Wright-Leaning: Is the Wii U worth $299?

OPINION – I’ve had many interests over the years. I’m the mechanical engineer that chose to fill his college electives with various economics classes. As a kid, I was a nerd with a microscope who also loved to play basketball, go rappelling, and do some early morning fishing. A little over a year ago I stumbled into a side job of sports writing which periodically got me invited to join the evening sports talk radio show. As a part-time sports writer, I couldn’t keep myself from taking on the occasional article on politics.

I’ve now been asked by St George News to jump into the action every other Tuesday, starting Christmas Day, by chiming in with my point of view on a wide variety of topics. In this, my introductuory column, with Christmas on the horizon and everyone running around trying to find presents for their loved ones, I thought I’d try to help out by discussing a potential gift that many kids desire: Wii U.

One of my many interests has been video games. At a young age I picked up an interest in video games. However, my family was never in a position to buy the best or newest option available and I always had to wait for significant price cuts before I had any hope of getting these grand toys.

Just over a month ago, Nintendo released Wii U, the newest video game console on the market. For the first time in my life, I was in a position where I could jump in and be one of the first owners of this new toy.

It certainly wasn’t out of necessity that I waited in line for the midnight release. I’m a grown man, my kids are too young to really know the difference – plus I already own a Playstation 3 and the original Wii. However, I waited there all the same, anxious to receive and try out this brand new piece of modern technology.

Having now owned the Wii U for just over a month, I thought I’d share my thoughts on the system with anyone considering placing one under their Christmas tree.

Nintendo’s newest console is not for everybody! However, it’s a great fit for me and my family. Here’s why:

Asymmetric gaming

This is my favorite feature of the Wii U. In many of the multiplayer games there is more than one role to play. This is facilitated by their new touchscreen controller called the GamePad. The GamePad is a controller with all the expected buttons, two analog control sticks and a 6.2 inch touchscreen in the center. In some of the games the player with the GamePad has the most challenging role, while in other games the player with the GamePad has the easiest role. There are other times when the player with the Gamepad plays against everyone else in the group. This asymmetric gaming allows families to set up the play so that every member of the family can jump in and play regardless of their skill level.

Great multiplayer games

There is already a good selection of multiplayer games; in fact, if you’re willing to spend a little more money, the Wii U Deluxe Edition comes with the best multiplayer game of the bunch: Nintendo Land.  All six of the games I purchased are fun to play with other people, and you can rest assured that there will be plenty of fun multiplayer games that will come out in the future.

We loved our Wii

The Wii U is the perfect next step for families that own and have enjoyed the Wii. This is partially because the system, although much better than the Wii, is similar to the Wii. Also, the Wii U uses the Wii controllers you can just use the four controllers you already have for your Wii to play the Wii U with up to five players. The Wii U is also backwards compatible with the Wii games so even if you sell your old Wii you can still pull out your favorite Wii games to enjoy.

Off-TV Play

Many of the Wii U games allow you to play using just the Gamepad screen. This allows you to have one person watch their favorite show or movie on TV, while another person plays video games using just the Gamepad.

My family and I have thoroughly enjoyed our Wii U and I’ll be happy to answer any of your questions about it, just leave them in the comments section below or email me.


Leo Wright is an opinion columnist. The opinions stated in this article are his own and not representative of St. George News.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2012, all rights reserved.


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  • Annonymous December 21, 2012 at 11:08 am

    My kid loves video games and I think I want a Wii U but I don’t want all the violent games in my house. Are there enough family frendly games to keep my kids occupied or will they be begging for the next shoot ’em up?

    • Leo Wright December 21, 2012 at 12:40 pm

      Yes there are a lot of family friendly games and there are a lot more that will be released in the coming months.

  • Leo Wright December 21, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    I own 6 family friendly games. My favorites are Nintendo Land, NBA 2K13, and Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed. My wife seems to enjoy New Super Mario Bros. U the most. And my daughter also likes Scribblenauts Unlimited.

  • hector December 21, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    the wii u is a great console with one of the best gaming communities out there. at least we dont have cod junkies yet. if its graphics you want, buy a gaming pc. consoles arent meant to have excellent graphics anymore.

  • Annonymous December 28, 2012 at 9:04 pm

    Thanks for the info very helpful. We bought one the kids love it and they play together. The ipod touch tablet and computer isolate us but the wii u has been bringing us together!

  • Jordan January 19, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    I play most of my games by myself at my house. Would it be a good investment for me to buy the Wii-U or would it be better with people to play with?

    • Leo Wright January 19, 2013 at 10:46 pm

      That’s a great question. You’re correct in that the Wii U really shines for groups of two to five. In your case, if you’re a big fan of the Nintendo exclusives such as Mario, Zelda, Donkey Kong, Pikmin, or Metroid you will probably want a Wii U. If not, then I can’t recommend a Wii U when both Sony and Microsoft tend to focus their consoles on single player and online games and they are expected to release new consoles before the end of the year.

    • MujuraNoKamen February 1, 2013 at 4:22 am

      Wii U is probably best with friends so you can enjoy the unique asymmetric gaming and playing with friends is just more fun anyway 🙂
      But there’s a lot of stuff to enjoy on your own. I have to disagree with Leo’s comment about waiting to see what the next XBox and play-station are like as they will probably be too expensive, and aside from a little step forward in terms of console power they wont be much different to any other console. Wii U has many of the big franchises previously kept to Microsoft and Sony systems like Call of Duty and Assassins Creed, mass Effect and FIFA. So if any of those games take your fancy you might as well get a Wii U to have the great asymmetric gaming with your friends and play games a little more serious. Also Nintendo has the best line-up of exclusive titles of anyone ever, I was skeptical of some of their games before I tried them but after I did, Zelda, Metroid and others straight away became some of my favourite games ever! So with Wii U you can have a very rich game library. Also Wii U can play all Wii games which makes it good value for money, it’s like 2 systems in one 🙂
      – May I recommend picking up some old Wii games on the cheap such as Smash Bros Brawl, Metroid Prime Trilogy, Zelda: Skyward Sword, Zelda: Twilight Princess. If you prefer games more casual and family-oriented, Mario Kart and Wii sports could be worth your time. there’s countless list on the internet advising you on what new & old games to pick up for Wii U so go and have a look.
      and if you do get a Wii U look up Lego City: Undercover, it’s hilarious.

    • Lazara the Last March 8, 2013 at 12:19 am

      Well, there are “Hardcore” games on the Wii U too! While you can get games like COD on other consoles, Monster Hunter and ZombiU are great exclusives that are worth buying a console.

  • Hyven March 13, 2013 at 1:11 am

    I haven’t bought mine one yet but will do! Just waiting for the right time to get’em. Games are meant to cool you, not tension you. You’ll find a lot of’em in PS and Xbox. Simple games is the way to go!

  • Fred June 8, 2013 at 9:21 am

    Are you going to do a followup for this article next week after all the E3 announcements?
    Please do!!!

  • Joe December 18, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    I loved this article. I bought a Wii U after reading this. My family loves our Wii U, but now I’m wondering which games we should buy for Christmas this year. Which of the many games are the best for a family of 5?

  • Joe July 11, 2014 at 11:51 am

    I just googled “Is Wii U worth $299 and this was the top hit. Man this article is old. Not really relevant anymore. You guys should update this. Bring up Mario Kart 8, Zelda Wind Waker, Pikmin 3, Donkey Kong Country, Smash Bros, Mario 3D World, Wii Party U and Wonderful 101. Nevermind the upcoming Zelda, Splatoon, Xenoblade X, Yoshi’s Wolly World, Kirby, Captain Toad and Mario Maker.

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