Nintendo launches the Wii U, anyone putting their iPad down for it?

Nintendo launches the Wii U, anyone putting their iPad down for it?

Nintendo is launching their next-generation video game console today, the Wii U, and just like the last one, it seems to be garnering more than its fair share of incredibly mixed reviews. The bottom line on original Wii was "best selling console collecting dust on the shelf" as hard-core and online gaming went to Xbox, and casual gaming to iOS. Now, however, Nintendo has added it's own iPad-like tablet controller to the Wii U, along with HD graphics, and perhaps even better online services.

Again, however, reviews are incredibly mixed. The Wii U tablet is sometimes a mirror, sometimes a second screen, but always a resistive touchscreen like phones pre-2007, difficult to use and flummoxing to understand. Nintendo's first party titles, including Mario, of course, are great, but good third party support is as questionable as always. I bought a Wii at launch and played it quite a lot at first, but haven't touched it in over a year. I'll be waiting on the Wii U.

Gone are the days I'm willing to buy Nintendo kit no questions asked. They haven't kept up with the times as well as I wish they had. Never mind not making Mario for iOS, that's their right and decision, but the Wii U just looks like the wrong solution for modern gaming, especially with the "Xbox 720" and "PlayStation 4" on the way -- and iOS encroaching on the living room with AirPlay. It looks complex and confused, and I'd rather see where it's going before I put any money into it.

Here are some reviews:

Anyone picking up a Nintendo Wii U today? If so, let me know what you think of it!

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, The TV Show, Vector, ZEN & TECH, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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There are 28 comments. Add yours.

Trusttee says:

Rene - I wouldn't say that Nintendo has the wrong solution for modern gaming but that they're showing up to the next "showdown" in less optimal fashion. I believe that they may be on to something by adding the second display (signs of what MS intends to do with Smartglass already out). However, Nintendo continues on this quest to not be concerned as much with eye candy. And I'm sorry, while it may not be the most important aspect of gaming - graphics are a cornerstone of the gaming experience. And people will feel more drawn to alternatives when they aren't matched. I'm not saying they haven't had a successful run either without holding graphics as a high priority; of course they have. But as Sony and MS ( and whoever else) continue with introducing innovative technologies (ex Kinect) Nintendo will lose that ability to benefit from leading in the creativity arena.

Trusttee says:

Sorry, didn't answer you're question lol. No, I will not be investing in the Wii U at this time. But I don't look at my iPad as to why I'm not getting one either. More that my 360 and PS3 are keeping me satisfied.

xangria22 says:

You can't really say Nintendo hasn't innovated while Microsoft did with the Kinect. Microsoft got the idea for the Kinect based on Nintendo's idea for the Wii.

Trusttee says:

I may have been confusing there - but I did state that Nintendo may lose their ability to lead in the creativity arena...sound a little like innovate wouldn't you say? But I do agree with you that MS and Sony got their motion ideas based off of what Nintendo introduced to the market. However, I personally believe that MS trumped everyone with the Kinect regardless of sales. And if they continue improving technology down that avenue, I think gamers will be pleased about what the future holds. And I'm sure Sony will be right there too.

NullifiedOne says:

i wouldnt say nintendo doesnt care about graphics. they are just late to the show. i mean wii u should be able to do more than the ps3 and xbox360 graphics wise. (have to wait and see what sony and ms put out next) graphics aren't as big as they used to be. these are the first consoles to really break the 5 year cycle. used to be that every 5 years we get a new much more graphical console.
and honestly i havnt seen ms or sony introduce innovative technologies at all. Sonys Move and MS's Kinect are both just each companies ways of playing catch up to what they wii already had.
nintendos real fall is failing to realize what gamers want. and they had said for a long time they believed online gaming was just a fad. when it wasnt, gamers wanted and still want a real online experience, nintendo half assed it in the wii as if they were forced to put online games and it shows.

Maru_The_Cat says:

No, I will not be picking up a WiiU. I do want to try it at my local gamestop though. Since childhood, I've always been a Nintendo fan. I would choose Nintendo over Sega, Playstation, and even gave the Wii a try. But it wasn't for me. As I grew older, my taste for games changed. I chose games with better graphics and online multiplayer than those that were just "fun" like mario. Don't get me wrong, Mario, Zelda, and company are great games but making your console into a DS I don't think is the solution. I can see where there going with this but when the new generation of consoles come out, it will be a whole different ball game for Nintendo especially with Apple and Android eating into their "casual" game experience as well.

On a side note, Rene I noticed you watching the UFC's last night. Wasn't GSP awesome! So happy for that guy and would've loved to be in that arena in Canada last night!

nccjones says:

I love my Wii! I don't plan on getting the new one but I did get the XL 3DS. I love it!

Airbrushkid says:

I have a iPad 2 and iPhone 5, 4 and 3. And wasted a lot of money on games for them. And I came to realize I hate gaming on them. Alway having to touch the screen, hate it. I am a PC gamer and spent thousands of dollars on my rigs over the years just to pay games I even have 4 30" monitors.. I don't like consoles at all. So to answer your question no I won't be buying a Wii.

SockRolid says:

How's that Windows 8 working out for ya? LULz.

unstoppablekem says:

Windows 8 is good. Have your tried it? Let me guess, you used it on a Mac...

NullifiedOne says:

using it on the mac was the only way it was useable. windows 8 is a pain in the ass without some sort of touch controls. i had to delete it and go back to 7 on my desktop.

looks like to me MS's trend of every other windows version sucks still holds true. i'll be waiting for 9

SockRolid says:

Oh really. Windows 8 is "good"?

Well, for Microsoft's bread and butter customers (corporate IT), Windows 7 is already "good enough." In fact, Windows XP is apparently still "good enough" for enterprise. Still has what, 50% of Windows' total market share?

Airbrushkid says:

Don't know. I use Windows 7 and will not use Win 8.

axllebeer says:

No Wii for me. I don't own the original one although I've used it many times. Have a PC, PS3, BlackBerry Playbook, Android, and now the iPad mini to boot. Don't think I need another gaming device. If it's not covered in what I have then I just don't know what to say lol.

SIRNEFF says:

Don't know what it is about Nintendo. They have yet to make me want to move on. PS2 made me leave my PSone. PS3 made me forget those. XBOX 360 made me forget XBOX. Each iPad makes me care less about the last one. But with Nintendo I'd still rather play SNES or N64 than I would the new wii or wiiU. Possible because the games were much better. iPad has so many new apps. Xbox has a lot of known games same with ps3. They all have they're defining games. Wii doesn't. They don't have a game that has people lining up at midnight. Nintendo needs that ASAP

DM52 says:

You might want to check that. There were people lining up for a midnight console launch in New York (http://www.nintendoworldreport.com/news/32527). As for "defining games", you should probably look at the long list of Nintendo exclusive franchises. If you don't find something to satisfy you there, then maybe you're better off going to play the next yearly iteration of Call of Duty, which is far from "defining".

texazzpete says:

As far as Articles go, this is incredibly daft.

The Gamepad is not an 'iPad-like tablet'. It's a control pad with a screen on it. Why the heck would you compare it to an iPad? It has no CPU, no RAM...it requires data from the WiiU console to operate. And you compare it to the iPad?

There are stated reasons for the screen being resistive. None impresses me, but perhaps stylus support was key where Nintendo are concerned. Besides, with full physical controls in place, it can be argued that the screen doesn't NEED to have multitouch.

I'll also say that NOT ONE SINGLE REVIEW of the WiiU that i've read (and I've read at least 4) have claimed the WiiU's GamePad was 'difficult to use and flummoxing to understand' as you've claimed.

I do not plan to buy a WiiU, but this was a poorly written piece which just seems like it was made out to trash a game console in favor of a tablet. Please don't ever call the GamePad a 'tablet' again. That's FUD.

Stychill says:

i haven't paid attention to nintendo in years, the last product of theirs i bought was the gameboy advance. I've lost interest in them and i can't see them ever regaining it...

OwegoSean says:

Putting down my iPad for a device like this is like parking my Carbon Fiber Triathlon bike in favor of a Walmart huffy BMX for a race. It would be like trading in my iPhone 5 on a Motorola (not Droid) RAZR. It would be like rolling up to a NASCAR race in a PowerWheels Barbie car. Everyone claims to be iPad like, until you try an iPad and then laugh at the others.

SockRolid says:

I wonder how much longer console gaming will last. All evidence points to console sales collapsing and the console gaming market dropping to "niche" levels:

Global Gaming Market: "Console is not dead"
http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2012-06-21-global-gaming-market-co...

Game Console Market Will Shrink and Become a Niche
http://bgr.com/2012/10/12/ea-founder-hawkins-interview-console-market-sh...

Nintendo, Sony to Suffer in 2012 as Console Market Plunges
http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2403787,00.asp

macharborguy says:

I will only be picking up the WiiU if they announce that previous (original) Wii games will render at 1080P on the system. As of right now, I believe original Wii titles WILL play, but will render at the original 480P (and then be upscaled to 1080P, which is different than rendering at true 1080P). Currently, the Dolphin Wii emulator for PC is able to render at native 720 and 1080 resolutions.

lungho says:

This article is basically crap. But the question was asked, will I buy a Wii U?

No.

Consoles are a waste of money. You end up with a ton of games and prepherials you can't get rid of when the next greatest thing comes out. The controls for FPS games are horrid, when compared to the PC's keyboard & mouse. Besides, in 6 months Nintendo will purposely out date this new console with a "new and improved" version called, "Nintendo Wii Ui".

I think I'll pass.

robnaj says:

I am going to at lest postpone my iPad perchance because I am more of gamer. I have a Nexus 7 and when I get my Wii U I will be putting it down to play the big games.

DM52 says:

I will be purchasing a Wii U when it is available here. I've read a mix of reviews, and they go each way, although I've seen more positive than negative. Even then, the negative ones have the tone "It's probably better to wait for more games to come out" rather than a "don't buy". More important than the console reviews are the game reviews though, and I'm yet to see a review that claims the Wii U Game Pad doesn't add to the experience, which I believe is an excellent sign, and one of my primary reasons for picking one up.

I can accept the resistive touch screen, because multitouch is not required. I can't hold the controller with one hand, and touch the screen with two at the same time. Additionally, most reviews I've seen have described it as "more responsive than the DS touch screen", which I've never had any problems with.

Third party support looks improved from the past, but is impossible to tell until a console is a year old if it's going to maintain. Of course, the main reason many people buy a Nintendo console is because that's where the Nintendo games are. Want to play Mario (with/without Karts), Zelda, Metroid, Donkey Kong, Pokémon, Pikmin, Kirby or Fire Emblem? You're buying a Nintendo system (and this is part of the reason they'll never bring these to iOS - it's simply bad business).

If Apple maintains a touch screen without buttons, they'll never own my TV, and all gamers I know are the same. Whether I get a PS4, or the next XBox will then depend on the level of cross platform support from third parties. The Wii got next to none, which most it almost necessary for me to own another console, and again, it looks promising now, but we'll see down the track what happens.

Unfortunately it seems you find all things that aren't Apple confusing, including the Surface tablet and the Wii U, when they really aren't. You also consider Nintendo a direct competitor to Apple, when it really isn't.

HarrellMD says:

I actually bought one and it is great. You have to understand that Nintendo is for kids and not "pro-gamers" as the games are watered down versions of the ones on PS3 and Xbox. The game pad is not a tablet and cannot be compared to an iPad HOWEVER, gaming on the iPad SUCKS!!! and should never be compared to gaming on a console EVER!!! iPad's got one good game, Bastian, and thats it... unless you like only being able to jump or run... oh wait, they got Mega Man X too. Anywho, the Wii U is great and you should get one if your have kids or a misses who doesnt like blowing people up or slashing them in half so much. P.S. the new XBox will destroy everyone else unless Sony ups the antee on a new PS.