Help me buy my son a Wii U
June 19, 2013 7:40 PM   Subscribe

I'm planning to buy my 9-year old son a Wii U this weekend. I'll get the 32gb one (more gbs are better!) although I'm not really sure what how much space one needs.

However, I'm not sure about any non-standard accessories - an extra controller? The remote? Something I'm not thinking of? Are there additional thing needed to connect it to my WiFi?

I just don't want him to get it home and be missing something that will allow him to play with this sister/friends.
posted by dotgirl to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Do you already have a Wii, and controllers for it?

I ask, because you play Wii U games with the primary included controller and additional standard Wii controllers for the other players. Without extra controllers, only one player can play at a time.

The Wifi's built in, so you don't have any worries there.
posted by davejay at 7:54 PM on June 19, 2013

Wii U doesn't require anything extra to be connected to a wi-fi network if you have one in your home.

If you want an extra controller or two buy Wii controllers, as they work with the system.
posted by signsofrain at 7:59 PM on June 19, 2013

These game ranking / meta-review sites might be helpful, if you don't have an initial game selection worked out:

Common Sense Media's age-graded Wii U game reviews
Metacritic's all-time listing for the Wii U's all-time listing for the Wii U
posted by Monsieur Caution at 9:39 PM on June 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

If you're going to be buying a lot of games digitally, the 8 GB model and 32 GB models are both going to be insufficient. Games range in size between around 1 GB to 17 GB (average being about 5 GB), so if you want to keep more than a couple games on it (along with DLC, patches, demos, and virtual console games), you're going to run out of space quickly. If you're going to be playing primarily disc-based games, space won't be as much of an issue.

The Wii U supports external USB hard drives for extra storage, but that's a bridge you can cross when you run out of space. Any USB hard drive will work, but if it doesn't have separate power, you will need a special USB Y-cable so that the drive can draw power from two ports, as the Wii U's USB ports are underpowered.

The bundled game with the deluxe set, NintendoLand, is really meant as a multiplayer game, so you'll need extra Wii remotes if you don't have them already, preferably at least two. Only one of the minigames requires nunchucks, so you can skip those. If you're buying new remotes, make sure they have Motion Plus built in. If your existing remotes don't have Motion Plus, you'll probably want to pick up at least one new remote that has it.
posted by zixyer at 12:16 AM on June 20, 2013

I forgot to mention that you can probably expect a very lengthy firmware update the first time you use the system. If this is a birthday gift or something, I would recommend setting it up, connecting the system to the internet, and doing a system update beforehand, so he doesn't get stuck having to wait an hour before he can play a game.
posted by zixyer at 12:23 AM on June 20, 2013

Everyone else answered most of the issues, but I'll add this: I ran out of storage space on my 8G Wii U after only a month or so of owning it. I like to download indie games, so you might not have the same issue, but I had to go buy an external hard drive.

Also, I already had 5 or 6 Wii-motes from the original Wii, so we were set to play out of the box. Some games allow up to five players (one on the Gamepad and four on Wii-motes) so figure that in if you will have multiple people playing.

And one last also: my kids - including my 10-year-old son - aren't very careful with the Gamepad. I had to buy a clear plastic "armor" case for it after they dropped it a few times. It's worth the extra money. And they lost my Stylus, so I bought a pack of multi-colored ones.
posted by tacodave at 4:40 PM on June 20, 2013

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