Nintendo’s Wii U: Should you buy it at launch?

The Wii U, Nintendo’s next console, features a touch screen controller, hi-definition graphics and interesting TV-Console integration. It comes out in North America on Nov. 18. Photo from Nintendo.com.

Nintendo’s newest console, the Wii U, comes out in North America on Nov. 18. As that date nears, information has been flooding out of the Nintendo headquarters about what exactly the console is, what it does and what the launch titles will be like.

With this glut of information, it can be tricky for potential buyers to decide whether they want to camp outside of the Athens Gamespot for hours in the bitter cold just to get a shiny new hunk of plastic. To make the decision a little easier, we’ve considered the pros and cons of purchasing Nintendo’s new golden child at launch.

Let’s get the bad stuff out of the way first.

Con: rushed launch.

With all of this information and the release date looming, one can’t help but notice that the Wii U seems like it’s being rushed out to the public. A worrisome prospect, to be sure, especially since Nintendo is being the Microsoft of this new generation of gaming consoles – that is, releasing a brand new console a full year or so earlier than its competitors.

When Microsoft did that last generation with the Xbox 360, they got a leg up on the competition but also suffered from various hardware instability issues. (Red ring of death, anyone?) If similar issues surface with the hardware early on, it will only hurt the Wii U’s overall appeal.

Also, this hurried launch means less first-party titles available at launch, which leads us to the next point …

Con: there is no “killer app.”

Just like the Wii that came before it, the Wii U is honestly lacking in supposed “killer apps” — games that will be out at launch that make the system a “must buy.”

Of the 23 games that will be available on Nov 18, only a handful are exclusive to the console. We’ll talk more in the pros section about some of the cool ones, but for now we’ll just say that “Black Ops II” and “Assassins Creed III” are not going to be helping the system’s “must buy” case when the more preferential versions can be found on the 360 and the PlayStation 3.

Con: current technology in a next-generation console.

This is more of an issue of preference. The Wii U has comparable, if not slightly better, graphical and power capabilities compared to the current generation of consoles. However, when Microsoft and Sony are ready to unveil their next-generation consoles, their capabilities will far outpace Nintendo’s offering.

The deluxe retail version of the Wii U will also only come with a measly 32 GB of space, which is pretty pitiful compared to the 250 GB retail versions of its current generation competitors.

Granted, the Wii U does come with a pretty great amount of internal RAM (16 GB) which is great for developers, but still, one can only wonder how the Wii U will stack up against its future competitors.

For those interested, this is a pretty good article explaining the system’s capabilities.

Check out the next page for our pros to buying the Wii U at launch!

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