Nintendo was nice enough to send me a Wii U for review purposes. All opinions are 100% my own!
When the Wii came out many years ago we picked one up and it became a family favorite and my son quickly mastered it and all the games and started kicking our butts in everything from bowling to mario kart. We’ve been threw a few of them since then, for various reasons, but it has always stayed a favorite. Then the Wii U came out and I knew we would eventually get one. I’m always for upgrading our gaming devices when newer models come out and luckily Nintendo was nice enough to send us a Wii U Deluxe Bundle with Nintendoland to test out.
The Wii U is different from the original Wii. The biggest and most obvious change is the GamePad controller. The GamePad controller looks like a small tablet with a 6.2″ screen and incorporates both traditional input methods (such as buttons, dual analog sticks, and a D-pad) and a touchscreen in one handheld device. With the Off TV Play function, the screen can also be used to play a game strictly on the GamePad screen, without the use of a television display at all. This feature really comes in handy is someone is playing the Wii U on the TV, but someone else wants to watch TV. The GamePad also includes motion control, a front-facing camera, a microphone, stereo speakers, rumble features, a sensor bar, and a stylus, along with a rechargeable battery. Since the Wii U only comes with 1 GamePad and some games allow for up to 4 players you can purchase the Wii Remote Plus controllers so additional people can play along. When your done playing video games the GamePad can be used as a interactive TV remote with TVii; you can also access video on demand services such as Amazon Instant video, Hulu Plus and Netflix (if you have their subscriptions), and watch YouTube and browse the Internet on your TV.
With the original Wii, if you wanted to chat with friends you needed to buy a separate device, but with the Wii U there is a camera and microphone built into the GamePad that allows for easy chatting. This comes in handy when we’re playing family or friends in different cities or states and it almost feels like we’re in the same house playing together. Of course you should always monitor who your child is chatting with and you can block chatting in the Wii U parental controls.
This is a FABULOUS feature for anyone who has kids that will be using the Wii U console. You access the parental controls from the Wii U menu and you create a 4-digit pin so only you or someone with the pin can access the controls. With the parental controls you can restrict games with certain ratings, block online gaming, internet browsing, and shopping services. I’m loving all the features of the parental controls and it’s a must have with kids and gaming.
The Wii U has a variety of games available and depending on which bundle you get, the device even comes with a game. We received the NintendoLand game with our console. Nintendoland is a compilation game and features 12 of nintendo’s themed games including Mario Chase, The Legend of Zelda: Battle Quest, Pikmin Adventure and more. It’s a fun game with something for everyone and I really like that there are a variety of different games, modes, and amount of players that can play. Wii U is constantly adding new games to their collection and I am impatiently waiting for them to add Mario Kart to the collection. Luckily you can play original Wii games on the Wii U – You just need Wii Mode!
All in All our family is loving the new Wii U system and it makes family video game play fun! The parental controls allow the kids to use the system without me worrying that they are doing something they shouldn’t and the Wii U gamepad sets it apart from other game systems on the market!
Available at mass retailers or Amazon.com!