THE BLOG
12/05/2012 08:37 am ET Updated Feb 04, 2013

The Wii U: Is It Right for U?

Wondering what to put on that Christmas list for this year? If so, Nintendo recently launched the Wii U in North America on November 18.

With significant hardware upgrades and a stylish exterior, the Wii U may end up under many a Christmas tree this holiday season. Some of the major upgrades from the original Wii console include an IBM Power-based multi-core processor, 8GB of internal flash memory, and a high-def graphics processing unit (finally).

As a devout Nintendo fan, I know I'm not alone in saying that the Wii U is certainly a major leap made by Nintendo after the lackluster improvement of the original Wii in 2011.

Along with the Wii U comes the sleek Wii U GamePad, which, if I'm not mistaken, resembles a bloated Nintendo DSi XL. With a 6.2 inch 16:9 LCD screen, the Wii U GamePad adds a layer of excitement to the overall Wii U experience. It's embellished with a front-facing camera, stereo speakers, a rechargeable lithium battery, a microphone, a sensor bar, and not to mention, the trademark Nintendo stylus. For those of you who have used a Nintendo DS in the past, the Wii U GamePad transition should be a breeze.

Each Wii U set comes with one Wii U GamePad, but luckily Nintendo has given the Wii U console the ability to host up to five players at once, allowing an individual player to use either a Wii Remote or a Wii U GamePad. This spin on multiplayer game play makes the Wii U an even better choice for families this season.

Along with the Wii U comes the introduction of a variety of new games designed specifically for the utilization of the console's new features and upgrades. Unlike the original Wii, the Wii U does not come standard with any new software, unless of course you're willing to spend an extra $50 to purchase the Wii U Deluxe, which is black and comes with Nintendo Land, a Wii U exclusive game. Thanks to the Wii U's high-definition graphics unit, new games like Super Mario Bros. U, NINJA GAIDEN 3: Razor's Edge, Pikmin 3, NBA 2K13 and Just Dance 4 look much more realistic and beguiling than their predecessors on the Wii.

Now even though the Wii U is ultimately a step forward for Nintendo in terms of competing with its rivals, the Xbox 360 and PS3, it does have a few faults.

The Wii U is quite pricey, with a listed price of $299.99 for the regular model and $349.99 for the deluxe model, which boasts 32 GB of internal memory. And although the Wii U Deluxe model comes packaged with one game, Nintendo Land, you will have to spend an additional $59.99 for more games. It appears to be a better deal to buy the deluxe model, unless, of course, you don't mind playing an old Wii game on the new Wii U console. However, be warned -- the Wii U GamePad is only compatible with Wii U games.

Overall, if you don't mind the hefty price tag, then the Wii U is certainly something to consider this holiday. For those of you in Canada, I recently discovered that the Wii Mini (remember the Game Boy Micro, anyone?) will be on store shelves for $99. Unfortunately, the console does not come with WiFi connectivity, so if you don't mind playing with the inability to download apps and mini-games from the Nintendo online store, then the Wii Mini is a cost-effective option.

Considering I'm not the one who will have to drop a few Benjamins for Nintendo's new creation, I'm very excited to get the Wii U for Christmas this year.

What do you think? Do you plan on purchasing the Wii U this season? Let me know! Comment below!