Nintendo of America president and COO Reggie Fils-Aimes hit the stage this past Thursday morning in New York City to announce that the Nintendo Wii U will hit U.S. retailers Nov. 18 with two price tags of $299 (basic model) or $349 (Deluxe edition which include NintendoLand gaming experience and more). Now that the cat is out of the bag, or should I say the Italian plumber is out of the pipe, is the Wii U for you?
For the price alone, either model seems to be at the right price for the time being. No other video game console on the market can offer consumers this much entertainment all in one package. Looking back on the days when families use to fight over the remote for their televisions, we now live in a day where many are now reaching for much more than that around the living room. Tablets, smartphones, portable gaming devices and video game consoles have become part of American households. Nintendo has basically taken all those things and married them together into the Wii U via a built-in IR blaster from the gamepad. And now with their announcement of Nintendo TVii, everything and everyone is connected. The second screen provided by the Wii U gamepad will also keep gamers in the room instead of wandering off if others wanted to watch cable television on their flat screens, allowing for families to be together more often during an age where devices are quite the distraction.
As a GoogleTV owner, I've enjoyed heavily used apps such as YouTube, Netflix and Google Chrome all accessible under one remote. However, that remote can be a little overwhelming for some. There are a ton of keys, two click wheels and even left and right triggers that have intimidated my father so much that he continues to opt for the basic cable remote he has been use to.
I've tried to show him how to access the latest sports scores on the smart TV but still I could see my demonstrations go in one ear and out the other. Wii U and Nintendo TVii have simplified this process by removing the button layout and making everything touch-based on the gamepad. The colorful display guide on the second screen makes for much easier navigation and less headache than any universal remote. And I absolutely love the built-in remote dial. It's design literally puts a 'spin' on tuning into specific channels and your customized programming.
But if you're looking for a way to put the "family" back into "family time", Wii U is the best one-stop entertainment shop for you. Nintendo knows just how tough it's competition is to provide the public with cutting-edge games. Fils-Aimes did say in an interview with Kotaku, "If you look at this current generation and you look at the top five [best-]selling games, four of those five are Nintendo-published first-party games playing only on the Wii." But still, there are so many options and genres of gaming there is no black and white answer as to which platform to choose from. All of those devices and consoles have and will continue to provide hours, days--even years of entertainment. Nintendo's answer isn't competition, it is an answer. An answer to the question of how can I pack all of today's entertainment into one place for myself and my family so that they too can access it just as easily as I can.
That answer is the Nintendo Wii U.