Nintendo’s new home console, the Wii U has been available for a week now and according to a Nintendo of America announcement, the company has sold 400,000 units of the new system. In Los Angeles, inquiries at the retail gaming regulars of GameStop, Best Buy and Wal-Mart revealed that all local outlets and online suppliers were sold out of the new console. The 400,000 units is slightly less than what the original Wii sold in its first week of availability but is still a respectable number which should place the Wii U in the top spot for the month of November.
Nintendo had a press event about a month ago in Hollywood to allow a few individuals, this writer included to get some quality time with their new machine. While focused mainly on the first party New Super Mario Bros. U and Nintendo Land, I got a good amount of time with Call of Duty: Black Ops II and watched a presentation on the upcoming TVii feature which should roll out next month. The games and the hardware were impressive though the information offered on TVii raised plenty of questions.
The Wii U is available in two colors and configurations; a basic white unit that includes 8GB of internal memory and the black deluxe model with 32GB of memory and the Nintendo Land game included. There are other differences but those are the most significant. Nintendo Land offers a menu of sorts for developers with the variety of ways the GamePad can be used. Keep in mind, that many of the mini-games included are multiplayer and require additional hardware in the form of Wii-motes and nunchuks.
While it’s unlikely that Nintendo’s Wii U will achieve the crossover success of its predecessor, it is a more than respectable offering. Nintendo seems to have beat Microsoft to the punch offering second screen gaming but just because they’re first doesn’t mean they’ll win. Hopefully, second screen gaming will become the norm. After spending a week with Nintendo’s Wii U and a few of the games, there is a large disparity in how the new tablet-like, GamePad is used. Some games put it to use much better than others. Ubisoft’s ZombiU and Activision’s Call of Duty: Black Ops II put the GamePad to good use, while Disney’s Epic Mickey 2 barely uses it.
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