Sony’s PlayStation 4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One might get more attention, but Nintendo’s little console that could, the Wii U, might end up winning this generation’s console wars.
Sure, the Wii U doesn’t have a typical control setup like the Xbox One or PS4, its innards are not as powerful, and it doesn’t accommodate as many third-party games. But the basic Wii U is $100 cheaper than its Xbox and PlayStation counterparts, and it’s got a growing library of must-play titles that are fun to play solo or with a group of friends.
It’s backward compatible with Wii games
The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One are versatile systems, but neither console can play previous-generation titles. Nintendo, on the other hand, offers a full catalogue of Wii U and Wii games, as well as access to even more classic titles available over its online platform, called the Virtual Console.
If you missed out on the Wii the first time around, you'll be able to play all the best titles from the Wii's six-year life, including the "Super Mario Galaxy" series, two new "Legend of Zelda" games, the stunningly beautiful "Okami," the bestselling horror game "Resident Evil 4," and the "Metroid Prime" trilogy. These games are absolutely worth your time.
The Wii U’s primary controller, called the GamePad, is not your traditional controller. It comes with an embedded touchscreen that lets you to play select titles when you can’t play them on the TV. (Not all games require the GamePad’s second-screen functionality, but some portions of games can only be played on the GamePad screen, and not the TV.)
The GamePad features a 6.2-inch screen, which can be controlled with one’s fingers or a stylus, but it also comes with a front-facing camera for video chat and motion control support. Can you take selfies on your Xbox controller? I didn’t think so.
The Homebrew Channel
You might not know it, but the Wii U might be the most hackable game console out there right now. If you have an internet connection and a free SD card, you can activate classic game emulators, cheat engines, DVD players, and even Wii-specific Linux distributions. And if you’ve stored any old games on a USB stick, The Homebrew Channel can help you play those games, too.