July 1, 2014

Is the WiiU worth it?

I’m pretty sure Littlebit was a newborn when the Wii first released and became popular. Big Daddy got up early one morning to stake out our local K-mart and he came home with a system that, at the time, were in high demand. Big Daddy and I weren’t gamers, but we liked the active aspect of the Wii and it provided us years of entertainment.

Sometime within the last year or so, Nintendo announced it’s new platform, the WiiU and the news came out that they’d be discontinuing the Wii platform. We weren’t really too worried, we weren’t heavy gamers and we were happy with the smattering of games we had, particularly Mario Kart Wii which got heavy play. At the time, the WiiU reviews weren’t great and we admitted we didn’t see the appeal of the giant “game pad” controller.

Earlier this month, with the release of Mario Kart 8 for the WiiU, Nintendo discontinued the on-line play of Mario Kart Wii and our favorite aspect of the Wii was now gone for us.

I mourned, I guess. I was sad. Sitting down in the evening and playing a few rounds of Mario Kart online was one of my favorite wind down activities. And it was gone.

So, the girls and I happened into Game Stop a few weeks ago and the WiiU seemed like a good deal and so now we own one.

I do want to say we also own an Xbox 360 with Kinect and I tought it would be a huge hit and while it’s a bigger hit with serious gamers, the Kinect feature isn’t so great for us. For the Kinect to really work well, you can’t have traffic between you and the sensor bar and in a family with small kids and dogs, it’s just not a realistic thing for us. It leads to a lot of frustration because the game will pause when the sensor is disrupted and the kids get a little testy.

So, on to the Wii U. We bought the package that included Super Mario Bros U + Super Luigi U and purchase Mario Kart 8, Duck Tales and Nintendo Land. All Wii games are playable on the WiiU and your Wii controllers can be used as well. However, you will need motion plus adapters if you have Wii controllers without them. We bought ours from Game Stop for $12 but I did order a couple of new remotes from Amazon because they fit into our Wii Wheels for Mario Karting.


WiiU Pros

  • Your Wii games and equipment are compatible, so you can still play your favorites.  In fact, the Wii Fit U is fairly inexpensive if you still have your old balance board.
  • In my opinion, the Wii platform is easy for younger kids to use
  • The eShop allows you to download current, popular titles not just classic or off label games.  This is huge for us as the game downloads onto the Wii and there’s no media to lose or ruin.  We owned three copies of Mario Kart.
  • Wii remotes can be used with the sensor bar to play on the TV OR the WiiU game pad can be used as a sensor allowing you to play the WiiU without using the TV
  • Easy to use parental controls.
  • I will admit that I like playing with the Game Pad.  Big Daddy isn’t as big of a fan.  I use it to drive during Mario Kart 8 and I think I like it better than the traditional remote in a wheel.  Your mileage, of course, may vary.  Mario Kart 8 doesn’t hold the same place in my heart as Mario Kart Wii did.
  • The WiiU is more affordable than it’s competitors.

WiiU Cons

  • Even with creative packages and discount, it’s still a $300 investment.  I’m sure, if you can wait, that the price will drop.  Depending on what you own from a previous Wii, buying new controllers can be pricey as well.
  • Game catalog is currently a bit limited
  • Initial set up takes a long time, which kind of sucks.
  • Downloads of games, similarly, take a long time which also sucks.

Overall, we’re enjoying our Wii U play.  I’ve just downloaded Wii Fit U and am looking forward to giving it a try.  We all enjoyed the Wii Fit programming on the old Wii and I suspect we’ll like this one as well.

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