First impressions and a mini review of the Wii U (and a few games)

I picked up a pair of Wii U’s on launch day. I ordered a few more when I thought I would be able to cash in and make a quick buck. As it stands right now, I’ll barely break even – auctions on eBay for Wii U consoles aren’t going much higher than retail, and by the time you throw in a game and offer free shipping to make your auction enticing, you’re not doing so well. Prices may go up as we approach the holiday, but this isn’t about whether or not I make a dollar, this is really about what Nintendo has to offer with their early lead in to the “next generation” of consoles.

Because I have a lot of positive things to say, more than most people, I think, I want to get the negative out of the way, first. Continue reading

It's Wii U Weekend!

The Wii U launches on Sunday. The Deluxe Model includes Nintendo Land. Of course, I’ll be buying New Super Mario Bros. U, and feeling like a kid on launch day (and then remembering exactly how much I hated having to turn my game off so my dad could have the TV to watch football, as I have a “prior engagement” for Sunday Night Football). And although I don’t have stars in my eyes and I’m not excited for this console as a gaming console, I’m excited to see it as someone who has owned every console Nintendo has ever released – I’m excited to see it Nintendo mature, to see what is going to come next. I’m excited to see if, this generation, firmware updates will be for more than combating piracy (and failing miserably at even that).

I’m almost anxious, but the feeling, with a little more than 48 hours to go, is nothing like 1996 when I knew there was a Nintendo 64 in the house, but I couldn’t have it until Santa delivered it. It’s certainly not like 1992, when I DIDN’T know there was a Super Nintendo in the house and was blown away to open my Super Mario World / Mario Paint Super NES Super Set. It seems like a life time ago.

To prep myself, mentally, I read up on the latest offering from Nintendo: Iwata Asks: Wii U: The Console. I have to say I’m not floored – we’ve already seen how the hardware barely holds up against the Xbox 360 and the PS3 – it basicall brings the Wii in to the HD era, but it is still sweating itself to be that much more than the Gamecube. Perhaps there is hidden potential to unlock, and I think I’ll have more to say on that next week – but I still have that “new console” buzz going through my mind. I wonder if I’ll get any sleep Saturday night?

A Parents' Guide to Gaming


Today, according to the American Library Association, is National Gaming Day at your Library. As a person who has grown up gaming, I see the confusion in some parents’ eyes as they try to determine what games are right for their children.

Your kid already knows what they want – but just because it’s a game doesn’t necessarily mean you should cave in, especially if you’re the type of parent that pays close attention to the movies your child watches or music they listen to. Why should video games be any different?

So today, I’ll be at my local library presenting, for parents who wish to attend, A Parent’s Guide to Gaming. I will be discussing ESRB ratings, as well as how the individual consoles handle their parental controls. For those unable to attend (the extreme majority of the people who view this website), I’ve prepared a few links that might help you.

Below are videos from the Entertainment Software Association of Canada – now these videos are a little old, but the majority of the information is still the same. I wish I had the ability to record today’s demonstrations, which will all show case the latest revisions of the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii. Since you can’t attend, below the videos are also step-by-step guides from the manufacturer’s themselves, describing in detail how to manage the Parental Controls of each console, with their latest updates.

Video Demonstrations
Configuring Parental Controls video for Microsoft Xbox 360
Configuring Parental Controls video for Sony PlayStation 3
Configuring Parental Controls video for Nintendo Wii

Written Guides
Setup Parental Controls step-by-step guides for Xbox 360
Setup Parental Controls step-by-step guides for PlayStation 3 (PS3)
Setup Parental Controls step-by-step guides for Wii