I am not sure why this system has gotten such bad reviews from the gaming community, and people in general. I think Nintendo actually did a great job with the system, much better than with the game cube (the last system I purchased from Nintendo). I mean it actually does what a system is supposed to do, and a bit more, and unlike its two competitors it doesn't promise the world or a huge leap over its competitors (and not deliver). The Wii U is supposed to surpass the original Wii only, and if you keep that in mind, and don't expect media on the level of its competitors, you'll be fine (don’t compare apples to oranges).
As previously mentioned I own a game cube and was put off by the purchase, so I don't own a Wii and was really apprehensive about buying, and playing a Wii U. After playing Mario U in my local target a few weeks ago, and a few other demos I actually said this is pretty fun, and that's what brought me back to Nintendo after many years of PS3, the fun factor. Believe me, having owned the original Nintendo from the 80's, and having experienced the entire history of video games back to the Atari 2600 days I've played games of every type.
Frankly over this period I've come to the realization that its not the graphical power (which lets face it no matter what the console manufacture tells you the PC or Mac will always out power a console, but consoles are convenient for the general public). Games keep getting more violent, provocative, and downright X- rated in an effort to attract more players, while the true issue is a loss of the most important factor, fun. I don't want to come home after a day at work and be bombarded with violent traumatic fire fights, or disemboweled by a demon. These create stress and if I manage to play through once, I sure don't want to experience it a second time (no matter how big the world, or nice the graphics). This is why App developers are out selling console games. They understand the adult gamer (the folks with the cash) need games that you can hit, and quit when real life is calling (no pun intended).
Should you buy this system: The answer is yes!
Explanation: if you are in the market for a new system, looking for fun, enjoyable games and you might have children this is the system to buy. It’s family friendly, not just family friendly, gamer friendly. I really enjoy the experience when playing games on this system. I'm aware that the new PS4, and X1 are out soon, but I purchased this system because it made me smile. Not to mention I was an early adopter for countless systems of the past, and I wasted a ton of money on an unfinished concepts. If you're simply looking for something that’s the newest thing on the market, wait for the other systems. If you’re looking for quality entertainment the Wii U is it. If you want call of duty, or other FPS's the Wii U will have those also, every major system does (even iPhone and the like will have some version). FPS have never been a draw for me, I like adventure, racing, role playing, and arcade style games. Not to mention Wii U has a huge back library of games from Wii, all the way back to the original Nintendo (available on Nintendo e-shop). It really is a smart choice. Not to mention I tend to use the Wii U remote to play all my games instead of the traditional controller and TV set up. Although you cant really go that far with it (it won’t work in the next room) it’s nice to be able to sit and play my console games on the hand held screen. I can even hang in the same room while my wife watches the TV. It’s just lots of fun!
The Good: Game Pad, Family Experience, Light Hearted Games, Design, Backwards compatibility
The Bad: Price is a little high (but I heard it just dropped), very shinny (collects finger prints)
Closing thought: I had completely written Nintendo off, but this is a great system that lets me play current games, Nintendo exclusives, and classics all on one system, that to me is a great value. Buy it! Just do it!