The Wii U is Out! What Do We Think?,
We hope you enjoyed BT’s first official hardware review for the Wii U. However, I bet some of you are wondering if Blistered Thumbs is going to run a traditional, scored review of Nintendo’s newest home console. That’s a fair question, so I wanted to write up a quick post to address it.
First of all, I don’t think we will be assigning the Wii U a score on the BT Scale. There are many reasons for this, but the biggest one is that hardware is no longer static. The gaming machine you buy on Day 1 isn’t the same as it will be in 6 months, let alone 5 years. Between firmware updates, new peripherals, licensed applications, and even whole new versions of existing systems (the 3DS XL, anyone?) it seems silly to try to pin down such a fluid experience with a single numerical value.
Secondly, the Wii U is an interesting case in and of itself. “Reviews” for various games have been popping up all over the internet in the past week, despite the fact that the system’s online functionality was only enabled last night. How can we bring an honest and complete analysis to our readers if all of the console’s facets aren’t operational? I’ve had a stack of Wii U review copies sitting on my desk for days now, but I won’t rush out reviews just so I can say I was first. That would be a disservice to both the game and to you, the reader.
Furthermore, there are other insular issues to consider here at BT. As you may know, this site is almost entirely run by volunteers. Every staff member has a job or is a full-time college student, so our coverage was always going to be a bit slower. However, this does mean that we aren’t beholden to a larger “video game journalism” culture or the greater forces of the industry PR machine, which we hope is reflected in the objectivity of our analysis and the blunt force of our criticism.
Finally, at this point, I think everyone knows if they want a Wii U or not. Every Gamestop on planet Earth has had a demo model in their store for weeks now, so hands-on time with the GamePad isn’t even issue. I assume that the only people still sitting on the fence are waiting to hear if the games are any good, which is why I am prioritizing software reviews over an attempt to grade the console itself. To that end, we will be putting all of our efforts towards bringing you as many Wii U game reviews this week as humanly possible. That means you should check back with BT every day for write-ups of Nintendo Land, New Super Mario Bros. U, ZombiU, and many more titles.
We will be covering a lot of ports to the new machine as well, in a series of features that I am calling “Better With Wii U?” As you can probably guess, these articles will be challenging the type of marketing previously pioneered by the Kinect, as we let you know if the GamePad actually adds anything to your gaming experiences. Expect “Better With Wii U?” mini-reviews for titles like Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition, Warriors Orochi 3 Hyper, FIFA 13, Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, and more.
On one last note, I want to hear from you, the Blistered Thumbs community. Do you want to see game consoles get graded? Does it help you as a consumer? Did you already buy a Wii U? Why? If not, what don’t you like about the system? Let us know in the comments below.
If you want to hear what various BT writers and producers think about the Wii U in real time, you can always follow us on Twitter. I will also be taking some time to give some in-depth commentary on the system on the next BT Podcast, so you should give that a listen as well, if you are so inclined.