How To Prepare For The Wii U Launch

November 16, 2012

Purchasing a new video game console is a bit of a ritual for some gamers. Whether it's the process of clearing old games off of the shelf to make room for new ones, or simply figuring out where you're going to plug the new system in, there's always a bit of preparation and thought that goes into purchasing a new gaming console. If you're getting ready to bring a Wii U home, check out our guide to make sure everything is ready to go so that you can get to gaming as quickly as possible.

The Console
First and foremost, make sure you've got a console locked down. They've been in short supply on preorder for months now, and if you don't have one lined up already, you're going to want to get in line, or hit up the old eBay. You should know the system comes in two flavors, Standard and Deluxe, with the former housing 8 GB of onboard memory and living inside of a lovely white case, whereas the later has 32 GB, is black, and comes with Nintendo Land packed in amongst some other assorted goodies. The Standard Edition is going to run you $299 with the Deluxe setting you back $349, so making sure you have the money is a pretty crucial step as well.

The Games
With over 20 games hitting the streets alongside the Wii U, which ones are the best for you? You're not going to go wrong with New Super Mario Bros. U, and maybe even Nintendo Land, if you want to see what Nintendo has up its sleeve for the Wii U. After that it really comes down to what kind of a gamer you are. Do you want to take out some terrorists in Call of Duty: Black Ops II? Maybe play as the world's greatest detective in an enhanced version of Batman: Arkham City? Perhaps you'll let your creative side come out in Scribblenauts Unlimited. Maybe you like zombies, and you want to see how long you can survive an undead infested London in ZombiU. Whatever way you look at it, the launch lineup has a little something for everyone, and it's really up to you (and you're wallet) to decide which games are the best for you.

The Power Outlets
If you want to play your shiny new console, you're going to need some power. Plugging in the console is to be expected, but the GamePad also charges by directly plugging into the wall. With only three to five hours of battery life, you're likely going to be plugging that thing in pretty often, possibly even in the middle of long play sessions. If you scored the Deluxe Edition, you'll get a helpful little cradle to rest your controller in as it charges … everyone else needs to clear a straight line to that outlet in the wall.

The Pro Controller
The Wii U's GamePad is clearly the most intriguing selling point of the system, but what if you just don’t feel like playing a game holding a big bulky controller? Then the Wii U Pro Controller is your answer. While it's not compatible with every game, the Pro Controller offers a more traditional gaming experience that's on par with the Wii U's biggest competitors, the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3. As a bonus, if you like playing with the Pro Controller you can get a solid 80 hours of gameplay out of it with a full charge… so that's basically the opposite of the GamePad.

That Old Wii
Is your Wii just sitting around collecting dust at this point? Fear not, there's still a use for it with the Wii U. If you downloaded any WiiWare or Virtual Console games, you can transfer them over to you brand new Wii U and after that you can finally pack up the little white box for posterity. Oh, just don’t put away those controllers (and their sensor bar) you're going to need those for the Wii U as well.

The Friends (Optional)
You're going to want to have some people to play the Wii U with, and you're going to want them to be in the same room with you. The thing about the Wii U is that a lot of its games are best enjoyed with other people, making use of the multiple screen gameplay. Sure, there are some good single player games that make use of the unique hardware, but if you really want to see what this bad boy can do, fire up a five-player game of New Super Mario Bros. U or head to Hyrule with a few of your friends in Nintendo Land and let the fun ensue.