It remains to be seen whether Nintendo's new Wii U console will spark frantic store-to-store shopping searches during the holiday season the way the original Wii did in 2006, but one thing's for certain: it's going to be on a lot of wish lists this year.
If you manage to snag a Wii U for gifting, the next question is what games to get for your giftee. Or what games to have others get for him or her, since without your guidance Aunt Bernice will surely keep making knitted slippers for presents.
Here are five can't-miss Wii U games, each matched to the ideal recipient.
Batman: Arkham City - Armored Edition ($59.99; rated Teen)
With the Wii U boasting visuals that are roughly equal to the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, Nintendo-only households suddenly have access to a variety of big-name games that had only been available on other systems. Batman: Arkham City is one of the best games of last year, and the Wii U version offers some cool tweaks specific to the GamePad touchscreen, as well as the option to play the game entirely on the controller display.
Get this for: The diehard Bat-fan who has yet to play this one. If such a thing exists.
New Super Mario Bros. U ($59.99; rated Everyone)
Just seeing our old pal Mario in glorious high-definition is almost enough to sell this game. And while New Super Mario Bros. U feels like a bit of a familiar throwback, that's not necessarily a bad thing. The level design is fantastic, and the game allows as many as five people to play together, with the person using the GamePad acting as an assistant of sorts to the people guiding Mario, Luigi and the Toads with standard Wii Remotes.
Tough puzzle got you stuck? Call upon a flatulent rainbow elephant. As young Max, players must work their way through dozens of levels and conjure objects into existence using a magical notepad with an extensive vocabulary-- that farting, multihued pachyderm might even come in handy. Solving problems and helping people has never been so much fun, and the game can be played entirely on the Wii U GamePad if desired.
Get this for: Anyone tween and older with a creative streak.
ZombiU ($59.99; rated Mature)
This nail-biting, brain-eating horror game is reminiscent of the old-school Resident Evil titles, back when they were more about scares that action setpieces. With London in the grip of a full-blown zombie apocalypse, your primary goal is simple: survive. ZombiU boasts some inventive uses of the GamePad, from scanning a room for objects to cracking a combination lock as the shambling undead approach. Hurry!
Get this for: People who like frights. And braaaaains.
Nintendo Land (included with Wii U Deluxe Set; rated Everyone)
The $349.99 Wii U Deluxe Set comes with a copy of Nintendo Land (among other goodies), and this alone makes it a better choice than the $299.99 Wii U Basic Set. This collection of 12 minigames inspired by Nintendo classics not only teaches players the new and novel ways games can be played on the Wii U, it's adorable and fun in its own right, and should be the first game any new Wii U owner plays.
Get this for: The whole family. Even Aunt Bernice.