Spiega's Wii U Deluxe unboxing experience: Console review and first impressions

#1SpiegaPosted 11/23/2012 1:06:25 PM
Alright guys, so I got my Wii U in the mail this morning, and I just took some time out to play around with it a bit. If any of you haven't gotten the console yet, I'll try to fill you in on the goods and bads here.

1: Unboxing

Well, the first thing I did was open the box and take the stuff out, of course! Everything was packaged really neatly. There was two "shelves" inside the box, one containing all the adapters and Nintendo Land, and the other had the console and the Gamepad. They did a great job packing this stuff. I found everything quite easily, and knew what each piece did before I even took them out of the shrink wrap. The box itself also looked pretty cool, much cooler than the box that the PS3 and Xbox 360 came in (I own both of those consoles, too.)

Final grade for the Wii U unboxing experience: 10/10

2: The Gamepad

Before we get to the console, I think its a good idea to address the Gamepad first. Its safe to say that this will be the default controller for most Wii U games, so it would be a good idea to start getting used to it now. The materials used seem to be decently sturdy and light weight. It makes the Gamepad very easy and comfortable to handle. The placement of the analogs and face buttons are also convenient, making for unhindered gameplay. The Gamepad is a huge step up from the Wiimote. I'm sure most of you already know this, but the Gamepad can be charged through an outlet, and has a docking bay. This is much better than the Wiimote and its use of batteries.The Gamepad itself was a lot bigger than I expected it to be for some reason. Its basically the size of two TV remotes glued together (perhaps a tad bit bigger.) The size doesn't really prove to be an issue though, so there's no reason to call it a liability. If anything, it might even be a good thing, because the screen on the Gamepad gets to be bigger.

On the topic of the Gamepad screen, lets talk about that for a minute. Its very sensitive, and is far more responsive than the 3DS touch screen. Without even trying, I can get it to respond with just the mere tap of a finger. It is quite accurate, too. It does not support the multi-touch features that most apple devices have these days, but that doesn't seem to be an issue at the current time. The resolution on the screen is not full HD like the console, and you can easily see the difference in quality when looking back and forth at the TV and the Gamepad screen. I have to admit though, I really like the way the Gamepad screen renders images. It has that Gameboy Advanced feel to it, giving it a classic look. By no means does it look bad or old school, either. Its a very good blend of current gen technology with a touch of old handheld consoles. My first impression was that I might actually be more inclined to play games off the TV and in the comfort of my bed before going to sleep, because the Gamepad display just does it for me.

Last but not least, the Gamepad has the ability to double as a TV remote for you. To switch to TV remote mode, simply press the TV button on the Gamepad, and you can change the volume, inputs, and channels. For those of you with Tivo, or some other kind of extra TV feature, the Gamepad cannot pause, fast forward, or rewind, and it can't record shows for you. I have to say that it also feels a little clumsy using this feature, because you have to switch back and forth between modes. It just seems more convenient to have the TV remote close by anyway. It is nice that you can use the Gamepad to control the TV though. The only thing I usually need to change while playing a game is the volume, so its not too important to need to use the Gamepad to do so. Oh, and before I forget, the Stylus pen that comes with the Gamepad is very similar to the DS Lite stylus, in both make and size. The Gamepad stylus is just a tad bit bigger, though.

Final Grade for the Wii U Gamepad: 10/10
#2Spiega(Topic Creator)Posted 11/23/2012 1:06:34 PM
3: The console

This is probably the most important part of this review. A lot of people have been making fun of it and saying that the console doesn't feel like a piece of high end equipment, and looks like something they would find in a kid's toy box. Well... I'm not going to lie, I can't really argue with that. I do admit though, if you found this thing in a kid's toy box, he'd probably be the son of an aristocrat or some high up government official, because this isn't your everyday, cheap little action figure. The console has a glossy black finish to it, making it look pretty modern, but that also makes it prone to dust and fingerprints. I've only had the thing for 30 minutes, and its got smudges all over it. You have the choice of either laying it flat, or standing it up with the pegs that it came with. I'm standing it up, so the console has less of a chance of overheating and can vent the air a little better.

All the things you would expect from a console are present. There's all kinds of peripherals for you to hook all your stuff up to it. The Sensor Bar, Adapter, and HDMI all plug in on the back. In the front is the opening for the disc tray, which works pretty much the same as the Wii's did. Just slide in a CD of your choice, and you're good to go. There's also a door on the front that you can open to reveal two USB ports and an SD card port. Pretty handy for adding extra storage space. There's also two USB ports in the back, for those of you planning to hook up external HD's to the console.

The console is capable of outputting 1080p gameplay, which is a first for Nintendo. I only have two games at the time, New Super Mario Bros. U and Nintendo Land. I haven't tried out Nintendo Land, but I did play through the first few levels of New Super Mario Bros. U, and I have to admit, it looks gorgeous. Mario has never looked better, and the mushroom kingdom is living large in high definition. I can't wait to see how great some of the other Nintendo classics look when rendered in full HD, like Zelda and Fire Emblem.

Final grade for the Wii U Console: 10/10

4: Last thoughts

I just want to mention a couple of things in this last section. First up, I must admit that I feel like I paid too much money for the Wii U. I got the Walmart bundle, which came with a game and a Wii U Pro Controller. The Pro Controller cannot be used with any game currently, so it feels kind of pointless that I had to buy one at this time. My total came up to over $500, and for what I got, I feel like it should have been cheaper. The Wii U right now can also be compared to a Gamecube with the GBA player attached, because this is basically a handheld console with the advantage of playing games on the big screen. I'm sure that the Wii U will be stressing a bigger console presence in the future, and will stray away from the Gamepad as being preferred for the on the go experience, but as of right now, I feel as though playing on the Gamepad is superior to playing on the TV. Finally, as much as I hate to say it, the Wii U isn't offering enough at the moment to warrant an instant buy. It may not even be worth the effort of getting one for the Holidays. This console is still young though, and it is really obvious that Nintendo has yet to tap in to its full potential. Hopefully by this time next year, the Wii U will be up at the top and manage to succeed in delivering the Nintendo experience we have all been waiting for.
#3HugsAllAroundPosted 11/23/2012 1:49:09 PM
Good read. It's nice to hear impressions from someone who owns all 3 HD consoles. I was a PS3 and Wii gamer last gen, and the WiiU blows the PS3 out of the water. Can't speak for the 360 since I don't own one.
#4Lord_ValkirePosted 11/23/2012 2:06:01 PM
Gamepad isn't playable "on-the-go" I hope you realize...
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or whatever.
#5Spiega(Topic Creator)Posted 11/23/2012 2:53:00 PM
Lord_Valkire posted...
Gamepad isn't playable "on-the-go" I hope you realize...


Maybe not as on the go as an actual handheld console, but on the go enough that you could play one anywhere in the house.
#6DTY3Posted 11/23/2012 2:55:14 PM
Lord_Valkire posted...
Gamepad isn't playable "on-the-go" I hope you realize...


Funny enough, it technically can.

...as long as you take the console with you. Just plug in an outlet. No TV needed.
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http://www.youtube.com/user/DTY16
GameFAQS users are far too sensitive.
#7Xeeh_BitzPosted 11/23/2012 2:56:17 PM
Spiega posted...
Lord_Valkire posted...
Gamepad isn't playable "on-the-go" I hope you realize...


Maybe not as on the go as an actual handheld console, but on the go enough that you could play one anywhere in the house.


You must have a small house.
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To be fair, the bible has more plot holes than ME3. I wouldn't be listening either - Pies12
#8lgiPosted 11/23/2012 2:59:52 PM
10/10. The perfect console -_-
#9IcecreamdunwichPosted 11/23/2012 3:00:24 PM
From: Spiega | #005
Lord_Valkire posted...
Gamepad isn't playable "on-the-go" I hope you realize...


Maybe not as on the go as an actual handheld console, but on the go enough that you could play one anywhere in the house.


If your house is made out of cardboard and toothpicks yeah.
#10Spiega(Topic Creator)Posted 11/23/2012 3:03:00 PM
My room is right next to the room where my Wii U is. I can lie in bed while playing the Gamepad, and it works just fine. My house isn't a mansion, but its not like I'm living in a shoe box.

=/