Nintendo Wii U Arrives Unique, Unfinished

2nd screen a revolution, but lots of questions remain unanswered
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 19, 2012 1:21 PM CST
Nintendo Wii U Arrives Unique, Unfinished
In this June 5, 2012 file photo, an attendee plays a video game using Nintendo's Wii U controller at E3 2012 in Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

Nintendo's Wii U console hit shelves yesterday, and now everyone's talking about it—and its revolutionary new tablet-esque GamePad controller. Here's what people are saying:

  • The console streams video to the pad flawlessly, which "opens up a Pandora's box of ideas for both game developers and media providers," writes Ben Gilbert of Engadget. "Sadly, overall, the GamePad controller gives off a relatively low-grade impression; it looks and feels like a toy."
  • "Keeping track of two screens could have been a mess, but it's actually pretty intuitive" and even "kind of liberating," writes Matt Peckham at Time. "The Wii U already feels like a much more robust and fascinating idea" than the original Wii. "I haven't been this impressed with a new interface since Nintendo put a joystick on a gamepad in 1996."

  • "Will Nintendo finally match other consoles' dedication to hardcore gaming? No. But not for lack of trying," writes Nic Vargus at IGN. There are some crucial omissions—why can't the Pro Controller handle a headset?—and its processor is unlikely to stack up well against the PS4 or next Xbox. But "it's going to offer a completely unique experience with a large handful of irreplaceable games. Unfortunately, those irreplaceable games really don't seem to exist just yet."
  • CNET wasn't as impressed. "It's tough to get around just how cumbersome the GamePad really is," its editors write. "I can only imagine how a small child will perform with this enormous game controller." But there's a "ton of value" in its off-TV feature, which lets you play Wii games on the tablet without monopolizing the TV—"something anyone who doesn't live alone can appreciate."
  • Many reviewers also grumbled that key features, like "Miiverse," weren't available ahead of launch, the Wall Street Journal notes. Users and critics alike will have to install a patch before assessing those now currently available. (Nintendo TVii isn't coming til December.)

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