Top 10 Wii U Tips For Parents: Part One

Part 1: The five most essential Wii U tips all parents should know!
November 28th, 2012 at 5:52 pm

Looking to buy your lucky child a Wii U for Christmas? Aussie-Gamer has the top 10 Wii U Tips for Parents!

With the Wii U just around the corner, there is undoubtedly a number of parents out there having their children hound them for a Wii U, whether it’s at launch, for Christmas, or even a birthday.

With every console launch comes the usual headache of what to get with the console, which pack is the best to get, how to stop your children from playing inappropriate games, and much more.

Look no further! As we have parents in our ranks, Aussie-Gamer is here to help you through the acquisition of Nintendo’s latest console with our Top 10 Wii U Tips for Parents, Part 1!

For those unaware of what your children are asking you for, the Nintendo Wii U is the follow up console for the Nintendo Wii. It is in HD, much like a PlayStation 3 or X-Box 360, but has what Nintendo calls a GamePad, a controller with a touchscreen between all the buttons and sticks. It comes out on November 30.

Premium or Basic?

Ok, so you’ve thought about buying your child a Wii U, but which one should you get? Nintendo have tried their best to cater for everybody’s needs by releasing a Basic Package and a Premium Package. Which one is for you? Here’s what each pack contains.

Basic Package (RRP $349.95 AUD)

  • Wii U Console (White)
  • Wii U GamePad (White)
  • 8 Gigabytes of memory
  • HDMI Cable
  • A/C Adapters for Console and GamePad
  • Wii Sensor Bar

Premium Package (RRP $429.95 AUD)

  • Wii U Console (Black)
  • Wii U GamePad (Black)
  • 32 Gigabytes of memory
  • HDMI Cable
  • A/C Adapters for Console and GamePad
  • Charging cradle and stands for Console and GamePad
  • Wii Sensor Bar
  • Nintendo Land video game
  • Nintendo Network Premium Subscription

Now that you know what each package contains, we’ll break down the differences further, so that you can be better prepared to make a decision, as your child’s Wii U will likely be something they will be playing for the next 5-6 years at least.

Memory – The memory listed in each package is what is used by the system to hold data for things such as save files, patches, downloadable content and various online content. The Basic Package holds 8 Gigabytes, while the Premium Package holds 32 Gigabytes. This memory can be expanded with an external hard drive. Simply, if you are going to buy an external hard drive for the Wii U, then the on board memory will not be an issue, whether it’s 8 or 32 Gigabytes. If not, then be aware that downloading games from the eShop can be a hassle, as many larger games won’t fit in the Basic Wii U’s memory.

Wii U

Charging cradle and stands – These only come with the Premium Package, and allows you to rest your GamePad in a pretty charging cradle, rather than just directly plugged into the wall. The console stand is handy if you do not have a lot of horizontal space on your television cabinet, as it allows the Wii U to stand up on its side. The GamePad stand can be handy if you are playing a game that allows the use of a controller separate from the GamePad, and allows you to keep an eye on the GamePad’s screen during gameplay if needed.

Nintendo Land – Chances are if you’re buying a Wii U for your child, they’ll want this game. If you had a Wii, this is kind of like Wii Sports, except a lot more expansive. The game contains 12 different attractions based on many of Nintendo’s famous franchises. The game only comes with the Premium Package.

Nintendo Network Premium Subscription – Once again, this is for Premium Packagers only. According to Nintendo of Europe, it is a reward scheme that gives you points for every purchase you make on Nintendo’s online store, eShop. You get points that are valued at roughly 10% of the original eShop price, these points can be used as credit against future purchases, this will likely be the same in Australia. Basically, you get $10 worth of points for every $100 you spend, which isn’t too shabby for a rewards program. This subscription lasts for two years.

Connecting your New Console

Now that you’ve decided on your console, you’ve bought the thing and now it’s home. The first thing you’ll be doing once your child tears open their new Wii U is to connect the thing to the television! We’ll aim to make this process as easy as possible!

Essentially, you will need either two or three power points, depending on if you want to use an external harddrive that requires a powerpoint. There is one for the Console, one for the GamePad, and the third is for the external harddrive. You will also need a HDMI connection in the back of your television. Don’t have a HDMI port? That’s fine too. If you already have a Wii console, you can use the television cables you used for that directly into the Wii U (the AC adapter is different, however, so you can’t use your old one).

If you don’t already have a Wii, then you can purchase the appropriate cable from your local video game retailer.

Wii U

Setting up the GamePad

The Wii U is now connected to your television, you’ve turned it on and… AMAZING! You have both screens on and ready to be setup! Here’s how you’ll be setting up your children’s GamePad. It’s recommended you set it up while the GamePad is charging.

  • On the front of the Wii U and on the back of the GamePad you will find a small red button with SYNC written underneath it. Press the button on the Wii U, then the GamePad.
  • Once the GamePad recognises the Wii U, a number of symbols will appear on your TV, in order from left to right, enter these symbols on the Wii U GamePad.

You have now successfully synced the GamePad to the Wii U! Before we move onto updating your Wii U, here are a couple of things you may need to know about general GamePad usage.

  • Don’t touch the left or right control sticks when turning the Wii U on, when you start software, or quit back to the menu. Doing so results in bizarre GamePad behaviour (such as the sense that you’re holding the control stick to the left, when in fact it’s not being touched). This can be easily rectified by holding down the A, B, + and – buttons for at least 3 seconds, while not touching the control sticks.
  • Charging the Gamepad takes around about two and a half hours to fully charge, and you can play with the GamePad plugged in. Each charge lasts approximately three to five hours depending on how it is being used.
  • The battery in a GamePad can be replaced if it is not holding a charge any more. No doubt in the future, 3rd party companies will release their own batteries, possibly holding more of a charge than the official battery. The cost of extra batteries is currently unknown.

Wii U

Connecting to the Internet and Updating the Wii U’s Software

Unless you just want to throw in a game and start playing (and by all means, you’re welcome to do so!), the next step in fully setting up your Wii U is connecting it to the internet, then performing a system update to get the latest software onto the Wii U (it also adds a lot of online features!). There are two types of connections, wireless and wired.

To connect it wirelessly:

  • In the Wii U’s Menu, select “System Settings”
  • Select the “Internet” icon.
  • Select “Connect to the Internet”
  • The Wii U will search for a Wi-Fi network, once this is done, use the right stick to select your network from the list displayed.
  • If the network is password protected, use the GamePad’s on-screen keyboard to enter the password, and select “OK” when you’re done.
  • If successful, the Wii U will perform a connection test, select “OK” when this is done.
  • Chances are this will be your default connection, so select “set” unless you plan on changing this later.
  • Now the Wii U will ask to perform the system update, select “Update” to do this, or “Cancel” if you want to get back to playing games.

To connect it via a wired connection, you will need a Wii LAN Adapter, if you’ve already got one with your old Wii, great! If not, you’ll need to acquire one from Nintendo, Ebay, or from a number of on-line retailers. You will also need a spare Ethernet cable, this is the same cable that you would already have attached from your broadband modem to your computer if you have a wired broadband connection.

Wii U

  • Connect the Wii LAN adapter into the USB port on the back of the Wii U, while the Console is switched off.
  • Connect one end of the Ethernet cable to the Wii LAN adapter, and the other end to the network port on your broadband modem.
  • Unplug the power from the modem, wait thirty seconds, then reconnect the power. This is called a power cycle, and is a way to ensure that the modem recognises that you’ve put a new plug into it.
  • Turn your Wii U on, and select “System Settings” from the Wii U Menu.
  • Using the left stick, select the “Internet” icon and press A.
  • Select “Connect to the Internet”
  • Tap “Connection Types” located in the top-left corner.
  • Select “Wired Connection”
  • Tap “OK” when told to connect the LAN Adapter.
  • The Wii U will perform a test, if successful, tap “OK”, if not, you’ll have to check your modem and LAN adapter to see if they are plugged in properly, turn your modem off and on once more and try once again.
  • Choose to make this connection your default connection or not
  • The Wii U will ask to perform the system update, select “Update” to do this, or “Cancel” if you want to get back to playing games.

Now you’re connected to the internet! You may have read around the internet that the system update is 5 Gigabytes worth of downloading, this is not true. It is in the range of 1 – 1.5 Gigabytes, which depending on your internet connection, isn’t very large. In the future, you may be required to download additional System Updates, after the first one, any future updates are unlikely to be anywhere near as large.

To perform a System Update manually:

  • Select “System Settings” from the Wii U Menu.
  • Using the Left Stick, select the “System Update” icon and press A.
  • Tap “Update” to begin the update process.

Now your system is fully updated to include all of the latest features, including all the online features of the console. From here on in, most System Updates will be used to make the general experience of using the console as smooth as possible.

Parental Controls

You’ve either chosen to connect the Wii U to the internet, or you haven’t. Either way, what you will probably want to do next is setting the Parental Controls.

This will be even more useful if you have two children, an older one who can play M rated content with no problems, and another one who is subject to nightmares whenever they see zombies or war zones. Luckily, Nintendo have provided a reasonably simple way to completely customise what your children can access when they play the Wii U.

Wii U

  • Once in the Wii U Menu, select “Parental Controls.”
  • When you open this for the first time, you can choose to either read or skip the information on the screen.
  • When prompted, create a 4 digit pin, then choose yourself a secret question that only you will know the answer to, this involves keeping secrets from your children!
  • If needed, you can then set up an e-mail address which will allow you to change your 4 digit pin, in case you forget it. If you don’t want to set up an e-mail address, you can choose to skip this.
  • Now, you’re ready to stop your children from doing anything nasty!
  • Select the user that you would like the adjust the settings for.
  • You will be presented with a vast list of settings, the full list includes the ability to alter the settings for:
    • Video Services
    • Streaming Video Content
    • Miiverse (this includes using Miiverse, or restricting posting and/or viewing text or images)
    • Registering Friends
    • Online game interactions
    • Internet browsing
    • Data management
    • Game Ratings
    • eShop Services
    • Certain Online Features, such as Video Chat.

Now your Wii U is a safe haven for your child to play, good parenting! Look at Aussie-Gamer again tomorrow for tips including which accessories do what, Wii to Wii U transfer, Miiverse functionality, expandable memory, and some online safety tips!

Brad Long grew up in a family completely unfamiliar with video gaming. Against all odds, he can lay claim to '100%ing' over 500 different video games, and secretly catalogues his victories. Brad has also started a family of his own, and raises them as future gamers, his son beating Guerilla War on the NES at age 4, his daughter finishing Donkey Kong's Crash Course 3 days after the Wii U launch at age 6. You can read Brad Long's weekly opinion column here and follow him on Twitter.

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