Go on, admit it - we've all been sitting here drumming our fingers impatiently, waiting for the eighth generation of consoles to arrive. Both SONY and Microsoft have been biding their time, though, enjoying an extended run of six years for their current gen instead of the usual 3-4.
It's fallen on Nintendo then to step up and release the 'latest spangly must-have', the Wii U that features some serious horsepower, HD capabilities and most intriguing of all, the innovative Game Pad, a tablet-like controller rich with potential for intriguing new gameplay possibilities. If you're lucky enough to snare a Wii U on its launch, the killer question is - what games should you actually get for it? Here are our recommendations:
The Wii had Wii Sports; the Wii U has Nintendo Land, a collection of 12 mini-games featuring an eclectic bunch of attractions. From multiplayer ghost hunts through to a Metroid-flavoured shooter, the package offers up the perfect showcase for the Game Pad's mass of features; its touchscreen, camera, gyroscope, microphone, joysticks and buttons all coming into play at some point. Think of Nintendo Land as a crash course in what makes the Wii U, well, the Wii U. In other words, a mandatory purchase and one best played with a bunch of friends.
It's a new Nintendo console so that's means the portly plumber is back, but this time in HD. No, there's none of the 3D awesomeness of Super Mario Galaxy, but what gamers do get is a refreshed and reinvigorated 2D extravaganza featuring classic Mario action mated to truly gorgeous graphics. Best of all, if the rest of the family insist on watching B-list celebs dancing or eating a kangaroo's private parts on telly, you can keep on playing via the Game Pad's screen itself.
We reckon ZombiU is the most intriguing of all the Wii U's launch titles mainly because it's so 'unNintendo'; a hardcore survival horror FPS, there's no candy-floss game worlds or cute 'ickle ghosts. No, just the living dead that want to suck the intestines out of your body like spaghetti out of a bowl. Set in London after a plague that... well, you can guess the basic plot... you must survive, heading out on missions to amass all-important supplies while fending off zombie attacks. The Game Pad adds a colon-quaking twist, acting as a second screen featuring the contents of your onscreen character's holdall; something that you must 'rummage' through live while zombies close in all around you up on the main screen. Clever, unique and scary stuff.
Now Nintendo's brought out a console with HD graphics and some serious hardware packed inside its diminutive shell, players are able to indulge in the kind of processor-hungry triple-A action that would have left the original Wii clutching at its chest, begging for heart surgery. Head out as the Caped Crusader (with Robin and Catwoman in tow) swinging through Arkham City on the trail of iconic villains including the brilliantly-realised Penguin and the perfectly-voiced Joker. One of the decade's best releases, this version features all the extra DLC plus Game Pad-specific gameplay additions (Holy earpiece, Batman!). A-bat-solutely essential! [You're fired - Ed]