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By 19 November 2012 | Categories: news

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While the Nintendo Wii U’s local release is less than two weeks away, the console has already debuted Stateside to generally favourable reviews.  

Kotaku has pegged the machine as being better than any of Nintendo’s previous efforts, including the Wii and GameCube, and even offering better value on its launch day than the Xbox 360 and PS3 did.

The site has also lauded the new console for no longer suffering the same deficiencies as its predecessor, such as the Wii’s inability to send high definition graphics to one’s TV. Not surprisingly, the gaming site further had some positive comments for the console’s most distinguishing feature, the GamePad, elaborating that console gaming is no longer dependent on whether one has the TV on.

While the site pointed out that the console has launched with a “strong, but not spectacular” range of titles, it has given the new console the benefit of the doubt, and room to grow, pointing out that consoles generally evolve over time with firmware updates, and offering further features (not to mention a better range of titles) the longer they are in the market.

Mixed views  

Both the Verge and Joystiq’s reception of the new console have been less positive, but not overly negative either, as each appear to be of the opinion that the Wii U’s viability and long term success still seems nebulous and hard to determine at this point.

The Verge did, however, advise players to opt for the Deluxe version (which has 32 GB of storage versus the Basic’s 8 GB of space). For its part, Joystiq concurred with Kotaku that a measure of the Wii U’s appeal may lie in the ability to actually play full console quality games on the handheld, tablet-like controller, without commandeering the TV screen. Also lauded was the complete lack of latency between the TV and the controller.    

For its part, Engadget similarly offered a mixed reception to Nintendo’s latest, concluding that with the Wii U, Nintendo has delivered a modern HD gaming console as promised. However, it also noted that certain functionality, such as backward compatibility, the Nintendo Network and Miiverse, was not included out of the box.

To the point

Happily, for South African users this may be far less of an issue, as Nintendo is currently launching a patch to implement at least most of the above. Thus, by the time of the end of the month rolls around, local users may get the full offering. However, despite some of the concerns raised, in general the Wii U appears to be a warmly received, which bodes well for Nintendo’s latest.

Besides from launching close to the holiday season, the first batch of reviewsof Nintendo’s latest console were simultaneously accompanied by news that $2.87 billion has been spent on video game content overall in the third quarter of this year Stateside.

According to research company the NPD Group, this indicates a “positive story” for the gaming industry.   

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