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Wii U Pre Order Now Available - Too Little, Too Late? -
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Wii U Pre Order Now Available – Too Little, Too Late?

Is Wii U worth it? Today I woke up to the chime of my phone getting an email. The email was from none other than Gamestop offering a pre-order offer on Nintendo’s new Wii U system. Being the gamer I am, I had to check this out. From past experience, I learned game systems on launch day are nearly IMPOSSIBLE to pick up without a pre-order.

I had no idea Wii U was coming out this year already (I hardly keep up with Nintendo’s news these days). But I just had to check it as I am a big fan of the Wii despite it being a system lacking in any serious titles. First off, the technical specs, according to sources on the web, these are the technical specs of the Wii U.

 

 Wii U Technical Specs

  • Tri Core, 3 GHz PowerPC-based 45nm CPU with 2 MB cache, 1 MB for Core 0, and 512 KB for cores 1 and 2
  • 1.5 GB of unknown memory, to be shared between the CPU and the GPU
  • Custom 40nm AMD GPU with 32 MB embedded eDRAM and unified shader architecture
  • 25 GB Blu-ray based disc
  • 8 GB internal flash memory
  • Custom, Nintendo-made Wii U operating system that runs on a separate, ARM-based processor.
  • Dedicated 120 MHz audio processor, 6 channel audio for console, 2 channel for controller
  • 512 MB separate on-board flash storage for the OS only
In terms of technical specs, I find the Wii a bit lacking. The technology is a huge step up over the Wii, but it still seems like Nintendo is catering to… hell, I don’t even know what they are catering to anymore. But these stats, they are pretty sad. The CPU speed is mildly impressive along with the blu ray style disc support. Also the six channel audio channel support is very attractive (and I’ve always found Nintendo to be the dominator of the surround sound market). Lastly, this system fully supports HD out of the box, so no more third party peripherals for 1080p support! But the rest of the specs, they just look too much like stats of the current generation of systems (360 and PS3. The current generation systems are six years old now. What gives? Shouldn’t we be focused on the future? The GPU isn’t that impressive and trailers/gameplay footage of games so far seems a bit… dated.
Also, the main storage system of “flash memory” is available in a $350 version with 32GB and a basic version of $300. I don’t mind the “flash” memory concept as it provides extremely fast load times similar to SSD technology. But the main quail I have with it is that it’s internal. There’s no removing it and there’s no upgrading it. What happens if my Wii U breaks? What happens if I want to play my games on a different Wii U without a dumb memory card? I’m stuck doing things the old fashioned way.

Most of the average user of the world though don’t care about technical terms, or even the flash memory. And the true experience of gaming (at least what it should be) is the game itself, not about the ultimate experience nor the graphics.  So let’s look at the line up of launch games.

Wii U Launch Titles

  • Nintendo Land (Available free with the 32GB model)
  • Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge
  • Sing Party
  • Wii Fit U
  • The Wonderful 101
  • Pikmin 3
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 2
  • 007 Legends
  • Cabela’s Dangerous Hunts
  • Wipeout 3
  • Skylanders Giants
  • Rapala Pro Bass Fishing
  • Transformers Prime
  • Aliens: Colonial Marines
  • Sonic & All-Stars: Racing Transformed
  • Trine 2
  • Tank! Tank! Tank!
  • Tekken Tag Tournament 2
  • Wheel of Fortune
  • Jeopardy
  • Darksiders II
  • Funky Barn
  • Disney’s Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two
  • Scribblenauts Unlimited
  • Game Party Champions
  • Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition
  • Runner 2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien
  • Ben 10: Omniverse
  • Rise of the Guardians: The Video Game
  • Family Party: 30 Great Games Obstacle Arcade
  • Zumba Fitness
  • New Super Mario Bros. Wii U
  • Game & Wario
  • NBA 2K13
  • Jett Tailfin
  • Madden NFL 13
  • FIFA 13
  • Mass Effect 3
  • Toki Tori 2
  • Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate
  • ZombiU
  • Just Dance 4
  • Avengers: Battle for Earth
  • Rabbids Land
  • Assassin’s Creed 3
  • Rayman Legends
  • Sports Connection
  • Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2013
  • Nano Assault Neo

Okay, there’s alot of games. But which one’s are actually good or exclusive Nintendo titles? Well, 007 Legends (pictured right) sounded like an interesting possible new take at what Goldeneye was on N64. But after viewing this disappointing trailer and seeing the visuals have hardly left the N64 era, should I really be that psyched about it? Sure, graphics aren’t everything, but the facial modeling/textures, it’s just mind boggling how bad the visuals are. On a plus note, the gameplay looks fun and solid and very similar to Goldeneye. But the main flop here in terms of Wii U is, the game is coming out on both 360 and PS3. So do I need to spend $350 getting the Wii U just to play the game? I think not.

Besides Goldeneye, not many of Nintendo’s launch titles are impressive. There’s alot games on here that are available on Xbox 360. Some of which, I already own including Mass Effect 3. So what real sell points are there to the Wii U? If the launch titles are bad (and the speculated games to come out next year don’t look good), the price is somewhat steep, and the hardware isn’t that impressive, then what’s the point of buying it?

 

This is just my personal opinions and a guide for people who are thinking about buying Wii U. I say unless you’re a Nintendo fan boy or have kids and like the family friendly consoles better, then you should pass on this. Look, I love Nintendo, and I loved the Nintendo Wii. I loved the hardware, the interface, the motion control games, everything about it, even the Mii characters I liked! My main problem with the system was the games, or lack thereof. I own about 20 Wii games and I got bored of them all. Games I wished would come out with motion controls never came out. Smash Smash Bros. was great but when you played it online a more appropriate title would be Super Lag Bros.. The arcade games got boring after a while and overall, and I got tired of the system.

I feel that Wii U is doomed to follow the same foot steps as it’s predecessor. There is a lack of games for the hardcore audience, the new mini-interface controller is really weird, and the system just doesn’t pack a punch like 360 or PS3. And many titles that would have made the system sell like crack including Super Smash Bros. , F-Zero,  and Starfox to name a few, are completely missing from launch. And are we ever gonna get them? Probably not.

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