engadget

74
 

User Reviews

0
dflickema
comment
60
hailstormknight
A forgettable product. It isn't bad, exactly, but also doesn't do anything particularly well. - Engadget
90
slipknotfan985
The Wii U is a great console if your looking for great exclusives one of the...read more
Write a Review

Score Breakdown

 
84
Average user Score
 
80
hejabaar
08.14.14
When the Wii U was released I didn't jump on buying it. I instead waited for some kind of bundle. Once the Zelda bundle was released I decided to get it. It was a bit discouraging to get it at the time because of all the doom and gloom the media was reporting for Nintendo, but I'm glad I bought it. The console is really unique and offers more than what people see. The games are very fun and look great! It is sad seeing many third party publishers skip the Wii U though and the system itself lacks media functions but it is still a great console.
 
90
mikecel79
08.14.14
The best in its category. We highly recommend it. - Engadget
 
90
paul1035
08.13.14
The best in its category. We highly recommend it. - Engadget
 
70
evansm
08.05.14
This system has a lot to offer but hasn't reached its full potential. It hasn't implemented the controller in a lot of games as good as it could. The game library is also lacking in my opinion. The hardware is inferior to other current Gen systems. I do believe with time this system will be great.
 
90
zugdar
08.05.14
Disclaimer. I'm one of those Nintendo fanboys. That being said I was disappointed at the start of the WiiU launch. Poor OS, lack of titles and a questionable price was a rare flop as far as Nintendo launches go. Top it off with confusing name and marketing to gave the system another failure to pleasing the masses. Almost two years later and I could not be happier with the system. Titles from Nintendo are less shovelware like as in the Wii days and hold a general higher quality and variety. The indie developers are constantly adding new games to help with desert months. I can think of 6 titles that catch my eye coming out within the next 9 months and for this two decade gamer, it takes a lot. The system has been updated to quash most OS flaws. The only major criticisms of the system now is the lack of online support for many games, and high quality third party support. I'm sure the limited 32 GB system memory will need to be updated within a year as well which is annoying. The system could be better with a bunch of hypothetical improvements but that's another discussion entirely. As an adult gamer bored with shooter after shooter and less time for gaming it's quality over quantity and the WiiU delivers.
 
100
stoyan4o0
07.30.14
A gadget unicorn - Engadget
 
80
frankspin
07.24.14
When the WiiU first launched I had no desire to get the console. I was previously a Wii owner and after the complete stagnation of games, I had a bitter taste in month when it came to the WiiU. I became set on picking up a PS4, but as more and more games got delayed and Nintendo knocked it out of the park at E3 2014 I knew where I needed to go. To me Nintendo was showcasing what I wanted in a game console: fun games, challenging games that offer pick up and go type gaming -- A lot of Vita titles offer this too! One thing bothering me with a lot of newer games is the need to have to finish a certain area or else your lose tons of progress. I am not opposed to this style, but when it starts to feel like every game is doing this I begin to get tired of it.That said, the WiiU as a console is actually quite nice. The console is slim and not much bigger than the Wii. I was able to easily fit it alongside my HDHomeRun without much fussing and moving around. It's also incredibly quiet! This is something I just assumed no console offered anymore. It doesn't take long to boot, easily under 30 seconds. Also it supports HDMI! I remember after getting an HDTV I was bummed to find out the Wii didn't offer HD beyond 480p (games still look pretty good) but I craved the pixels. Thankfully Nintendo offers up 1080P playback and some games come with 60FPS support. Pretty snazzy huh!?I'll admit the first time I saw the gamepad I was thinking "What the hell are they doing!". It looked big and monstrous, with no immediate value. I wanted them to bundle in the ability to play 3DS games on it to provide more value. Well I take back my initial reaction, the Gamepad is the real deal. It certainly is big, but it's not cumbersome. It's comfortable in the hand without causing much strain after game sessions. The second screen isn't used by every game unfortunately. However when games do support it, it's quite nice. In Shovel Knight the second screen acts as your inventory screen making it less taps to switch items. Now this takes some adjusting, though it wont be much. In games where it's not supported it basically mirrors what you're seeing on TV. In these cases the quality isn't that great, then again it wasn't meant to be a portable gamer first. The ability to play games on the device, away from the TV, coupled with the stylus, volume adjustment and headphone port really help to make it a knockout controller.On the software side of things I'm happy to see Nintendo stepping up it's online game, it just has some ways to go. First off, they thankfully got rid of those silly Wii IDs and now let you use rely on usernames similar to Xbox and Playstation. eShop is a much improved product over Wii Shop except there are two issues I still have: 1. you can't browse it online and queue up downloads 2. Wii games are not for download, but WiiU are. If those two things get patched in (not holding my breath on this) it would make eShop closer to parity with Xbox Live and Playstation Network. Navigating the WiiU menu structure is surprisingly easy, even though some things don't make entire sense. For example you have a MiiVerse screen and a Friends screen. These could probably be combined as my first instinct was to head into MiiVerse only to have to close out to see my friends screen. Minor, but kind of silly.I touched a bit on games before when I described how Nintendo manages to create pick up and go games, but going further the WiiU catalog is pretty stacked right now. Super Mario 3D, Wind Waker HD, Pikimin, Donkey Kong, Shovel Knight, Mutant Mudds Deluxe and even more is coming. There are a lot of titles here, and the eShop has even more indie (and Virtual Console) stuff to explore. While they wont be the high-end shadowy detailed stuff you get on PS4 or Xbone, I think it's important to recognize the relaxed feeling Nintendo games offer. They wont be as satisfying as completing a Dark Souls level, but they're fun and whimsical. It's different, but welcomed in a world filled with me-too games and graphic chest thumping.Do I think you need to run out right now and buy a WiiU? No, for as good as some of these titles are I don't think any are commanding your immediate dropping of cash. If you're a bit burnt out on games and want to go back to them just being a good time, providing a way of disconnecting then definitely look into picking one up. It's exceeding my expectations so far and I'm not feeling that same feeling I had shortly after getting the Wii. Nintendo wont win this generation, but then again that has never been their approach (of late). Instead Nintendo has always put emphasis on building an enjoyable gaming experience, and that's what the WiiU is.
 
80
t0m7
06.19.14
finally Nintendo made it's way into our Full-HD age! the games (especially MK8) look great even though xbox one and PS4 perform far better. the gamepad is fun and innovative + you can use your old Wii games and controllers.
 
90
Aidan888
05.25.14
The best in its category. We highly recommend it. - Engadget
 
90
Alondite
05.09.14
The best in its category. We highly recommend it. - Engadget

Related Video

Nintendo Wii U Quickboot Demo

Nintendo Wii U Quickboot Demo

Posted 01.29.14

The Latest

Sponsored Links