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Wii U First Impressions
Rumored for weeks before E3, the Wii U was finally officially announced at Nintendo's E3 2011 press conference. After the show, several demos were available to demonstrate the Wii U's unique capabilities, ranging from a drawing game to Super Mario Bros. Mii. Steve Butts played several of these tech demos and, while impressed, he was wary of other developers' abilities to take full advantage of the Wii U's features.
Read Steve's full preview of the Wii U here. The platform is due for release 2012.
Okay, so those were the logistics. Here's the big thing. It looked amazing. The textures were crisp and clean, the reflection from the floor was dynamic and shifted in natural light. There were several little Navi-like fairies flying all around leaving sparking trails of fairy dust, all flickering independently. You could see each hair on Gohma's furry spider body. Nintendo. Please make this game for me.
The big deal for this demo was probably showing how players can turn off the TV and use the Wii U controller as its own mini-console if mother needs to watch her shows. I have to admit that while playing and looking down at the Wii U pad, I sometimes forgot there was a TV in front of me. It was a weird, but futuristic feeling to have this choice. The TV obviously looked better, as I didn't find the pad's screen to be super sharp at this point in time, but it is comfortable to play on should it be necessary. Considering the popularity of Super Mario Bros., I would expect Super Mario Bros. Mii or something like it to make its way out of tech demo status sometime during the Wii U's lifetime.