So I have been saving up for an Xbox One so that I could get the Master Chief Collection. Since the MCC's release date has been creeping up, I started looking at what other games I could also play on the Xbox One. As it turns out, there really aren't any other games that would justify the purchase that I can't already get on 360/PS3/Steam.
So I bought a Wii U. Walmart has a bundle right now that includes a deluxe Wii U, Nintendo Land, and MarioKart 8 for $300 (for the record, there is another bundle at other retailers that is basically the same, but has Super Mario 3D World instead of MarioKart 8 ). I also picked up DuckTales Remastered for $20.
Overall, I have been very satisfied. Strangely, out of the 3 games that I have, I think I like NintendoLand the least. The majority of the "attractions" are for single player and don't really make me want to keep coming back to play them. The multi-player attractions are fun, but I don't often have many friends over to be able to play those. I've never played the old Ducktales NES game, but my girlfriend loves classic platformers, so this is a great game for us to take turns playing.
MarioKart 8 steals the show here though. Having been a MarioKart fan since the N64 days, I'm very surprised with a lot of the tweaks and overhauls, and also VERY thankful for them. There is finally a way to block the blue shell! It is rare that you are in 1st place and get the "horn" item, but you feel so great when you block that blue shell. The "crazy 8" item is just that, 8 items spinning around you. The items given can be nice, but I honestly find them more distracting than helpful. Single player is a tad iffy. 50cc and 100cc are absolute cakewalks. If you've played a MarioKart game before, you'll plow through these. 150cc starts off at medium difficulty, but its not long before the difficulty curve gets pretty steep, and you ultimately revert to classic MarioKart shenanigans (getting blasted by 3 or 4 items in a row, and going from 1st to 8th in the process) (also, the CPU racers rubberband up to 1st place and it's VERY noticable). Online Multiplayer is also really great - a surprise for a Nintendo game. I haven't played online MarioKart (sans 3 or 4 races on MarioKart Wii), but this is a real treat. Matchmaking and track selection is a tad simplistic, but thats actually pretty nice. But, as with most other online games on Nintendo systems, there's no voice chat, which makes me a sad panda.
But, the Wii U has a dark side, and its name is "Wii Compatibility". Long story short, I haven't bothered transferring my data yet, and I may never - which is a shame since I was looking forward to not having two nearly identical consoles stacked on each other. I play Brawl, MarioKart Wii, and Virtual Console games on Gamecube controllers, as I'm sure many people do. But, there is absolutely no Gamecube functionality on the Wii U. But, there's still the Wii Classic Controller or Classic Controller Pro, right? Wrong - they're discontinued and its nearly impossible to find a Classic Controller Pro (I'm not even going to bother with the original Classic Controller) for less than $50. So, Gamecube, Classic Controller Pro, and (by preference) Classic Controllers aren't options (don't even bring up Wii Remote & Nunchuck). So then you might suggest that I just leave a few of my save games on the Wii, right? Wrong again, you must either transfer everything or transfer nothing. Oh, now you're suggesting that I backup my save data, and then restore it back to my Wii after my transfer? You silly fool, WRONG AGAIN! Brawl and MarioKart's data cannot be backed up because, for some reason, Wii Connect 24 prevents it. What is probably the most annoying is that the Wii U Pro controller is functionally identical to the Classic Controller, but isn't compatible on the Wii. But its not like that matters anyways - the Wii U Pro controller is nearly impossible to find in stores. But the upcoming Smash Bros is also bringing with it a Gamecube Controller adapter - I'm crossing my fingers and praying that this will allow Gamecube controller functionality for Wii Compatibility, but knowing Nintendo, I probably just need to keep my Wii handy.
Overall, I am very pleased with the Wii U, and I think that I'll have more fun out of it than I would with the Xbox One. I'm looking forward to new games like Smash Bros, Hyrule Warriors, Yoshi, StarFox, and Zelda. Not to mention the games that I need to catch up on like Super Mario 3D World, New Super Mario/Luigi Bros, Pikmin 3, and Rayman Legends. It's just a shame that Wii Compatibility is so frustrating.