E3: Wii U

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E3: Wii U

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The Wii U is upon us, at least in prototype form, so it was only natural that we'd want to get our hands on it. The new touchpad controller seems to be the heart of this year's reveal; apart from the HD graphics, Nintendo's conference spent surprisingly little time discussing the actual power of the system. It's no surprise then that all of the tech demos being shown by Nintendo lean heavily on the new controller.

Before we get to the actual experiences, none of the games we're talking about are really games in the commercial sense; they're just proof of concept demos meant to suggest what types of experiences we might see. So when I mention Mario or Zelda, it's just because the tech demos use familiar characters.

Battle Mii
This two-on-one fight puts one player in charge of a flying ship using the new controller and tasks him or her with battling it out with the other two players who are on foot and using the standard Wiimote and nunchuck controls. The left stick of the controller works just like the standard WASD controls of other shooters, but instead of using the right stick to control your view, you simply move the touchpad around to aim at your enemies. It takes a bit of getting used to but once you get the hang of using the right stick to control your altitude and give an added speed boost to your turns, you can really make your way around the complex level quite easily.

Legend of Zelda
The demo for the high definition capabilities featured our green hat hero Link in "realistic" high definition, you know, like we've always wanted to see him. The scene was our Twilight Princess design of Link in a sprawling castle, proceeded by a battle sequence with Gohma.
Using the Wii U remote, you could make the castle light or dark, sunlight to moonlight changed the environment drastically, dynamically altering the scene. You could also change the angle of the camera to one of several vantage points, giving you different insights as to how the battle plays out. The controller also displays the map and the potential inventory section, and gives you the option to switch the menu from the remote to the TV screen. The scene ended before the end of the battle, and I nearly stomped by foot like a two year old.
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.

Measure Up
This demo was essentially showing how the Wii U remote communicated with the system. I played Measure Up head-to-head with the Nintendo representative at the booth. We had to draw various measurements, and geometrical figures in either centimeters or inches. Not wanting to be judged even more harshly than necessary, I went with inches to make it easier for myself.

First, I was asked to draw a one inch line. Easy enough. Next was a triangle with 1 inch sides. Okay, done. A 35 degree angle. Fine. Then, a squiggly line totaling 12 inches. Ummmmm....I got totally schooled by the representative who clearly has better perception than I. Drat. Everything we drew showed up on the screen exactly how I drew it on the remote. I'm going to go ahead and assume that the measurements were accurate, as I was always terrible at measurements. And drawing. And angles.

Super Mario Bros. Mii
Tech demo Super Mario Bros. Mii for the Wii U was simply a version of New Super Mario Bros. Wii with the main character's head replaced by a Mii head. It's a cute effect and gives things a personalized feel. I played the demo with the Wii U controller alone, but Wii Remotes were also attached to the demo to show the Wii U's multiple controller functionality (though it should be noted that only one Wii U controller was available).

There wasn't much new done with Super Mario Bros. Mii in terms of a Wii U product other than the fact that I could either play both as a handheld and on the TV screen. The Wii U certainly doesn't look like your typical controller, but it did feel comfortable using it to play the game on the TV. You can shake the Wii U pad to make your character spin-jump, but it felt a little unwieldy to perform a shake above just pressing a trigger.

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.

Shield Pose
Shield Pose takes place with the player surrounded by three pirate ships out on the ocean. The pirate king directs your movements as he tries to shoot suction-cup arrows at your grill. Players begin by holding the Wii U controller downward. The pirate will tell you to hold it forward, left, right, or up at the moon with a rhythm so you can block the arrows, and then shake them off (all at specific points in the beat of the music).

If the pirate says "left" players have to not only move the pad left but also focus it on the pirate ship on their left side. It gets complicated when he adds multiple directions which must be turned to quickly on the beat. You might not look like the coolest kid in town as you flail the Wii U pad about during Shield Pose, but it was really neat how it used both the pad's screen as a shield and the pirate on the TV as your director. As the end of the demo, I had to shake the pad wildly to build up a massive energy ball, and then pushed the pad forward to blast the pirate king to death. I felt bad, he seemed like an okay guy. After finishing my demo of Shield Pose, it was pretty obvious that Nintendo is going to need to think about a strong strap to keep the thing from flying out of people's hands.

In all the Wii U demos definitely hinted at the possibilities of the new controller, but it'll be a long time before developers truly make the most of it, or treat it as more than a simple gimmick. Given how long its taken for the motion controls to really start to make sense, we could be waiting a while before some smart game developer does something with the touchpad that does more than just mimic what's already possible.

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See all our coverage directly from the show floor.

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So, as a life-long Nintendo fan, I woke up on the morning to watch the E3 Stream and find out what Nintendo was going to throw at us this time.

As somebody who camped outside ASDA in my car virtually all night on release day just to get my hands on a Wii before the entire population of the UK descended on all available stock - obviously I was going to take a look.

But then...

During the press conference...

As soon as the name of the new console came out of the guys mouth, my hands rose from their resting position on my desk directly into the center of my FACE.

FACEPALM.

It might have been OK to give a console an AWFUL name once off...
...but giving it's successor an even more embarrassingly terrible name is a step too far.

They really need to kill the person coming up with these names.

If you had suggested calling it Nintendo Yuu at the board meeting everybody in the room would've probably pissed their pants at how awesome the name was.

Maybe there's just some love for using awful names for things in Japan that hasn't quite caught on in Europe (or the land of sanity) yet.

/

The name aside, if you can look past the abomination for a name it's been given (yet again) - the console looked OK.

At least this time you get 3rd Party Support and a lot more horsepower, with a large variety of games you'd only find on the PC or XBOX360 before-hand.

So hopefully that will mean less games with graphics from 1975 and monotoned heads the size of a jumbo jet - and more games with actual textures.

/

At least the Wii was the first of it's kind.

The Pii U just seems like more of the same except this time you get a free iPad with no multitouch that doesn't do anything other than display an inventory screen.

As for the new controller, you can only use 1 screen at time, which kind of defeats the point.

HOWEVER, being able to play a sidescrolling Mario platformer on nothing but the controller has some appeal.

/

I doubt i'll be getting a Pii U. If i've learnt anything from my life it's that consoles are totally pointless.

Stick to the PC. At least that hasn't got a name that will make your balls explode from laughter every time you say it. And it can (or soon will) emulate every console anyway.

/

Don't get me wrong.

I loved Twilight Princess and Mario Galaxy, but lost total interest in my Wii after that.

I just don't know enough people interested in performing jerking off motions with a Wii controller all day to make owning one worth it, clearly.

I just think Wii is fighting a battle that it can't compete in, like how Microsoft and Sony did with the Kinect and Move, respectively.

Although this might anger some harder-core Nintendo fans, i think they should stick to what they're good at.

Sounds interesting but I'm still waaay too much of a controller with buttons kind of guy to buy into it. Tactile feedback has been my friend for a long time and you don't get that with a touch screen. I don't want to split my attention from the screen to my touchscreen. On the DS it was feasible because of the size/distance of the two screens but...

I dunno, maybe I'm just thinking about a worst case scenario but I wasn't very interested in the Wii.

hmmm sounds like the console has a lot of potential, I just wish the words hardcore, casual, and gimmick would stop being used, it as much of a gimmack as the xbox360 simply haveing better graphics then the xbox can be called a gimmick

Interesting statistic: Nintendo's stock plummeted after the "Wii U" was revealed. <facepalm>
Some reasons why:
1. 'Wii U'? Are you f*cking kidding me? what kind of a name is that?
2. I don't remember the exact price, just that it was way too expensive and even more overpriced than the PS3 was, considering what you're getting for your money.
3. The controller must have been designed by a retard. Seriously? We have to constantly swap views between our TV and a touchscreen? I think not. In addition, the controller seems much too big eith the 6-inch uber-gimmicky touchscreen in it.

Congratulations, Nintendo. You officially lost my money. And honestly a lot of my respect.

Tim Bayliss:
snip

I understand some of your reservations, but giving it a juvenile nickname and proclaiming its inferiority to your system of choice do not communicate intelligent thought. I agree the name is really stupid, but you'd be surprised how much sounding intelligent makes your argument seem better, namely because you sound like you actually put thought into it instead of sounding like a child whose toy was just taken away. Just a suggestion.

OT: I'm interested. Admittedly, as someone who waited 11 hours overnight to pre-order a Wii, I've been hurt by Nintendo here. The Wii had a lot of potential (I don't ascribe to making blanket statements about how anything is always inherently a gimmick; that shows, in my opinion, short-sightedness and a lack of imagination), but it was almost all squandered on crappy shovelware that costs less to make than a single copy sells for (exaggeration, obviously, but you get the point). If this is used well, which I'm really hoping for since the graphical capability will allow for more of the types of games being released on the 360 and PS3, I will be very excited.

For that matter, if this system is used to bring the Wii's casual gamers into the core gaming experience, I may even forgive them for the Wii. It would be a mission well-accomplished.

Pricing was

$259 and $300

IIRC

/

If that was to translate directly to other currencies (it won't), that would be:

158 and 183

or

€178 and €206

/

I wish I knew what the 2 differing editions were, but I don't remember them even mentioning specs

Just 2 prices.

Or am I quoting the Vita prices?

I want it. So help me God, it's got the worst name in the history of gaming consoles, and I desperately want it.

Im betting pricing for it will be like 300-350, really the only decision I have is if I should trade in my wii or not for this

Worgen:
Im betting pricing for it will be like 300-350, really the only decision I have is if I should trade in my wii or not for this

There's absolutely no reason to NOT trade your Wii for it - is there?

It will be just as backwards compatible as the Wii (old games, GameCube games) and will run the Nintendo eShop, and the newest games.

There wouldn't really be any logic in keeping a Wii, but not buying a Wii U, if you were still interested in Nintendo overall, and playing their games.

You would just be stuck with a Wii, not able to play the new Zelda or Mario game.

/

But, one important thing to mention

Is that you would want to keep all of your Wii controllers and input devices, because they will still work with the Wii U.

Therefore, maybe it would be sensible to keep your Wii, or at least THE CONTROLLERS!

Otherwise you'll be taking out a 2nd mortgage on your house just to pay for some new ones.

300-350 is a reasonable price, after all the only expensive part should be the controller as the tec in the actual system should not be too much.

Also this website has so much irational hate for nintendo I just suspect people will use a somewhat insulting name like "ninty" call it a "pii u" use the word gimmick and then say Ill stick with "X" because it provides a "real" gaming experience. Then use some made up numbers an facts. Thats pretty much how it works here.

Tim Bayliss:

Worgen:
Im betting pricing for it will be like 300-350, really the only decision I have is if I should trade in my wii or not for this

There's absolutely no reason to NOT trade your Wii for it - is there?

It will be just as backwards compatible as the Wii (old games, GameCube games) and will run the Nintendo eShop, and the newest games.

There wouldn't really be any logic in keeping a Wii, but not buying a Wii U, if you were still interested in Nintendo overall, and playing their games.

You would just be stuck with a Wii, not able to play the new Zelda or Mario game.

well the gamecube disks I have wont work with the wiiu and the games Ive bought from the shop will probably need the console to transfer and by the time the wiiU comes out the wii will probably not get much in trade in

I definitely don't hate Nintendo.

I just hate the idiots who came up with the names of the last 2 consoles.

Thaius:
For that matter, if this system is used to bring the Wii's casual gamers into the core gaming experience, I may even forgive them for the Wii. It would be a mission well-accomplished.

I agree, the thought that the WiiU may bring causal gamers to core gaming makes me more exited than the hardware itself. Buy it for the backwards compatibility, the touchscreen gaming/internet surfing, and the novelty (I, unlike many Escapistians, don't think enjoying a novelty constitues a crime against humanity) and become use to the standard controller while you're at it. It a wonderful thought that the WiiU could easily make core gamers out of casual gamers. Nintendo doesn't even have to make games I like and I'll still love them. By bringing new people into gaming, children in particular, they're securing the future of gaming.

Worgen:
well the gamecube disks I have wont work with the wiiu

The Wii U isn't compatible with GameCube discs?

It better be! :/

Oh well, if it's not, nothing a chipping can't fix.

I hear you can use a USB Drive as storage.

/

Maybe they are planning on putting the GameCube games on the eShop, forcing you to buy them again - but I bloody hope not!

Suuuuuurely it will have GameCube compatibility.

Tim Bayliss:

Worgen:
well the gamecube disks I have wont work with the wiiu

The Wii U isn't compatible with GameCube discs?

It better be! :/

Oh well, if it's not, nothing a chipping can't fix.

I hear you can use a USB Drive as storage.

Im pretty sure they arnt but yeah I heard you can use a usb drive also but its only usb2 not usb3 unfortinatly, usb3 roars

Worgen:

Tim Bayliss:

Worgen:
well the gamecube disks I have wont work with the wiiu

The Wii U isn't compatible with GameCube discs?

It better be! :/

Oh well, if it's not, nothing a chipping can't fix.

I hear you can use a USB Drive as storage.

Im pretty sure they arnt but yeah I heard you can use a usb drive also but its only usb2 not usb3 unfortinatly, usb3 roars

could you use a wiiu controler for the game cube games? I mean their are no gamecube ports but the wiiu pad has the button layout for them

coolkirb:

Worgen:

Tim Bayliss:

The Wii U isn't compatible with GameCube discs?

It better be! :/

Oh well, if it's not, nothing a chipping can't fix.

I hear you can use a USB Drive as storage.

Im pretty sure they arnt but yeah I heard you can use a usb drive also but its only usb2 not usb3 unfortinatly, usb3 roars

could you use a wiiu controler for the game cube games?

probably but I think the disks just wont work, I dont think its the controler, I mean the wiiU controller looks like its got the same number of buttons as the gamecube controller maybe the software or them not wanting to have the drive setup to read those minidisks

I need to see some actual footage of 3rd party titles before I'm sold on it. Yes, it's got some good looking Nintendo properties, but wasn't the 3rd part footage from other consoles??

Also, too much going on with the controller for my liking....

ObsessiveSketch:
I want it. So help me God, it's got the worst name in the history of gaming consoles, and I desperately want it.

My thoughts exactly. Im still hopeing they'll change the name before launch.

Thaius:

Tim Bayliss:
snip

I understand some of your reservations, but giving it a juvenile nickname and proclaiming its inferiority to your system of choice do not communicate intelligent thought. I agree the name is really stupid, but you'd be surprised how much sounding intelligent makes your argument seem better, namely because you sound like you actually put thought into it instead of sounding like a child whose toy was just taken away. Just a suggestion.

OT: I'm interested. Admittedly, as someone who waited 11 hours overnight to pre-order a Wii, I've been hurt by Nintendo here. The Wii had a lot of potential (I don't ascribe to making blanket statements about how anything is always inherently a gimmick; that shows, in my opinion, short-sightedness and a lack of imagination), but it was almost all squandered on crappy shovelware that costs less to make than a single copy sells for (exaggeration, obviously, but you get the point). If this is used well, which I'm really hoping for since the graphical capability will allow for more of the types of games being released on the 360 and PS3, I will be very excited.

For that matter, if this system is used to bring the Wii's casual gamers into the core gaming experience, I may even forgive them for the Wii. It would be a mission well-accomplished.

THIS. This is exactly what I think about the Wii. Lots of wasted potential. I don't hate it, just a bit dissapointed by it. Yes, it has a couple of amazing games, but just as Thaius pointed out, they're more the exception than the norm.

BUT, I still have hope with the Wiimote, combined with the horse power of the Wii U. The most common problem that the Wiimote had, was it's lack of proper recognition, wich was the whole point of the console in the first place, but then, they built in the Motion Plus into every new Wiimote, so I still have the hopes that someone, somewhere will get it right, even after the original Wii is dead and rotten.

And yes, color me excited for this wierd little console.

As for some people concerned about the lack of support for GameCube games, remember that flawed little gem of a service, called the Virtual Console?. I'd love to see my favorite GC games in HD. Just sayin'.

Sven_Untgaarde:
I just think Wii is fighting a battle that it can't compete in, like how Microsoft and Sony did with the Kinect and Move, respectively.

Although this might anger some harder-core Nintendo fans, i think they should stick to what they're good at.

Actually, I believe Nintendo has a very good chance in competing with the "h@rdc0re" userbase.

Also, Microsoft CAN compete in with the whole casual motion controls thing, as that's all they'll be doing for the next few years.

Judging by the look of the controller and what it does it will be very expensive. Also streaming the game on multiple controllers will result in a very expensive console. I think they should just make controllers without the screen but can perform the functions its required to.

My solution to the one controller problem.

It does look cool though. And after seeing all that stuff about 3ds I've decided to break down and buy one.

You win again nintendo.

I've noticed the biggest complaint people have is the name...Which isn't that bad tbh. Seriously the name affects NOTHING what the console can do.

It's a HD Wii (which everyone wanted anyway) with a completely different controller to any other console, that allows developers to create brand new games that they couldn't before... what's so bad?

Plus 3rd party developer support is a lot better...again what's so bad, that is what we have all wanted for the Wii.

I honestly don't see why so many are complaining, give a better argument other than the name then i might be inclined to agree with someone, until then i can't see a problem with it.

SupahGamuh:
As for some people concerned about the lack of support for GameCube games, remember that flawed little gem of a service, called the Virtual Console?. I'd love to see my favorite GC games in HD. Just sayin'.

It's kinda what the 3DS is doing with the E-shop, Gameboy and Gameboy colour games will be on there soon...so i believe Gamecube games will be on the WiiU, but they will need to be downloaded...Pokemon: XD gale of darkness in HD and Pokemon Yellow in 3D? Hell yeh!

Joshica Huracane:
I need to see some actual footage of 3rd party titles before I'm sold on it. Yes, it's got some good looking Nintendo properties, but wasn't the 3rd part footage from other consoles??

Also, too much going on with the controller for my liking....

You'll be waiting a while then, the Console isn't even finished, but judging by E3 3rd party support WILL happen.

Platypus540:

2. I don't remember the exact price, just that it was way too expensive and even more overpriced than the PS3 was, considering what you're getting for your money.

WRONG! Nintendo have said that the console will be priced to rival the 360 and PS3.

Meaning it will be about 300 max.

Sorry to burst your hate bubble :)

I just wanna slap some people why isn't a touch screen controller feasible if shifting your focus was to hard or impossible then guess what THEY WOULDN'T HAVE MADE IT I bet your doing it right now every few seconds with your keyboard as your typing.

This has more potential than the wii more power than the PS3 and an online system akin to xbox live (its being designed by EA and already confirmed by multiple third parties) If you don't want this to some degree I just look down on you

Honestly tell me you can't come up with 4 ways games can benefit from a touchscreen i Can

RTS games will now work on consoles.

Interactive Mini maps

Play 2 player splitscreen without splitting the screen

I can think of a ton more

nima55:

ObsessiveSketch:
I want it. So help me God, it's got the worst name in the history of gaming consoles, and I desperately want it.

My thoughts exactly. Im still hopeing they'll change the name before launch.

Seriously, why not just call it the Yuu? IT WORKS, and it doesn't sound like an amberlamps!

Platypus540:
Interesting statistic: Nintendo's stock plummeted after the "Wii U" was revealed. <facepalm>
Some reasons why:
1. 'Wii U'? Are you f*cking kidding me? what kind of a name is that?
2. I don't remember the exact price, just that it was way too expensive and even more overpriced than the PS3 was, considering what you're getting for your money.
3. The controller must have been designed by a retard. Seriously? We have to constantly swap views between our TV and a touchscreen? I think not. In addition, the controller seems much too big eith the 6-inch uber-gimmicky touchscreen in it.

Congratulations, Nintendo. You officially lost my money. And honestly a lot of my respect.

About your 3rd point. No one said you had to swap views "constantly"; that's the key word here. If anything that's what we should hope designers don't do otherwise I see no problem with just pausing the game, looking down and equipping your shit.

ObsessiveSketch:

nima55:

ObsessiveSketch:
I want it. So help me God, it's got the worst name in the history of gaming consoles, and I desperately want it.

My thoughts exactly. Im still hopeing they'll change the name before launch.

Seriously, why not just call it the Yuu? IT WORKS, and it doesn't sound like an amberlamps!

lol yea I was hopeing that they would call it the Nintendo entertainment system. Alas it was not to be -_-

arc1991:

Platypus540:

2. I don't remember the exact price, just that it was way too expensive and even more overpriced than the PS3 was, considering what you're getting for your money.

WRONG! Nintendo have said that the console will be priced to rival the 360 and PS3.

Meaning it will be about 300 max.

Sorry to burst your hate bubble :)

You just quadruple posted, that's not very good :-/

The pricing alone proves it, this console isn't next gen, it's current gen.
Sorry to burst your fanboy bubble :)

It is really just a DS for the TV isn't it? Great for RPGs, etc. All the maps and menus go on the hand held screen and the action on the main screen.

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