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The Wii U – A Step Up from Other Gaming Systems
Arriving on the heels of the original Wii's less-than-stellar run in the console gaming industry, the Nintendo Wii U Console is an attempt for Nintendo to reestablish itself as a major presence. In light of that, it seems appropriate to look at the Wii U from the perspective of the problems Nintendo hopes to use it to address. Critics of the Wii U often swarmed around a few key points: internal hardware, online functionality and variety of titles.
While the Wii fell substantially short of its market competitors at its launch, the Wii U seems better equipped to hold its own. According to Nintendo's site, the Wii U operates with an IBM Power®-based multi-core processor and an AMD Radeon™-based High Definition GPU. Its supported resolutions scale all the way up to 1080p and 1080i, offering the HD gaming experience that has become an industry standard and that its predecessor lacked. For storage, the Wii U utilizes internal flash memory, 8GB with its basic package and 32GB with its deluxe edition.
Out of the box, the Wii U comes with a stand, a sensor bar, a new Wii U game pad and its associated accessories, which include a stylus and a cradle.
Another blow to Nintendo's reputation at the hands of the Wii was its distinctive lack of a typical Ethernet port for LAN connections. While the Wii U still foregoes this equipment, it does offer full wireless support, USB ports and a LAN adapter that can be bought if necessary. Once online, the Wii U allows users to download digital copies of certain titles, associate with other gamers, conduct voice and video chat sessions and also stream movies and television. Following the market trend, the Wii U seems set on integrating the gaming system into the home entertainment system through services like Netflix.
Critics of the Nintendo brand often point out a lack of new, third-party titles for its systems. While Nintendo has made promises to break from that style, the Wii U still offers almost exclusively the typical Nintendo fare: Zelda rehashes, Mario reincarnations, Pikmin and the like, many of which are praised for their respective family fun factors. The introduction of titles like Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell, Resident Evil and Medal of Honor do offer hope, however, for future third-party collaborations.
The Nintendo Wii U has come a long way from its predecessor in almost every regard and offers hardware good enough to stay competitive. Its innovations in game-play and digital social interaction make it a logical step up for fans of the brand and tantalizing enough to attract a new crowd, as well.