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57 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Affectionately called 'Super Wii'
Not since the Sega Dreamcast have I seen such a fascinating games console suffer so unfairly. This isn't to say that the Wii U has sold poorly, but the unprecedented success of the original Wii has simply raised the bar of expectations to a crazy level, and so early on too.

That success clearly left Nintendo underestimating any need to promote this product with...
Published 24 months ago by Picard

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic console only problem I have with it that its ...
Fantastic console only problem I have with it that its so diffcult to get used to the gampad but the memorys of the nintendos music is amazing and have had highs and lows on this console. The wii still had more value than this though. I personally think this came out too early because the sales of this was less when the Wii came out. But great piece of kit none the less...
Published 1 month ago by Mr. C. Bowe


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57 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Affectionately called 'Super Wii', 9 May 2013
By 
Picard (USS Enterprise) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: Nintendo Wii U 8GB Basic Pack - White (Video Game)
Not since the Sega Dreamcast have I seen such a fascinating games console suffer so unfairly. This isn't to say that the Wii U has sold poorly, but the unprecedented success of the original Wii has simply raised the bar of expectations to a crazy level, and so early on too.

That success clearly left Nintendo underestimating any need to promote this product with the same exposure. As a result, the Wii associates itself with the Wii U in quite negative ways, despite the fact that the Wii U has a 'Wii mode' built in... Confused yet?

The other mistake is of course in the name. 'Wii' works both as a universal brand and reference; a group activity. The addition of 'U' to highlight a more personal gameplay has zero impact on how this new product is an improvement over it's predecessor. The most logical names would have surely been 'Super Wii', or 'Wii 2'.

But business school over; here are some of the reasons for why the Basic Pack is a better deal over the Deluxe.

- The Game Pad Charging Cradle and Stand aren't necessities
- The eShop Digital Promotion is far from rewarding unless you spend a huge sum of money
- The Wii Remote Sensor Bar is cheap to find elsewhere (or you may already have one)
- Though the Basic Pack has only 3 to 4GB of available storage, this is plenty of room for Virtual Console content and demos, unless of course you intend to download retail games (which range between 2 and 14GB on average).

In the Wii U's teeny-tiny box you'll find

the Wii U console itself,
the Game Pad, with a stylus included,
a charging cable for the Game Pad,
AC power cable for the Wii U,
HDMI cable (which is nice and chunky, unlike cheap versions),
and of course the obligatory leaflets/manual. These arrive in more languages than C-3PO's memory banks.

When you first unpack and hold the Game Pad, it's clear that there are a whole variety of applications for this unique device and it's large LCD screen. Although the screen dominates the surface, the Game Pad also includes buttons that are familiar from the NES right through to the GameCube, only coupled with up-to-date features such as a camera, microphone, speakers, NFC sensor and more. The finishing touch is a stylus, which allows more precise input on the touchscreen. It is powered through a rechargeable battery (and USB cable).

The touchscreen is resistive, meaning that it can be input with any kind of contact, but at the expense of not having multi-touch support.

Here is the most important thing to understand. The Game Pad is complimentary to the Wii U console; think of it as quite possibly the most advanced gaming controller yet. It does NOT operate without the Wii U, as it is a controller. The included touchscreen can be viewed as another means of input, but with the advantage of changing its behaviour depending on what game you're playing. Not only this, but it can also act as a secondary or alternate screen, meaning that your TV no longer has to be the centre piece. This to me is groundbreaking - it's altered the way I now play my games, because you can go for a large scale experience on the TV, or play quite intimately on just the GamePad.

Perhaps the greatest feat however is that, in hand, it still feels very comfortable, despite all these latest additions and hefty size. And if you don't need the touchscreen for your gameplay, then you're free to use the Wii Pro Controller that is sold separately - this looks and behaves more akin to a GameCube controller.

But the Wii U doesn't just have to be controlled with the Game Pad or Pro Controller. Although certain applications or games with benefit from them, the console is backwards compatible with Wii accessories, including the ever popular Wiimote. So, if you're familiar with the Wii or even still own one, keep your Wii Remote and Sensor Bar as they are invaluable. The Wii U menus can all be controlled with a Wii Remote as normal.

Bear in mind however that if you do want to play a game with just a Wii Remote/Pro Controller, you'll still need to control some of the Wii U functions with the Game Pad.

The Game Pad can also perform basic operations for controlling your TV/Sky box, which is very handy for turning the volume down on loud games. This is activated by a single 'TV' button.

Setting up the Wii U takes between 15 and 20 minutes, though most of this time can be dedicated to creating a new 'Mii' character (your on-screen avatar). In operation, the console is very cool and literally silent without a disc. This is an area people often forget, but Nintendo have always built very reliable and rugged hardware; the Wii U is certainly no exception. It draws significantly less power than the PS3 and Xbox 360, so it's peace of mind that Nintendo have designed such a green machine. The console also has the ability to download software/update data when it is off, which is great for silent and energy efficient tasks.

After turning the console on, you're greeted to a new plaza that contains your Wii U's Mii avatars and others from around the world, all bustling and looking funny. The object of all this is that popular discussions or themes which may interest you (based on your own activities) are displayed as posts, whether it's a player who can't get past a certain stage in a game, or someone who has drawn a picture. But all this chatter is taken from the new Miiverse application, where the user can enter a discussion and post text or a drawing. It's fun, friendly and well moderated. Discussions are separated for games (old and new) or special topics (such as 'The Year of Luigi').

The second home screen contains your channels, almost exactly as how they would appear on an original Wii. You can switch the plaza and channels between your TV and Game Pad in a single button press.

This software does take some getting used to, because you'll be so tempted to keep looking at the TV when, in fact, you realise the options and buttons are right there in front of you on the GamePad. Once you overcome this, it's easy to use the Wii U without the TV. In fact, this is a large draw for the Wii U, because you're not tied to the TV. If I want to check out Miiverse, browse the Internet or kill five minutes on a NES game, it can all be done solely on the GamePad.

As mentioned earlier, you can connect a USB hard disk drive to expand your storage, but at the expense of requiring another power outlet. This is primarily to store full games or demos that have been downloaded from the eShop; SD cards can only store game saves. What I like about this feature is that the file management is absolutely painless, with simple options to move content between your Wii U's memory and the hard disk. With the drive plugged in, your content appears just as it normally would with other channels, and if you unplug it, they disappear. Therefore, the drive doesn't need to be connected if you're not playing games on it, which is fantastic. This also means that if you don't want to buy a hard disk, then you can even use a USB memory stick to store things temporarily.

One strange decision by Nintendo is how you access original Wii Software, such as discs and Channels. Rather than allowing the software to seamlessly integrate into the new Wii U Menu, the console actually emulates the original Wii Menu in a partition, and therefore requires a system reboot just to switch back and forth. This is pretty lousy because the Wii Menu itself is redundant, unless you're still playing software that you downloaded for your original Wii.

There is no reason to talk about the 'power' of the console. This is a term that is as broad as saying to someone "Is your car any good?"... Regardless of its engine, the journey you take decides how enjoyable the ride was. All that needs to be said is that the step up to HD is beautiful, and Super Mario Bros. U - though not pushing the hardware much - is already a major improvement over the original Wii graphics. Some textures often look equal to or better than current consoles, and the lighting/shadow techniques are simply outstanding.

The GamePad responds well and there is no lag between it's own screen and your TV screen. It's screen resolution is average at best, but providing you hold the GamePad at a normal distance, it's not a concern. Also, colour and saturation are excellent. Be aware however that there is limit in the distance that the Game Pad can operate from the Wii U, so don't expect to hop upstairs and still be playing. I normally get to around 6/7 meters from the console.

Battery life is between 4 and 5 hours, depending on how you use the GamePad. Some critics may refer to this short play time as a flaw, but Nintendo have been very clever about it as the battery is removable on the back of the GamePad (Not many people have picked up on this). Therefore, it's almost a certainty that Nintendo will release a 'Pro' battery in the future with a larger capacity.

Although mirroring the TV and the addition of extra controls are great, the Game Pad actually comes into its own with a surprising feature in 'Virtual Console'. Nintendo has begun offering a library of video games that span between the NES and - as promised - the GameCube in their eShop store, and they can be played on the GamePad or TV. Although the current catalogue is small, I downloaded several classics and have since been reluctant to put them down... The transfers are nothing short of astonishing in 1080p, with Super Mario World in particular looking like night and day in a comparison to my SNES. Virtual Console games can also have button assignments and Restore Points, in case things get a little tricky.

Internet browsing is OK, but nothing special. I was quite surprised at how fast the actual speeds are, but the controls feel a little clunky if you're used to using a multi-touch display as on most tablet computers. I like how you can control an internet page on the GamePad, and then hide or reveal it on the TV.

The included video applications on the Wii U menu are hit and miss; YouTube is excellent, Netflix and LoveFilm obviously requires subscriptions, and Nintendo TVii isn't compatible in the U.K yet. Doh!

The rest of Wii U is not without faults. It's eShop, which enables you to download games rather than owning a disc, is sadly over-priced in comparison to retail products, because they are sold at their RRP. Switching between applications can be a little slow, although this was recently updated and is so less so (though could still be improved).

My real beef however has been with the convoluted data transfer process between an old Wii and your new Wii U. What on earth were Nintendo thinking? First off, you must 'still' possess the original Wii console in order to perform any kind of transfer, so if like myself you copied all your data to an SD card believing that it was readable, and then ditched the Wii... then I sympathise with you.

This process exists due to digital rights management; you're transferring a license to own the games on the Wii U, not just simply copying the game data. Nintendo should have made this clearer in their promotional content.

Final thoughts? The Wii U is simply stuffed to the helm with innovative features and potential, yet it hasn't got the recognition it deserves. Some may suggest that the RRP was too high on release, but this argument is lousy when you're comparing the vast functions of this new console to its predecessor. I fear too many people have judged the Wii U harshly by its appearance rather than its actual performance.

Likewise, those who suggest that the Wii U has been too expensive ought to prepare themselves for any future console from Sony or Microsoft.

Providing you view the Wii U's operating software as a work in progress, then you can appreciate how beautifully designed this machine is - balancing power consumption, performance and cost all while still maintaining that typical Nintendo quality.

I've no doubt that its competitors will release more 'powerful' hardware, but that doesn't equate more enjoyment. What really makes the difference is when a video game captures your imagination, and to that end, visuals only tell part of the story. The Wii U is an insanely fun piece of kit that combines the best of two worlds: the Wii input that we all know and love, and a brand new tablet-like controller. Now it's just up to developers to take advantage of the Wii U GamePad and it's obvious potential.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the only 8th gen console you should be playing on, 25 Jan. 2015
By 
Z33D (UK, southwest) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Nintendo Wii U 8GB Basic Pack - White (Video Game)
here's why this is the only 8th gen console worth having, without any fuss:

- actually can handle 1080p on all it's games
- only 8th gen console that is backwards compatible with previous 7th gen games (wii games)
- only 8th gen console backwards compatible with all previous 7th gen accessories (wii remote plus, sensor bar, nunchuck, pro controller, etc)
- all games are pure gold / extremely high quality with a seal of quality approval from nintendo. disappointments are uncommon.
- cheapest 8th gen console
- only needs an SD card or USB flash drive / external USB drive to expand storage. (i.e. you don't need to buy the 32gb one, just expand this 8GB one yourself)
- only 8th gen console that is unique (the gamepad is fantastic, TV or handheld, it works flawlessly)

why should you ignore the PS4 and xbox one in a nutshell without any fuss?:

- very limited exclusive games, leaving little reason to play on these consoles.
- majority of 3rd party games release on the PC, and are cheaper on the PC.
- no backwards compatibility with their respective 7th gen games, or accessories.
- cannot handle 1080p out of the box
- cannot handle 60 fps out of the box
- games are overpriced, accessories often cost more than the actual games

best gaming solution?:

- have a gaming PC for the majority of PC and 3rd party games you are interested in
- have a wii U for the console living room experience that actually provides a unique experience (playing on an xbox one or PS4 is like playing on a low powered budget PC, you might as well go for the real thing and get a gaming PC)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic console only problem I have with it that its ..., 13 Mar. 2015
By 
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This review is from: Nintendo Wii U 8GB Basic Pack - White (Video Game)
Fantastic console only problem I have with it that its so diffcult to get used to the gampad but the memorys of the nintendos music is amazing and have had highs and lows on this console. The wii still had more value than this though. I personally think this came out too early because the sales of this was less when the Wii came out. But great piece of kit none the less. Now it just hides away in my wardrobe XD. Resons being too many headaches and sleepless nights how the video game addiction burns. Thanks Nintendo for the years of good and bad since the gamecube its been a long fantasy road
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4.0 out of 5 stars A worthy successor to the Nintendo Wii, 7 April 2013
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This review is from: Nintendo Wii U 8GB Basic Pack - White (Video Game)
I decided to purchase this console from Amazon after the price reduction and I must say I am not disappointed and would definitely recommend to others. I believe the console has great potential especially with the new Gamepad controller and the games I have played so far are as good as anything I have played on Xbox or PS3.

Setting up the console was very simple, once switched on you simply follow the on-screen instructions and within minutes you can start playing. If you already own the Wii, the sensor bar can be connected to the console and you can use the Wii remote and controller to play all your original Wii games. An external hard drive or USB drive can also be connected to increase the total memory available for your games.

To get the most out of this console you will need to download the latest system update.
This update adds a LOT of extra features as well as improving the overall speed of the system software.

The only thing that lets the Wii U down some what for me is the Gamepad's battery. Once fully charged you will only get between 3-5 hours of use out of it before it needs to be charged again. This is a minor inconvenience however and I still think it is a great console overall and look forward to seeing the new games and features released later in the year.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Better than you'd think!, 11 April 2015
This review is from: Nintendo Wii U 8GB Basic Pack - White (Video Game)
There are three next generation games consoles at the moment and the Wii U is like the unpopular kid in the playground who everyone bullies. To those bullies, I suggest that they get to know the Wii U and they will learn to love it!

This review is for the Wii U Basic Pack. This means that unlike the premium pack, it does NOT include a sensor bar, and neither packs come with Wii Remotes. It also has quarter of the storage space of the premium model at just 8GB. If you can spare a little extra, I suggest that you take a look at the premium pack.

As far as the console itself, it is a must buy for Nintendo fans. It is like the Wii and the DS combined. Unlike XBO and PS4 this console adds something new. It is unique. Unique is the keyword here, as the Wii U has the most console exclusive games compared to XBO and PS4. If you want to play amazing games like MarioKart 8 or Super Smash Bros., you need to go Nintendo! Also, online play here is free, unlike XBO and PS4. It's also backwards compatible with the Nintendo Wii.

So, no. The latest addition to Nintendo's console line-up won't be hosting the likes of GTA or COD, but you will find family favourites that aren't on other consoles, like Mario and Zelda. It's a great console, but you might be better off going for the premium pack.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Gamepad is a brilliant innovation, 5 Feb. 2015
By 
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This review is from: Nintendo Wii U 8GB Basic Pack - White (Video Game)
I went with the 8GB model primarily for the reduced price and because I preferred the white colour. The only thing I would warn is that the internal storage is too small to download any big retail games like Mario Kart or Smash Brothers. This is mostly no problem as I prefer getting the games on disc, but for older games like Pikmin 3 for example being able to download the game would be useful as the disc is getting hard to find. This may happen with other games over time. Otherwise I really like the system, and the gamepad is surprising useful for games like Wind Waker HD, where the items can be swapped in/out on the fly without stopping the game, and the map can be studied while sailing around. I also played New Super Mario Brothers primarily on the gamepad and was perfectly playable. I even took the system with me when I was staying with friends, and was able to play the game in my bedroom on the gamepad like it was a portable system. I find that the connection is rock solid as long as you stay in the same room, but it can become unpredictable if I leave the room the main console is in. The games look brilliant, better than my PS3 games ever did.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 8gb or 32gb?, 2 Jan. 2015
By 
This review is from: Nintendo Wii U 8GB Basic Pack - White (Video Game)
I won't write in detail about the Wii U as many other posts have covered it much better than I can.
I can say that I was undecided about whether to get the 8gb basic version or the 32gb one. The difference in price is quite a bit(with a game pack about 60-70 pounds).
If you get the basic version you will need a sensor bar which are between 5-10 pounds,I already had a wii and used that one. The 32gb also comes with a console stand(which I would not use looking at it in use), and a stand for charging the gamepad(again not really useful) both of which are cheap to buy seperately.
The 8gb version only leaves about 3gb of actual space after the operating system is updated,so I would reccommend buying a small usb stick so any saves or demos you download will fit.
A 8gb (less than a fiver)stick will suffice for basic needs or if you intend to download games directly ,a larger size(I've got 64gb) or even a large external hard-drive.
Even if you wanted to buy all that came with the 32gb version,it would still work out cheaper to get the basic version..

As they don't give you a free game with the Wii U,getting a game with the console is fairly essential, if you don't get a console/game package, nintendoland is a good starter to check out how good the console is.

I got mine quite late in the lifespan of the Wii U,for me and my 8 year old son to play and am very impressed by the games and console. As a pc gamer I am also happy that the graphics look great.
The only downer is that their is not much 3rd party game support but I doubt I will be able to get all the games I want to play before a new console comes out.
Hope this helps.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Magic! Best of the best!, 28 April 2013
By 
Geoff (Torquay, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Nintendo Wii U 8GB Basic Pack - White (Video Game)
What a fantastic console! The control pad's screen is beautiful, the browser is great and tasks are completed speedily. As an added bonus, my Wii games are upscaled significantly on my LCD TV! Lovefilm and Netflix apps are fantastic and Lovefilm especially is better than on other consoles. These apps are so well integrated with the control pad! Hope there are more virtual console games coming soon! Excitebike is a great classic and playable on the control pad- wow! Would be nice to see Kung Fu Master too from NES! I am giving five stars having faith that BBC Iplayer will soon be added and that TVii will be launched in Europe soon. The control pad and Nintendo exclusive games just make this a superior gaming experience for fun and enjoyment. Lastly, I really hope Nintendo will add a Kindle App, the control pad would be so well suited for this - so five stars in anticipation of more Nintendo magic!
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, not flawless, 2 Dec. 2012
This review is from: Nintendo Wii U 8GB Basic Pack - White (Video Game)
I think the Wii U is great. It is technologically far superior to the original, and it finally seems a worthy compatriot to my HD TV, with its absolutely beautiful online system and graphics. Yes, there is some concern about its CPU, but it is difficult to predict how much of an issue that really is, with the so-called "next-gen" still being defined.

For me, the Wii U is about complementing my TV. With its integration with Netflix and Lovefilm, low power consumption and impressive peripherals (the gamepad), the fact that it can play HD games is almost just a bonus. Do I care about 1080 60 fps? Not really. But I am curious to see if MS or Sony will be able to match this experience with a comparable price tag. Regardless, I expect my PC will remain my main "serious" gaming device, with the Wii being used to party games and the odd exclusive. Best of all, the ability to continue playing without the TV means that I can now enjoy my games while my wife uses the TV.

One of the things I loved most about my Wii is the fact that everything simply worked. Unfortunatley I can't say the same for this edition. Maybe Apple has made me lazy, but some of the annoyances are:

- I had to supply my email address twise during setup: once when doing the update, and then again later when setting up my Nintendo account.
- After supplying my location, the setup process asked for my timezone. Is it that hard to get the timezone from my location?
- The lovefilm app does not work - it erroneously states that I need an internet connection. Netflix works fine (this is actually becoming a bit of a habit for me: on my ipad and pc netflix just works, whereas lovefilm always seem to have issues).
- The sensor bar I got does not work unless I manually press the "set" button. Then it starts beeping every hour, even though it is connected to the box with its usb cable.
- The initial update took almost 2 hours. Then netflix required an update that took 10 minutes. Then Zombiu required an update that took 15 minutes. And due to the bricking issue, every update is a stressful affair.
- My gamepad only synched properly after a restart, not sure why.
- The synch button on the box is heavy and does not give good feedback on whether it has been pressed.
- The synch button on the gamepad requires a pen (I used my stylus).
- You can't play Zombiu without the TV. Really disappointing, as off-TV gaming is one of the features of the device.

Sorry if that turned into a rant, and I must add that this does in no way negate what this device brings to the table. It is a wonderful idea, and a good implementation, that may require a few months to mature into its potential.

EDIT: After updating my system again on the 6th of December, (another 1 hour wait, so be warned), the Lovefilm app now finally works (also after another 10 minute update, sigh). And I am happy to report that it works better than the Lovefilm iPad or PC apps. They finally realized that you want to see your TV shows as a single unit, not every episode as a separate viewable item. It even keeps track where in the series you are (just like Netflix, which is the way it is supposed to be).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect condition and works like a treat, 6 Nov. 2014
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This review is from: Nintendo Wii U 8GB Basic Pack - White (Video Game)
Arrived on time! Perfect condition and works like a treat. The Gamepad is almost the same size as the system, but is lightweight and comfortable in the hands. System is fast and graphics engine is crisp.
Definitely worth the money!!
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Nintendo Wii U 8GB Basic Pack - White
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