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Wii U Reviews Start Rolling In

The arrival of the holiday season means that the video game industry will release some of its most anticipated hardware and titles. Fans have been excited about the Wii U since Nintendo announced the device over a year ago. IGN reported in September that some stores and major retailers sold out of pre-orders only days after the November 18 debut date was made public. While the actual console may be pre-sold out for now, Wii U games and accessories can be found at online retailers, such as Newegg.

Some gamers may be hesitant to buy a new console without reading reviews first. While Nintendo will ship new units in time for the holidays, it may be a good time to learn what’s good and bad with the Wii U.

The good

The Wii used motion controllers and was a smash hit because it changed how gamers play. For the Wii U, Nintendo is using a similar strategy here with the GamePad. Some may have been skeptical when they saw that the controller bears more than a passing resemblance to a Nintendo DS handheld system.

The good news is that the GamePad is as fun and functional as it is innovative. The tablet-like controller is mostly used for smaller tasks, like inventory management, within games, but also acts as a second display. Gamers can keep playing if they need to leave their televisions thank to the controller’s screen.

One of the GamePad’s downsides is that its display isn’t HD-quality, especially when compared to what the Wii U produces. Nintendo’s newest console boasts the same level of visual clarity as the PS3 and Xbox 360.

The bad

Some reviews have noted that the Wii U’s load times are longer than those on many other devices. It can takes approximately 20 seconds to switch between the settings menu and the home screen. This lag can be frustrating, especially to gamers who expect almost instant responses from their consoles.

Nintendo promised many exciting features, but it seems that early adopters have to wait even longer for some of these, including streaming services. While the Wii U comes with apps for YouTube and Hulu Plus, they will not be operational for at least a few weeks. Netflix offers a patch, however, that allows subscribers to watch movies and TV shows via their consoles.

There are Nintendo loyalists who will buy the Wii U regardless of any potential issues, but some casual gamers may not view the new device as the same fun, largely family-friendly alternative to the PS3 and Xbox 360 that its predecessor was. What do you think about the Wii U? Are you ordering yours as soon as possible or are you waiting to hear the general consensus?

Summary: The arrival of the holiday season means that the video game industry will release some of its most anticipated hardware and titles.

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