The Wii U had an unofficial price drop when bought directly through Nintendo ($200 for the Deluxe unit versus $300 in stores) so with Mario Kart out now and Smash out later this year, I figured I'd pick one up.
Some brief thoughts:
-Hardware and OS are pretty terrible. I couldn't log in to my Nintendo Network account until after I ran a system update, it just kept giving me an error message until then.
-Downloading and installing the system update and transferring save files/old games from my old Wii took a total of about four hours. The transfer process was not intuitive, but it had a great Pikmin animation.
-You have to switch to Wii Mode when you want to run or buy old games. The system should just be designed to switch for you when you select a game, but instead there's a whole second layer here.
-As far as I can tell, like the PS4 there's no way to organize games into folders, so the start screen gets very messy.
-The tablet looks really nice and it's fun to play on it while the TV's doing something else, but neither of the games I've spent time on (NES Remix and Dr. Luigi, still waiting for Kart to come in the mail) make it feel essential.
-I was hoping its effective range would be a little better so I could use the tablet in my bedroom, but it doesn't seem to work at all past 20-30 feet from the system.
-The eShop is pretty barren. Having to pay to upgrade your old Virtual Console games to use the new WiiU features (save states and being able to control using the tablet) is unfortunate, but not as unfortunate as the fact that there are less than 1/4 as many VC games available here as there are on the original Wii. NES, SNES, and Game Byo Advance are represented; Genesis, Master System, Turbografx, and arcade titles are totally absent this time around.
-Miiverse is great. It's basically Twitter plus MS-Paint with a little posting community for each game. It's great on the 3DS and great here, I love seeing all the hideous drawings people post.
-Hardware and OS issues aside: The two games I've played are very, very good, I still haven't tried Nintendoland, and I know I'll love Mario Kart 8. Nintendo's good at game software, but they still bumble their way through everything else.
-Dr. Luigi contains three play modes: A standard Dr. Mario game, a version of Virus Buster (a game first introduced in Brain Age on the DS), and a version of Dr. Mario that uses L-shaped capsules instead. This new mode makes the game a lot harder!
-NES Remix is a spiritual successor to Wario Ware, more so than the system's actual Wario Ware title. Players go through 2-60 second long mini missions in various NES games ranging from "defeat 15 enemies in Mario 1 under the time limit" or "play through stage 1 of Donkey Kong with a spotlight to guide your way and the rest of the stage darkened." Its interface is clunky, but it's a pretty wonderful game.
-As of E3 2014, there's finally enough interesting games coming out to make the system worthwhile, but it's still probably worth waiting until 2015. This system should not have launched when it did or at the price it did, but they're slowly moving in the right direction. I'm hoping they ever release a game that makes including the tablet seem like a good idea.