It’s a little hard to digest the fact that Nintendo’s Wii U has been around for four years already. Since the time Nintendo released its first flagship consoles, we’ve already seen 4 iPhones, as many Galaxy S smartphones from Samsung, two models from Xbox One as well as the PlayStation 4.
Compared with the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, this quirky console has changed the least. Neither did Nintendo release a slimmed-down version nor did it offer any additional storage options except the 32GB option, which came with the launch model itself.
On the other hand, there have been firmware updates that have changed the User Interface (UI) a bit as well as delivered performance improvements, but other than that, there really haven’t been any major overhauls.
Although the Wii U hasn’t changed all that much since it launched, but it’s not necessarily a bad thing. The system’s tablet-like GamePad didn’t really have much of an impact like the Wii’s motion controls did. But this didn’t stop the likes of Sony and Microsoft from copying a few of its ideas. If you were to buy a Wii U today, you’ll find it’s still a nice and solid system that can still boast of some exclusive gaming titles.
The Wii U Hardware
The Wii U was not competing with consoles from Microsoft and Sony, not the PS 3 and Xbox 3, and definitely not the PS4 and Xbox One. That’s quite evident by looking at the system as well as their game selections.
Unlike is competitors, which sport futuristic and sleek designs, Wii U is quite understated in that way. It has rounded corners and a glossy finish. This in itself is a clear indication that the Wii U was made for and targeting families more than avid gamers. If you don’t own one yet, it’s about the size of a hardcover book, which makes it quite unobtrusive!
On the front you’ll find the slot-loading DVD and under that there is a sliding door that hides two USB 2.0 ports as well as an SD card for extra storage. On the left, you’ll find the eject and power buttons. At the back, there are two more USB 2.0 ports, power-supply input, analogue video output, an HDMI socket, Wii sensor bar port and a power-supply input.
The Wii U’s GamePad is what makes it so different from the hardware that came prior to it. Nintendo has fused motion controls from the original Wii with the 3DS hand-held’s touch interface into one. This is what made them create something unique.
Let’s say if the TV is not free and you’re desperate to collect a few coins in Mario Kart 8, no problem at all! Just fire up the GamePad’s 6.2-inch resistive touchscreen and plug in a pair of headphones to the 3.5 mm jack and you’re all set to collect the coins and play Mario Kart 8, no need for a TV at all.
There are very few third-party games that are able to take advantage of the various hardware features of Nintendo, especially the way in-house teams do. This is in fact, a great thing since for the most part the tentpole Nintendo games on the Wii U are great especially for parties.
So as is quite evident, Nintendo has always been a little ahead of the curve for a while now. But it remains to be seen now what legacy its hardware innovation can leave!
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