The Wii U comes with a new controller, which has a touchscreen embeded in it.


ooking for the hot new toy that'll be the tough-to-find treasure this holiday season? Usually game consoles are the ticket, but Nintendo's soon-to-be-released Wii U has been getting some not-so-stellar reviews, so let's take a look at it and find out what all the hype and criticism is about.

The console is the Wii's successor. It will be able to support 1080p graphics and it has 2GB of memory. It features a new controller, called the Wii U GamePad, which has an embedded touchscreen (which will be great for kids, since kids never break anything that's fragile, right?). The new controller allows people to play games even after the television is off, which, again, will probably be a love-hate feature: kids will love it, and parents will love it only on long car rides/hate it every other instance that they might want their kid's attention.

remote The GamePad with its embedded touchscreen.

Thankfully, the system is backward compatible with Wii, but not older Nintendo systems like GameCube (though this fact seems a bit obvious). New games will be available for download from Nintendo's Virtual Console service.

The system has been criticized for only allowing single-touch technology on the screen, which goes against the current trend among other touch-screen products, which are continually introduced with more-than-one-touch technology. After the Wii U was presented at a press conference, shares for Nintendo fell nearly 10 percent, thanks to skepticism among critics about the controller—the touch screen would make it more expensive/less affordable, and therefore less desirable.

The Wii U will launch in America on November 18, 2012, with 23 games available. It  will retail for $299.99 or $349.99, depending on if you purchase the basic bundle or the "premium/deluxe" bundle—it's unclear what the difference is between the bundles.

While Nintendo's products aren't nearly as much of an instant-buy for consumers as Apple's products are, gaming consoles still sell like hotcakes around the holiday season. We can foresee some issues with the touchscreen controllers (mainly that they will be easily broken and parents will be annoyed at the cost to replace them), but it's hard to predict whether that will prevent people from buying them altogether. We suspect they'll be popular among the older gamers (that is, the ones who won't immediately break them), since they're so portable.

Are you ready for a new console, or will you be passing on the Wii U?