There’s a theory about Nintendo that goes something like this: Nintendo has the best IP in video gaming, the characters with the highest Q score.Mario, Wario, Zelda, Kirby, Metroid, Donkey Kong, Pokémon, you name it.Flip it around and you’ll spot its new HDMI port (better late than never).Plug in the Wii-style sensor bar, dust off your old Wii Remote or Balance Board and you’ll find everything syncs and works just as it did before.Or play in Coin Rush Mode (two to four players race to snatch up the most coins) and you can use the Game Pad’s touchscreen to tweak levels, planting coins in tricky spots. Say you want to play a little , you just tell the game to pipe everything to the controller.The distance the base station can stream to the Game Pad is limited — about 24 feet — but stay in range and you’ve essentially got the best looking, best controlling handheld on the market (including Sony’s Play Station Vita).Slide a copy of sidescroller in stunning high-definition for the very first time.But the showpiece this time is the Wii U’s tablet-like Game Pad (capital G, capital P), sporting a vivid 854-by-480-pixel, 6.2-inch touchscreen sandwiched between a d-pad, face buttons and left/right thumb-sticks.
But the Deluxe model also includes 32 GB of internal storage (the Basic only has 8 GB, and roughly 4 GB of that is earmarked for system data), a Wii U Game Pad charging cradle, a Wii U Game Pad stand and a Wii U console stand. (We’ll follow up with a review of the services once they’re live.) The Wii caught everyone by surprise six years ago. Even now, with nearly 100 million systems sold worldwide — tens of millions more than either Microsoft or Sony — you’ll still find people dismissing the Wii as an underpowered, overhyped game system everyone bought but no one plays.
For all the talk about missed opportunities — that Nintendo ought to take Mario and Co.
multiplatform — you could argue Nintendo wouldn’t be Nintendo without its focus on how we play, as much as what we play.
Add up all the Mario-themed games alone and you’ve got the bestselling video game franchise of all time.
But that’s just part of the equation — call it the “apps” half, the one where leaping over barrels, butt-stomping bad guys and lighting torches to open doors is lingua franca in gaming-dom.