Unfortunately, there's a 5 GB update that has to happen right out of the box. I just got to stare at my brand new shinny system download for almost an hour. While we're on the subject of memory, let's get something out of the way. Yes, the largest system only has 32 GB of space. But guess what? You can hook up an external harddrive by USB. The people who cry about it drive me bonkers because if you really wanted to, you could put a terabyte of memory to your system. XBOX 360 will only allow for 16 GB of external space on their Slim 360s. Just think about it.
While it was downlading I was also playing with the controller. Believe it or not, the weight of my 360 controller is about the same as the gamepad, which makes the gamepad extremely light. It's not a PS3 type of light though. I feel like this touch screen is actually durable and will last me awhile and a couple frustration shakes if need be. Anytime I hold my PS3 controller, I feel like I'm going to break it by pushing X too many times. The button layout is actually really natural. Because it's a big rectangle, it looks awkward. Holding it feels completely natural. I'm totally OK playing with just this controller and skipping over the pro controller that they also released.
One of my favorite things about the DS is that you can draw stuff. I just like sending people pictures. Is that too much to ask? I feel like Nintendo is super known for this idea of a drawing pad, and it's something that adults and kids love. If you turn on the system, you can see the eight most popular games being played on the Wii U right now. Random bubbles will pop up from different Miis around the world, and you wouldn't believe how much time people put into their back and white drawings of their favorite game characters. By that feature alone, I like the Miiverse more than XBOX Live and PlayStation Network. Honestly, everything just feels a little more personal.
And now it's time for the games. At first I picked up Nintendo Land and Mario because they were exclusives that I knew would show off the systems new capabilities. But of course the only thing people really care about is how it stacks against other systems. The Wii U is in HD, so yeah, it looks just as good as everything else. Period. Moreover, I think this will be my main system from now on. The two pictures above are Batman: Arkham City. For starters, everything that you need from your weapons menu is available at your fingertips. You just click and it's activated. It also uncluttered the HUD because you can see that my map and objectives as well as any intel will pop up on the gamepad instead of in a tiny box on my TV. I can also play the entire game in another room. The whole thing. Nothing was missing from the console version. It's kind of like the PS Vita for Nintendo. There's also an impressive emersion tool that caught me off guard. Nowadays, almost every game has radio dialogue that happens to exchange information. So when Batman talks to Alfred, Batman's voice occurs on the TV while Alfred's occurs on the gamepad. Like a real radio. Think about the spacial hearing that's going on. It's genius. If games do this in the future, the auditory emersion of a game will be altered forever. I thought it was one of the most intense and successful game emersion tactics I have ever encountered.