Nintendo's long anticipated Wii U has arrived. A follow-up to the wildly successful Wii, the Wii U adds a new "Game Pad" controller that sports a 6.2-inch color touchscreen, NFC, speakers and camera for use with the console. The Game Pad controller works with a stylus too and offers a remote control app that lets it double as a standard TV remote. A built-in accelerometer and gyroscope allows the Game Pad to control the on-screen action via hand motions, giving gamers a more immersive experience.
The console supports 1080p video output for HD gaming, has 8GB of internal memory ($299, upgradeable in the Deluxe version to 32GB for $329) with a USB storage option and accepts Wii discs. It is backwards compatible with most Wii software and controllers too, allowing an upgrade path for Wii users.
In addition to gaming, the Wii U bundles other software applications, such as Wii TVii, for streaming video services like Netflix. There's also a web browser, a "Wii chat" function, and an online shop for downloading games.
Initial reviews of the Wii were decidedly negative - some because of frustrations with the gaming itself but mostly because the Wii is currently shipping with most of the software extras (like TVii) not turned on. It is incomplete, though Nintendo promises upgrades to turn on that functionality soon. Reviews will be updated as those extras are enabled and tested. Until then, it may be best to wait this one out.
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