The Nintendo Wii U has a lot of really good things going for it: improved graphics, a cool tablet like controller, and the promise of playing Nintendo’s high quality games in HD. But in the interests of full honesty, where did Nintendo drop the ball on their new system?
5. No universal voice chat
While Nintendo has a video chat app as part of the system (and it works fairly well), the chatting must stop if you play a game, unlike the Xbox 360′ chat system, which keeps going even when you play games. This makes the system a bit less convenient for chatting, meaning it is much more likely that you’ll be lugging your laptop to your TV to use skype if you want to talk with friends while playing.
4. No trophy system
It was long hoped by gamers that Nintendo would adopt a universal trophy system just like the 360 and PS3 have. However, Nintendo decided to take a different approach with “Miiverse.” Miiverse is pretty cool: you can post screenshots from games, for example, without exiting the game itself, and some games apparently do have “badges,” but this isn’t quite the same as earning trophies (or “achievements” on the Xbox 360) For some gamers, this feature has become very important, and Nintendo frankly should have catered to them.
3. Allegedly slow CPU
Here is a very tough one to write about. Nintendo hasn’t published the Wii U specs, and “tear downs” from technical minded Wii U owners (and apparently ones with pockets deep enough to risk breaking their new systems) are not going to be conclusive either. But it does seem fair to say that the CPU clock speed of the Wii U’s triple core CPU is a little on the pokey side, from all the reports I’ve seen. Of course, this is probably made up for in GPU (graphics processing unit) chips, RAM, and in various optimizations that aren’t possible on the older hardware currently on the market. But at least for marketing alone, one would think Nintendo would have chosen a faster processor.
2. No obvious notifications when you send someone a message
As far as I can tell, when somebody sends me a message on my Wii U friend’s list, I do not receive an in-game notification that I’ve gotten a message. This means I could accidentally let a message sit for a long time, which isn’t ideal. For some things, like a voice chat call, the blue “home” button will flash on the controller, but something that is actually on the screen would be much better.
1. USB Hard Drives require power source
One of the coolest things about the Wii U is its support for USB hard drives. This means you can expand the system’s memory to 2 terabytes if you want to, which is for all intents and purposes unlimited storage. However, there is one catch: the Wii U doesn’t provide enough power for most of these drives via a single USB port. So you either have to use one that has its own AC adapter, or use one that has a “doubled” USB plug, that allows you to plug into two USB ports to draw more power. This is odd, since the old Nintendo Wii from 2006 can actually power a USB hard drive just fine (if you soft mod the system to accept USB hard drives, of course)