Wii U Guide

Focused on excellent gameplay, the Wii U enhances your experience of classic Nintendo titles, such as Super Mario 3D, The Legend of Zelda, Skylanders and Disney Infinity. The console now features a new Wii U GamePad second-screen interface. Boasting the portability of the 3DS and interactive functionality of the ever-popular Wii, this is a console that provides hours of fun for the family.

Join Nintendo's Miiverse online community, use on demand entertainment apps and battle it out in multiplayer mode. Wii console owners can continue to play with old video games on the new version and newcomers will enjoy building up a collection. Streaming applications also enable you to watch TV shows and films at the touch of a few buttons.

Let's take a look at what you can expect from your new Wii U Basic or Premium Set, and discover how to connect to a world of fun, fitness and creativity.

Wii U Basic and Premium Sets

In the Wii U box you will find the console, GamePad, stylus, HDMI cables and AC Adapters, available in Basic or Premium editions.

The console

The Wii U console is a lightweight but sturdy box that subtly fits in with your game and TV setup. The Basic box comes cased in a crisp white, as does the Premium model which is also available in a sleek black.

Apart from the choice of colours, the main difference between these models is that the Basic Set has 8GB of internal memory storage whereas the Premium Set features a hefty 32GB. If you need extra space to store games and apps, simply purchase an additional SDHC card of up to 32GB or an external hard drive of up to 2TB.

One feature that both sets do share is that they deliver fantastic full HD graphics for getting immersed in the Wii U world. The experience is further enhanced with the addition of an innovative new device, the GamePad.

The GamePad

The GamePad interacts with games and gives you a second window using its 6.2 inch screen. Two exciting highlights are the integrated accelerometer and gyroscope, used for intuitive motion controls. The camera, speakers, TV Control button, Near Field Communication (NCF) data location button all help to bring the action to life.

Of course, the GamePad also uses traditional Nintendo controls, including the analog circle pads, YXAB buttons and cross control pad. Use these not only to play games with, but also for browsing the internet.

Remote Play with Your GamePad

When other family members want to watch the TV, carry on playing your game remotely on the GamePad. Keep it plugged into a power socket or make use of its four hour battery life. When you get the TV back, continue the game on the big screen and use the pad's display to get see maps, or the touchscreen to control gameplay.

A World of Fun Games

Once set up, it's time to start playing all your Nintendo favourites; here's a look at a few of the best franchises and games you can get on the Wii U.

Mario

The Italian mechanic who needs no introduction, Mario has been a gamer's best friend since the 1980s. Today, he, Luigi, Princess Peach and friends are more popular than ever. Recent releases include Super Smash Bros, which joins up Mario with other much-loved characters like Donkey Kong in a fun fighting championship, as well as the latest edition of Mario's racing game, Mario Kart 8.

Zelda

Help Link to save Princess Zelda in the much-loved Legend of Zelda fantasy series. Our brave protagonist sails the seas in The Wind Waker HD, joins forces with fellow heroes in Hyrule Warriors and flies across the skies in Skyward Sword.

Wii Fit U

For something a bit different, hook up your Wii Balance Board to enjoy a whole new approach to body training. There are plenty of new activities in the latest update, like Core Luge and Trampoline Target. You can also use the GamePad to take photos and monitor your physical development.

Connect on the Nintendo Network

Start a free Nintendo Network ID account by choosing to create a new user when setting up your Wii U. Up to 12 users can be added to each console. At this point, you can also set parental controls if needed for a child's account, restricting games according to rating, online conversation and internet usage.

Once you have entered your basic details, get ready to join to Miiverse, shop for games and chat with friends.

Miiverse

Finding it tricky to complete a challenge? Find and share advice in the integrated Miiverse. You will find people who struggled at the same point in the game as you - ask for tips or share your frustrations. Players can create individual Mii avatars, share sketches, snaps and text, and you can follow those whose posts you like. The Miiverse is also a place to find out the other games people are playing, entertainment they are watching and most popular applications that are being used.

Nintendo eShop

This is the place where you can download indie titles, the latest games, free demos and apps. You will also findVirtual Console, which lets you play classic NES and SNES games from the good old days, such as Metroid, Mega Man, Donkey Kong and Pac-Man.

It's not just games either, as the Nintendo eShop gives you access to some of the very best streaming services including Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Instant Video and Hulu Plus, so all you need to do is sign up to catch your favourite TV shows and new releases whenever you like.

Wii U Chat

The GamePad's built-in camera and microphone are utilised in Wii U Chat, which connects you to friends and family around the world. This can be done on the device's display or the larger TV screen that it is connected to. Use the touch screen and stylus to draw together while you're speaking.

amiibo

The Wii U console now delivers enhanced gameplay with the addition of amiibo characters, which can be transported inside your Wii U or 3DS. Choose from favourites such as Link, Mario, Princess Peach and Yoshi before tapping the figurine on the GamePad to add a new dimension to your gameplay.

Character data evolves as you play so you can obtain new Mii racing outfits in Mario Kart 8, or train for battle in Super Smash Bros. Pick Link and you can boost his firepower in Hyrule Warriors.

Accessories

The handy thing about the Wii U is that you can use Wii controllers that you already own, like the Nunchuk, Classic, Classic Controller Pro and Wii Balance Board. Up to four Wii remotes can be connected at once, which is great for racing games! To vamp up your game station even more, you can purchase a GamePad Cradle with Stand, to rest your handset on or get the Wii U Microphone, to hit those high notes, as well as boosting the volume via the Stereo Headset. There are loads of add-ons to help fully immerse you into the game's world.

If you want to compare the Wii U with other motion sensor consoles on the market, take a look at our guide to the Xbox One.

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