Thanks to a GameStop clearance sale, I bought a Wii U, 32gb version.
Technically, it’s used, but, and I didn’t expect that, GameStop did a good job of refurbishing it. The GamePad was absolutely perfect, without a single scratch, and a transparent skin was applied to the console itself, probably to hide any scratches. In the end it was as if it had been new, except for the manual, replaced with 2 photocopied sheets.
One thing immediately caught my eye… or rather, my ear: surround sound. Thanks to the many speakers on the gamepad, that are combined with the already existing audio, the sound effects of the menu are exceptional! Yes, not many games use three-dimensional sound, but the background music in the menu is exceptionally engaging!
Although aesthetically it looks like a “Wii HD”, it’s actually very different. Here, Nintendo’s marketing has been a match: I’ve always snubbed it “because 350 euros for playing the Wii in HD is too much”. In fact there are many innovations, although not very well implemented. (For example, the pad is switched on to consume battery power even when you don’t need it, like when you watch a movie on Netflix… what’s the point?)
In particular, Nintendo has decided to close all the bugs in the Wii by removing all possible entry routes for hackers.
Compared to the old model:
- the possibility of making a backup copy of game saves on an SD card has been removed. If the console breaks down, all your saves are lost forever. This is to prevent the console from being hacked with a corrupt save. But at what price…
- The photo channel and audio player has been removed. The old Wii photo channel was made very well, ideal for a “slide show event”, with background music. But, perhaps, hackers could have found some exploits in libJPEG and then “better take it all out, for security”.
- The possibility to transfer Mii from and to Wiimote has been removed. Even here, maybe they were afraid of some exploits, but I transferred my Mii between two Wii and also in Dolphin thanks to this feature and now there is an easy way to bring them on the new console …
- Almost all channels with content from the internet, such as “Rate my Mii”, weather, news, horoscope, polls, have been removed. Maybe everything was grouped together inside Miiverse, which I could never try because it was closed years ago.
- the Bluray player remains “wasted”, to save 3 euros of patents MPEG and h264, you can not play DVD movies or Bluray “because everyone has a DVD player at home”. I don’t know about you, but I never had a DVD/Bluray player at home. If they put a player on the eShop for 20 euros it could have been interesting.
…and in the end everything was useless thanks to the presence of exploits in the browser (and that’s why there is no browser on the Switch) or in the DS emulator of the Virtual Console (also absent on the Switch)