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What to Look for When Shopping for a Wii U

Released by Nintendo in 2012, the Wii U was the first video game console to support up to 1080p HD graphics. It's more than just a game system, and it offers compatibility with other favorite entertainment apps, such as Netflix, Hulu and YouTube, while supporting video chat and Internet browsing. The feature-packed Wii U has a lot to offer, and taking a closer look at the console can help you determine if it's the right console for your gaming needs.

What Comes with the Wii U?

The two main components in the Wii U package are the Wii U GamePad and the console. Accessories and features vary depending on the model or bundle you select. Take a closer look at the Wii U components:

Wii U GamePad Controller: The Wii U controller connects wirelessly to your console and TV. It has a 6.2-inch touchscreen that you can use to control the game on the TV or play directly on the controller. It also features motion controls, buttons and dual analog sticks for versatility during gameplay.

Other features of the Wii U GamePad include:

  • Camera
  • Microphone
  • Stereo speakers
  • Stylus

Wii U Hardware: The basic Wii U model has 8GB of flash storage compared to the deluxe version with 32GB of flash storage. The optical drive on the console reads both Wii and Wii U discs, but you can also download games, store them on the hard drive and play without a disc.

Stands and Cradles: Both the basic and deluxe models include necessary cables for connecting to the home theater system and charging the GamePad. The deluxe model includes a charging cradle for the GamePad and a stand to support your console vertically.

Bundles: Bundles give you more for your money and ensure that you have everything you need to get started enjoying your gaming. These specially packaged Wii U consoles include games and accessories that you would otherwise need to purchase separately. Some special edition accessories, such as hats, action figures and bonus content for games, are only available in bundled packages.

Shop Top Games for the Wii U Console

When you're shopping for a Wii U, it's important to purchase games to go along with it to get the most out of the console. While bundles include one or two games, you need to purchase typical games separately, either as a disc or downloaded from the Nintendo store. Some of the most popular games to consider for the Wii U are:

  • Mario Kart 8
  • Splatoon
  • Super Smash Bros. for Wii U
  • Super Mario 3D World
  • Rayman Legends
  • The Legend of Zelda: The Twilight Princess HD
  • Minecraft: Wii U Edition
  • Pokken Tournament
  • Star Fox Guard

How Does Wii U Stack Up Against Other Consoles?

Other video game consoles included in the same generation as the Wii U are the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. All consoles have their merits and fit different gaming needs, and the Wii U is one console that leisure players and serious gamers alike should consider thanks to its unique interactive controller and wide range of games that suit every age group.

Storage Capacity: Both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One come standard with 500GB of internal storage space. The Wii U might seem like it pales in comparison with 8GB of storage space on the basic model and 32GB of storage space on the deluxe model. However, the internal storage space is ample for downloading and storing multiple titles as well as saving game content. Additionally, if you need additional storage space, you can expand by using an external USB drive, such as a hard-disk drive.

Versatility: The Wii U's GamePad sets it apart from the other consoles. The full-color touchscreen allows you to play games directly on the controller, so you can move around your house and still enjoy your title right from where you left off.

Backwards Compatibility: One area where the Wii U really shines is in its backwards compatibility. If you upgrade from the original Wii console, you can still play your favorite titles. Additionally, digital downloads of classic Nintendo games are also available. PlayStation 4 isn't backwards compatible with older PlayStation discs, though some titles have been adapted. Likewise, only select Xbox 360 titles are compatible with Xbox One.

Getting Started with the Wii U

The Wii U has a ton of features to explore. Here are a few tips to get you started so you can get the most out of your new console:

  • Connect to Wi-Fi to download and install the latest firmware updates before playing games. Chances are that new updates have been released since the console was packaged and sent to the store.
  • Download the Wii Transfer app from the Nintendo store and use an SD card to transfer games, saved progress and other content from your original Wii to your new Wii U console.
  • The Wii U GamePad has a short battery life of up to five or six hours, so get in the habit of keeping it charged.
  • Keep your old Wii remotes and nunchucks because they're compatible with your new system.

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