The Wii U On The U And More

I’m sorry Mr. Totilo, really I am, but I’m fairly certain that if I owned a Wii U that I could play it from the U of my toilet seat. I know this thanks to your great write-up about your own usage at home. Nintendo gave you a fairly conservative estimate that seems like it won’t be contestable based upon your use.

That’s frigging awesome. The Wii U controller uses bluetooth with a claimed range of 26.25 feet, while the bluetooth standard claims up to 32 feet. This is different from your standard rating for bluetooth headsets, controllers and other devices. While those pieces of tech can often operate fine outside of the 32 foot range in some cases, they aren’t streaming live video with a low enough amount of latency to allow for live video game streaming and playing.

Stephen posted up part of the floor plans to his pad, it looks like he experienced lag-free gameplay at 23.33 feet away from his system without many major barriers in his first test. He still had a great experience about 12 feet away with a fairly thick wall in the way of the transmitted signal. It seems like emi is not much of an issue since I’m guessing that someone of Totilo’s stature would be bound to have a decent speaker set. Combine that with his wireless router, the multiple screens and the electrical current going through the wiring in the wall and you’ve got yourself proof of some excellent Nintendo engineering. The signal does fade near his toilet but it has to contend with more walls and sources of interference than the other tests had to deal with. Overall, I’m impressed.

I’ve read impressions of the Wii U experience that’s on display at Bestbuy that helped to get rid of initial fears about the controller ergonomics not working out but Stephen has proven that the home usage of the controller may not be as bad as I initially thought. Still, I just can’t shake the feeling of the screen above, that the system will just be a mutilated DS on steroids. That sounds positively wonderful and awful at the same.

I’m still not sold on the system since there isn’t any game or games that are worth their MSRP plus the price of a retail Wii U. A few of the announced games are very appealing but what would normally be a $60 entrance fee has become a $410 shakedown. If you can’t find a single game worth that value to you then you’ll need to keep adding titles at $60 a pop until you either get a package that’s valuable to you or you decide to give in and decide with your wallet that one or two games are worth $410-$470 – plus tax. Did I forget to mention that you can’t play Wiiware, Wii or Virtual Console games on the Wii U controllers screen? It’s very disappointing that a significant chunk of the playable library can’t benefit from the main attraction of the system. You’d think that you could play Super Mario Bros. 3 if the latest Super Mario Bros. game can be played on the GamePad.

Not only that but the new controller is arguably a partial step back since it will only last for 3-5 hours of play. Seeing as how Nintendo is aiming for this controller to be the greatest universal remote control ever released, that’s kind of a shoddy battery life. I may not be able to watch movies or play games on my $5, generic remote control but at least I’ll be able to change the channel without worrying about battery life for over a year. What’s going to happen when a really great Zelda or Sonic game releases? Imagine laying down on your bed or in a weird position on your couch to have your experience be interrupted by the need to charge. You’ll have to get up and get plugged in for any juice and depending upon your setup, you may need to change the channel by hand if you can’t find the original remote. Is this lazy? Yes, frick yes. Is this a likely use-case scenario? You better dang well believe it. I hope that Nintendo proves me wrong but they’re not likely to do so.


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