"Doesn't yet live up to its potential, but still fun."3.0 starson by bdowell913
Pros: Touch screen on game pad is easy and intuitive. Super Mario Bros for Wii u in HD is beautiful. Nintendo Land disc is full of fun, easy to figure out party games. Full backwards compatibility with Wii games and hardware.
Cons: Extremely slow load times for everything on the menu. Lots of downtime needed to update and maintain the console's OS. Streaming video services are particularly underwhelming
Summary: My first day with the WiiU console I spent several hours downloading a system update that repeatedly timed out. After I downloaded the system update, I spent several more hours transferring my save data and downloaded games from my Wii to my Wii U. Then, when I tried to watch Netflix and Amazon Streaming, I was prompted to do MORE system update downloads. After completing all the downloads and updates, Netflix is essentially unuseable on the Wii U. When I tap the Netflix icon, it takes 40 seconds for the system to respond. In fact, it takes this long each time I do anything with the streaming services! To compare that, my little Roku takes 3 seconds to respond when I hit the Netflix button. Why on earth would I ever make the Wii U my main or only home entertainment device when it is that slow? If a cable box or TV took 40 seconds to change channels, I would consider it to be malfunctioning. Why does Nintendo believe its okay to have such poor performance on something as integral to the Wii U as the streaming services seem to be?
In general, the layout, design and performance of the console feels very half-baked, like it was rushed out the door with major, obvious design flaws. The menu on the gamepad looks like a windows desktop with way too many vague icons. You get the main icons in the middle, then you get a whole row of smaller, unlabeled icons along the bottom of the gamepad screen. The only way to know what a particular icon does is to poke it, but then you have at least a minute or more of load time before you get any response at all. I bought the Wii U to PLAY GAMES, not to be distracted by all the futzing around with the software and console. The games are fun, but Super Mario Bros is basically a continuation of SMB for Wii, with a little bit of extra functionality included due to having the gamepad. So the person with the gamepad can draw temporary jump platforms, but if you are playing with only two people, there really isn't a graceful way to bounce back and forth from the gamepad to the wii remote, so that feature isn't all that impressive.