Thoughts on the Wii U after a week of ownership

So I thought I would post some quick thoughts about the Wii U because I know a lot of people out there are on the fence about whether or not to get one. Keep in mind, the Wii U is used primarily by myself and my 4 year old. I also have an Xbox 360. Here, in no particular order, are some things I think everyone should know:

  • The menus are painfully slow. I saw that Iwata addressed this today and supposedly there is a fix coming, but Nintendo should be ashamed of this. It's as slow as (maybe even slower) the Xbox 360 dashboard, and I mean that in a very bad way. There is no excuse for a new electronic device to be this slow.
  • Nintendoland is a good way to learn the system. The two-screens thing can be pretty confusing at first. I highly recommend Nintendoland to get you used to the system. Also, my son loves it.
  • The ability to play full games on the gamepad is definitely the most underrated feature of the system. Picture this: the family gets home from church on Sunday. After lunch, the son wants to play Sonic & Allstars Racing, and I want to watch football. Okay, son, play on the gamepad while I watch football. We get to hang out on the couch together, and we both get to enjoy our choice of activity. As a parent, this feature is amazing. Or, picture the reverse. What if Dad wants to play a quick match in Black Ops 2, but won't play it in front of a four year old? Pull the game down to the gamepad and plug in some headphones. Problem solved.
  • Next year looks bleak so far. We are very much looking forward to Lego City, but that's the only game on our radar. Sure, there will be some great titles next fall, but it definitely takes some faith to trust Nintendo in 2013. Basically all the AAA third-party titles are skipping the Wii U in 2013 (Bioshock Infinite, etc.).
  • If you love Nintendo games, this purchase is a no-brainer. I can understand waiting for a price drop because there isn't really a must-play game right now, but having Nintendo titles in HD is worth it for me. There will eventually be Zelda and Starfox and Mario Kart and Smash Bros and F-Zero (fingers crossed). If you have been waiting years to play those games in HD then you should jump in. If you mainly play third-party titles then I suggest you pass on the Wii U. Those games will probably skip the Wii U altogether when the new PSXbox comes out next year.