Nintendo Wii U: Mike Olsen’s Holiday Gift Selection

Don’t be fooled by the promises of the Playstation 4 or the Xbox One, the Nintendo Wii U is the gaming system of choice this season, says our Mike Olsen. — It’s a no brainer in our house that the family holiday gift this year will be a new next generation gaming system. The big question is what system to purchase. As the official family geek, I am the decider. And, after carefully weighing the pros and cons of the Xbox One, the PlayStation 4 and the Nintendo Wii U, the choice is obvious. I’m making the Nintendo Wii U my holiday gift selection.

Scroll below the fold to find out why I’m choosing the much-maligned Nintendo Wii U as my gaming system of choice this holiday season.

Wii U

Photo credit: Mike Olsen

There are a lot of reasons I chose the Nintendo. Here are a few.

The Xbox One and PS4 aren’t ready for primetime

The new systems from Sony and Microsoft are impressive, true. Yet the PlayStation 4 at launch came out with a game selection that was woefully inadequate. As for the Xbox One, it is a great family entertainment hub. But the voice activated system is still buggy, the TV integration is slow and it feels like an incomplete product overall.

This is, of course, the new normal with such products, and the software and hardware will improve on both machines over time to be sure. But for now, it’s too early to purchase either machine. Much like the other consoles, the Wii U suffered similar issues upon release, but one year in and several updates later, the Wii U is a stable, full-featured platform.

Bang for the buck

The Wii U is a much-better value than either the PS4 or the Xbox One. Consider the following:

  • You’ve got the PS4 at $399. Plus $60 for another controller. Plus $60 for the camera. Plus $60 for one game. Total cost for a decent gaming experience: $579.
  • The Xbox One is $499. Plus $60 for another controller. Plus $60 for Xbox Gold Subscription(required to use any online functionality), $60 for one game. Total cost: $679.
  • The Nintendo Wii U is $299. Game pad included. Compatible with last generation Wii controllers. All bundles include at least one game. No online fees. Total cost on day one: $299.

With the Nintendo Wii U, you are fully functional and playing games for around half the cost. That’s value.

Backwards compatibility

Neither the Xbox One nor the PS4 is backwards compatible with previous generation games. The Wii U will play all Wii games. That’s a decision maker right there.

The best game of the holiday season runs on the Nintendo Wii U

While the reception for various games released for both the Xbox One and PS4 is lukewarm, the highest-rated game released for the holiday season is exclusive to the Wii U: Super Mario 3D World. The game has an aggregate rating of 93/100 on Metacritc. The PS4’s highest rated exclusive is Killzone: Shadowfall with a rating of 74/100. The highest rated Xbox One exclusive: Forza Motorsport 5 with a rating of 81/100.


If you didn’t get the Xbox One or the PS4 at launch, good luck finding one to purchase before Christmas. The Wii U is in plenty supply with a variety of bundles available.

For me the choice is clear. Why spend twice as much on future promises, when the Nintendo Wii U delivers a solid, complete experience right out of the box. That’s why the Nintendo Wii U is my choice not just at home but also my holiday selection here at aNewDomain.

For, I’m Mike Olsen.

Based in Ann Arbor Michigan, Mike Olsen is a tech enthusiast, freelance writer and a senior contributor to Follow his stream on Google+ and email him at