My Wii U Experience Part 1

My next round of postings are going to be much more about video games and less about theology.  I know that I have a few friends who have commented that they are not really into video games.  So I’m letting you know at the beginning.  I want to write about my interests and I’m very interested in a billion dollar industry that generates more revenue than many Hollywood blockbusters.  It is a huge part of the western culture we live in.  Video games have actually changed the way we think about a lot of things.

I wasn’t really planning on getting a Wii U until I was having a Skype call with my son, a student at Savannah College of Art and Design.  He was talking about what a great time we had back in 2006, when we camped outside a Wal-Mart overnight with about 70 other people to be the first to get a Wii.  It was a fun evening.  I remember playing Mario Cart with 7 other people in the chilly November air.  Then he suggested, that when he came home for break, perhaps we could do it again.  I heard him saying to me a deeper statement, “Dad I’ve missed you and we’ve had some really special times together.  I want to feel like your boy again.”  So I agreed that yes, we should.

My son

My son

This time our experience was different.  We still bought it at a Wal-Mart, but this time it was open 24 hours – so there was no need to camp outside.  We arrived at around 11 pm and there was already a line of 5 people.  I asked at the register if there were any Wii U’s available.  He said that they had 6 of them, and I was number 6.  He took my name and then we went into the line.  We were fully prepared to wait until the next morning (I was told by a sales associate earlier in the day that we would have to wait until 6 am before they could be sold) BUT it turned out that we were able to start purchasing at midnight.  We left the store with the system in a bag twenty minutes later.  We didn’t feel that we quite earned the right to purchase.  We faced no cold weather and we weren’t the slightest bit exhausted.

Since we had the game system much earlier than expected, we changed plans and it turned out my friend Squiggly was at home and awake.  He was happy to have us come over and try out the new game system.  So I picked up some chips and sodas and we went to his house.

We set up the Wii U and experienced our first disappointment.  It was a rare blunder by Nintendo, but the system downloaded a major update.  I’m talking about a 6 gig – 90 minutes of watching a progress bar update!  I’m involved with technology on a professional level, and there must have been something very wrong for them to have insisted on such a large update.  So, we stayed up until 2:00 watching a progress bar.  Fortunately Squiggly had some other games that we played to pass the time.

Wii U Pad

Wii U Pad

There are two kinds of Wii U.  I wanted to purchase the cool, black Wii U that had 32 Gig of storage, a charging cradle, and Nintendo Land.  However, I could not be choosy and had to buy the basic set which included a white Wii U with 8 Gig of storage.  There was a $50 price difference between the two and I’ve since purchased the Nintendo Land game for $60.  My advice to you is – get the higher priced system if you can.  I’ve had no problems with the basic setup though.

Once the system was ready, we were finally able to play some games.  I purchased two games – Assassin’s Creed III and Call of Duty Black Ops 2.  I’ve also downloaded 2 games from the E shop – Trine 2 and Little Inferno.   I’ll write about the game play on my next post – coming very soon!

7 thoughts on “My Wii U Experience Part 1

  1. I got the black 32 gig version a few weeks later from my local gamestop (I was on the waiting list). I too had the dreaded 6 gig update, but with my experience the wii u network kept disconnecting during the update. Even though I had 4 out of 5 bar wifi connection. After HOURS of pressing retry every 2 minutes on the update (eventually it failing halfway through the download due to system freezing up, error code 105-4400 and requiring me to unplug the power to the wii u), I had to do something different. So I stuck my wii u directly next to the wireless router and everything went fine. Strange that I have no other issues with any other devices with wireless on my network including the white standard wii u that Ted brought over. Come to find that I wasn’t the only one with this problem after looking into it. My end result was to purchase a wii USB to Ethernet adapter. It works fine on the wii u. It was about 14 dollars from amazon. I had to purchase it online because no local retailers (including Wal-Mart) had any of these adapters.

    • That’s so interesting that it doesn’t want to work with your WiFi. I’ve had no trouble – except that I had to use a DMZ on my wireless router for us to even play Trine 2. Let’s not even get into the lack of voice chat during gameplay with Trine 2!

  2. It’s interesting that you purchased so many multi-platform games, though I suppose Nintendo Land’s pretty fun.

    Seriously, having an update that big strikes me as a little weird. I can’t imagine what exactly they were fixing with that thing. Still enjoying my Wii and its pleothera of cheap and interesting games, so I’ll have to pass for now (until Bayonetta 2 comes out).

    • I never thought of it like that! But I think I’ve been so desperate to see Nintendo games in high definition I picked out a couple of games that match what I’ve seen on Xbox 360 and PS3. I’ll be putting out a post on my experience with transferring my Wii games to the Wii U. You won’t want to miss that! Let’s just say it made the 6 Gig update seem like a walk in the park….

  3. Your story is a touching one, since my father and I did the exact same thing outside of Future Shop six years ago. I decided to wait on the Wii U though, since it’s currently a bit too pricey for me and Pikmin’s not out yet. Also, apparently the console will no longer require the huge Day One update after March or so, so that’ll be nice.

    • Honestly I don’t think you are missing out on too much yet. But it really is an innovative system and there will be some fantastic games in months and years. None of the games I’ve played have rocked my world. But it was a great way to spend an evening with my son after his quarter of college classes finished. Thanks for reading my posts – I’ve read several of yours and think they are first rate.

  4. This is an awesome story! I had a remotely similar experience when I bought my Gamecube from Wal Mart in my first semester of design school. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to share the experience with anybody. That’s a truly important part of things – to enjoy it with your son. I love that you bring that to the table. It’s the way gaming truly should be. Just like previous generations went fishing and deerhunting together (and many still do).

    When we got the Wii U for the youth center, I knew to install the update first. It’s definitely a blunder on Nintendo’s part. That’s kind of the main reason why we got consoles: so we don’t have to deal with that kind of stuff.

    Cool choices on the games. When I got Trine 2 for my mac, I just wanted to play it on console, because it seemed like it would be better in that format.

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