I finally decided to buy a Wii U after sitting on the fence since it's release, with the latest launch of Mario Kart 8 I thought the special edition would make a perfect addition to my collection of Nintendo consoles. This price drop makes it £110 cheaper than the PS4 and a whopping £160 lower than the XB1. Almost 2 years on from it's initial release I think it's time to share my opinions
The console is small in stature and only slightly larger than the Wii, the premium version has a glossy black finish while the basic version is a glossy white. It is considerably smaller than the other next gen systems at about 20% volume of the XB1 + Kinect. Both the Wii U tablet and pro pad are also very well designed, both are built to a very high glossy quality.
You have to take into consideration that both the PS4 and XB1 are not backward compatible, and the input/output lag of the XB1 obliterates any possibility of using the 'HDMI IN' function for anything other that viewing video. The Wii U however is fully compatible with every Wii game and console accessory which opens it's software library up to well over a thousand games, many of which are considered the best of all time such as Mario Galaxy 1+2, Twilight Princess, Smash Bros Brawl and Metroid Prime Trilogy.
I paid £475 for my XB1 at launch with a bundled Fifa 14 and a separate copy of Forza 5, in the months since I've never felt so mugged off in all my life... While the PS4 and XB1 are more powerful their game libraries are very poor, even almost 1 year after their releases neither have a game worth buying the console for.
The criticisms of the Wii U always centre on two things:
The lower processing power in relation to XB1/PS4, and it's library (or lack of) games. Both of these points I've since discovered are actually false...
The Wii U has less processing power yes, but not a single game has even came close to pushing the hardware. Assassin's Creed 4 is the classic example. The Wii U has a completely different architecture to other systems, this isn't showcasing lower power but rather a lazy conversion which is evident in all the cross format games. Next is the library of games, the Wii U currently has 9 exclusive full release games scoring more than 80% on Metacritic compared to the PS4's 2 (inFamous + The Last of Us) and the XB1's 1 (Titanfall, which is hugely overated).
Next is the online play, Sony and Microsoft has been infested with American, racist, rage kids for the past 10 years and it sours the online experience, you can't go into a pre-game lobby without having some obnoxious child shout abuse at you down the mic. There's entire Youtube channels devoted to abusing gamers and provoking a reaction, such is gaming on MS and Sony machines.
If your not being abused verbally then there's the cheaters using lag switches and aim bots and making it pointless even trying to play online as you have no chance. The absolute worse thing about this is Sony and Microsoft's complete inaction against this even though you're PAYING for online access, chances are if you've played COD online for these systems then you've came across cheaters. This really annoys me as a 12 month XB Live subscription is £40 but MS don't even police their own servers, I stopped my XB Live last year shortly after the XB1 release.
Online access for the Wii U is free, and there is no difference in the speed or availability of servers. In fact when I've been online with Mario Kart 8 I'm almost always instantly put into a pre game lobby.
I bought COD: Ghosts when it was £15 on the Wii U and it was a revelation, first of all you're playing against Nintendo gamers and not rage kids. Pre game lobbies were always filled with mature, like minded gamers who you could chat to and have a joke with, not the typical MS or Sony rage kid.
Second is the cheats, I've put about 20 hours into this and I haven't came across a single cheater, no lag switches or aim bots. The Wii U has restored my faith in online gaming.
At this moment in time the Wii U is the best choice for next gen gaming, it has the better exclusive games currently out and coming in the future, is cheaper and has far better online community which is free.