News Article

First Impressions: Nintendo Wii U

Posted by Corbie Dillard

Taking Nintendo's new console for a spin

After seeing the Wii U and its touchpad controller revealed at Nintendo's E3 Press Conference, it was difficult to get an idea of what the system would hold from a gaming perspective. Sure, the visual power looked good and the controller itself featured a wide array of control functionality, but getting a feel for what the system could do from a practical standpoint would have to wait until I could get my hands on the system and experience it in action on the show floor.

When you first hold the actual Wii U controller in your hands, it's a bit of a shock to the system. It's just so vastly different from anything else you've likely used on a home video game console and its larger size is a bit staggering at first glance. The controller does feature a nice lip that runs along the upper section of the rear of the controller which does make it quite comfortable to hold, but it's obvious that this baby is going to take some time to get used to. The button alignments are fairly familiar to anyone who's played any of Nintendo's recent console offerings, but the inclusion of Circle Pads rather than the typical tilting analog sticks is a bit strange, not to mention the fact that the buttons are far too mushy.

The console itself looks extremely similar to the Wii system, but it does feature a much more rounded look and is significantly longer that the Wii, most likely due to housing a far greater number of components than its predecessor. Much like the controller, the button arrangement on the front of the console is similar to that of the Wii and even the ports found on the back of the system don't stray too far from what we've already seen before. Probably the biggest addition would have to be the HDMI port, finally signaling Nintendo's embracing of HD technology, something that should please fans who've been clamoring for a high-definition experience from their Nintendo console for the past few years.

Since no actual Nintendo title were playable for the system, it was up to the rather unique batch of demos the company had running on the Wii U console to show off the system's capabilities. The demo I had the opportunity to play was called Shield Pose and involved blocking arrows being shot from a band of ghostly pirates using the Wii U controller.

At the beginning of the demo, you're given a short tutorial that shows you how to use the Wii U controller as a shield in order to catch the barrage of arrows being shot at you from the various pirate ships. When you raise the controller, it acts as a targeting window that can be pointed in a variety of directions, depending on which direction the arrows are being fired from. The pirate leader gives you a heads-up as to which direction you'll need to face at the beginning of each round and then it's up to you to follow the commands to the rhythm of the music and then slam the arrows off of the screen by motioning the controller in a downward thrust. There's even a female announcer that will help you stay in tempo with the music.

There's no denying that the mix of the TV screen and controller screen was quite unique. Even the surroundings would change based on which direction you were looking through the controller. If you aimed the controller at the sky, you'd see the moon, whereas looking directly at the screen would show you a version of what was already displaying on the HDTV in front of you as if you were looking through a window on the controller. You're even treated to a rather impressive display of the arrows sticking to your screen.

Once you've accumulated enough arrows, you're then asked to dance around while wildly shaking the Wii U controller in order to build up an energy blast that you'll eventually fire off at the pirate ship in front of you by thrusting the Wii U controller out towards the pirate ship. If you can complete all of these tasks, victory will be yours and the nagging undead pirates will be knocked off of the ship. Trust me, it sounds far more exciting than it actually was.

One of the highlights of the demo would have to be the visual presentation. Not only do you get some of the most silky smooth storybook-like visuals, but there are also some extremely flashy lighting effects used on the swinging lamps. Even the animations taking place onscreen were every bit as smooth and fluid as the individual graphical touches themselves. All in all, it was very nice to finally see a Nintendo console displaying in HD, something long overdue.

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little disappointed in the Wii U and while I see a lot of potential with the system, it's going to put an awful lot of pressure on developers to come up with creative uses for all of this unique technology which, as we've seen with the Wii, often leads to them spending all of their time tacking worthless uses for it on just for the sake of doing so. To be fair, I'll at least give it all a chance and wait until I get the chance to see and play some actual Nintendo games on the console before I pass too much judgement.

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User Comments (102)



bro2dragons said:

My only disappointments from what I've seen is the choice of circle pad over analog stick, and the placements of them on the controller. It looks rather awkward having your hands at differing heights to use the buttons and left circle pad, but I guess I'll find out for sure when the time comes. I wish it would run GC games, but I knew it wouldn't, so I guess that's not a let down, just a confirmation. Really, I think the thing won't be the super crazy mind-blowing innovation we expected, but it will make all forms of gaming more natural, more smooth, more engaging, more intuitive and more entertaining. Overall, it will improve everything in my estimation... I just don't count on it changing everything as did the Wii.



phoenix1818 said:

Seems like Nintendo hasn't given up on the casual gimmicks yet. I'll take them seriously once a proper title is shown, whether it be Smash Bros or Zelda HD.



armoredghor said:

Well, from what we've heard from developers, I think a good number of them have ideas and the others can just stick to their regular games and still offer them on the console.



Portista said:

I think people are being too hard on the Wii U. Just because it is different, doesn't mean its bad. Even though your impressions were good Corbie, you seemed a little too harsh to me.



Metal_Slugger said:

I'm in mainly for the boosted graphics and the controller is neat. Can't wait to see a Nintendo title with newer graphics.



Skotski said:

I heard the controller's rather light.
Which is good... considering it would be uncomfortable to stick onto a zapper if it were heavy.



Corbs said:

The controller is surprisingly light, especially considering its size. And if you think that was harsh Portista, you should have read the first draft.



WolfRamHeart said:

Thanks for your impressions Corbs. I have to say that I am still not sold on the Wii U but I am starting to warm up to it now. It is going to take a lot for Nintendo to convince me that I need to have one of these. When I first saw the Wii I was immediately sold on it but that isn't the case with the Wii U. The controller sounds awkward and I don't like that Nintendo is putting so much emphasis on this new controller. I already own a PS3 and Xbox 360 so Nintendo needs to offer me a system that can do everything those other consoles do and more. First party game support from Nintendo is of course a given but third party support is extremely important to me as well as a robust online service. I definitely would like the Wii U to be more powerful than the PS3/360 but still be sold at an affordable price. I still wish that Nintendo would change that awful name. Anyway, these are just a few things that I would like to see in the Wii U. Hopefully, Nintendo will have a system that will blow my mind and have me willing to open up my wallet by the time the next E3 comes around.



Bankai said:

Hey Corbie, nicely written impressions - I thought very nicely balanced. I think almost everyone is of two minds with this thing... will be very, very interesting to see if the reality can live up to the potential



iphys said:

Hmmm, I was hoping it wouldn't be such a disappointment once you actually tried it, but if it's still a bit of a disappointment that really doesn't bode well. I'm still not sure if I will actually buy this, and usually buying a Nintendo system is a no-brainer for me.



zeeroid said:

I kinda like the "mushy" buttons to be honest. I assume it's similar to, say, a DS Lite versus a 3DS? Because DS Lite's buttons feel better to me.



timp29 said:

Hey Corbie, thanks for such an honest impression. It is good to be reminded every now and then that this site isn't blindly pro-nintendo.

To be honest I am a little underwhelmed by this offering. Hopefully it is more a case of the system being so new that nintendo hasn't had a chance to produce suitable demo software. My take on the screen on the controller is that nintendo is really trying to make a HD DS. The advantages and applications that a dual screen can be used for seem quite limited to me (perhaps I just lack imagination) and most of these (like seeing the lie of the ball in Wii Sports Golf) seem more like novelty factor than having any impact upon how the game is played.



moosa said:

What I have to say about the Wii U is that I definitely "get it," whether or not this one tech demo you played is any fun. The windows opened up by this new controller are surprising for such a simple concept. Let me point out that there's a lot more in store here than just different ways to control the games we already have.

@19 It's difficult to explain briefly, but there's a LOT more to this than a simple "dual screen" experience a-la DS. I suggest you read the Iwata Asks intervew about the Wii U controller to help get your mind around where this is going.



Capt_N said:

Part of what will convince me to get a WiiU(that name needs changing,imo) is how well the hardware possibilities are implemented. I hope that third parties don't tack on controls, as you said, Corbie. I actually hope that devs will take the approach of rather than tacking controls on, for the sake of, that they will instead just make a really great game that just uses standard controls. B/c having extra, unnecessary, & more importantly sloppily, rushed, tacked-on controls for the sake of putting them in will only have a detrimental effect on any games. Also, it is (very) nice to know that this site isn't "blindly" pro-Nintendo, as timp29 put it.

I just remembered ~ What is the chance that part, if not all of Nintendo's reasoning for dropping GCN backward compatibility is b/c of issues the GCN games would have visually, when they weren't made for hd. For instance, I've heard some stuff about troubles, visually, w/ GCN games on hd tvs. Don't know myself. Just what I've heard from ppl. Edit: This makes me wonder if Nintendo will have to address the VC, in terms of visual performance, if they are planning to allow for VC/WW transfer to WiiU. As I recall,there have already been VC/hd visual issues, that Nintendo subsequently addressed. I don't remember completely.



Corbs said:

When I see the games and what developers are doing, then I'll jump on board. Until then, talk is cheap. I want to see actions. I don't worry much about first-party stuff, it's the third-party stuff I'm more concerned about. Next year will tell the tale. Until then I shall remain cautiously skeptical. At least I have my Vita and 3DS to keep me occupied until Wii U hits next year.



SullKid said:

@zeeroid Yeah, 3DS buttons feel a little too clicky for me too. DS Lite had it right, so I hope they "make 'em like they used to"! I think 3DS buttons might last longer in extreme use, and that's their reason.



default12345 said:

the only opinion that matters is our own. but thank you for spending the time to give us your impressions.

it'll be a day one purchase for me.



Corbs said:

@Sullkid - Oh the Wii U buttons go WAYYYYYYYYYYY beyond the softer DS Lite buttons. I'm talking barely able to tell you pressed them soft.

@warnerdan - You're very right and very welcome.



jsdman1234 said:

They have announced Smash Bros for it already. Along side an announcement for a 3DS version of Smash Bros.
And where's the casual gimmick here? They're just 'tech demos' showing what the controller can be like right now. Nothing set in stone.
And how is Assassin's Creed, Batman: Arkham City, Ninja Gaiden 3, and an exclusive Ninja Gaiden sounds casual anyways?



BJQ1972 said:

No offence to Corbie - I'm a big fan of his reviews and reports - but this report reminds me of a house hunter who can't see the potential of a property they are viewing because they don't like the curtains.

Nintendo consoles have always been about games made by Nintendo, and I have no doubt that they will yet again produce the goods with this.

My only worry is that this console will go the way of the Gamecube - it will start with great 3rd party support but as it becomes obvious that only Nintendo games sell on a Nintendo console then 3rd party support will once again diminish. It won't be helped by the fact that we are supposed to be only half way through the Xbox360/PS3 generation so most WiiU multiformat games will be ports from the Xbox360, and the WiiU will have a much smaller user base.

The announced 'core' games for example will ship around a year after the possibly identical Xbox360/PS3 versions. Who would wait to buy them on WiiU?



WaveGhoul said:

I'm just waiting for the day when Nintendo creates a system where you're actually in the game, probably by using some sort of VR helmet. I'm pretty sure if you were IN Shield Pose, as in a virtual world that you could look around and see the sky/moon for yourself by actually looking around like you would in real life, yet in a virtual world 'while' using a controller which visually is a shield in that virtual world would of been far more amazing and exciting than using a Controller with a screen on it.

It's like Nintendo took almost a different route instead with the Wii U, it definitly looks unique and creative, but it just doesn't quite lead into that virtual reality-like setting. Maybe the next generation after the U will Nintendo draw the lines between VR and HDTV's and deliver an amazing magical gaming and completely immersive experience for different types of genres.

So far, Metroid Prime 3 for the Wii was the most engaging, and immesive experience I've had all thanks to the 1:1 Wii pointer controls. You felt like you were Samus and the precision was amazing when set on advanced. Even using the grappling beam to rip open canisters or doors felt so awesome and satisfying to use with the nunchuck. The Wii U Controller on the other hand would be terrible for Wii pointer controls and would in no way replicate holding a sword like in Skyward sword or replicate Samsus's Arm Cannon for example....But that's where the Wii Remote plus/Nunchuck comes on in, thank god it will be used in Wii U titles.

Because the Wii U controller seems like a stepback and inferior to the Wii Remote Plus/Nunchuck regarding 3rd or first person titles or any game requireing you to aim or hold onto a sword for example. And forget that zapper Wii Controller combination crap, that looks akward, clunky and in the way. That AGAIN would not replicate Samsus's arm cannon. You need a wii remote for that.

I wouldn't want to use the Wii U for the Next Zelda or Metroid Prime....Tradition controls for either game would totaly suck in my opinion, of course sprinkled with 'other' types of innovation all thanks the controller screen, the gyro controls and of course a differnt type of wii pointer implamentation.

if anything, I'd LOVE to use the Wii U Controller for Sides Scrollers, such as Super Mario Bros, Wario Land and what have you. but for certain genre's it's a complete step back at making you feel like you ARE the character.



pianoman said:

Due the HD capability, more serious racing games may be with us the next year (driving mirror <-> U controller). What about the USB 2.0 connectivity? Does it support force feedback effects? If so, maybe a pro wheel and pedals will guarantee us also superb racing experience which was "no go" regarding Wii and other Nintendo systems..



WaveGhoul said:

But Yup, at this point I'm honestly not too excited for the Wii U. I probably will be once I see some actual Nintendo games in action for the first time such as Super mario....And not NSMBWii U with the Wii-graphics...By the looks of it, it looks identicle, yet in HD with superior textures. Yippie!

And hell, the system itself doesn't even have a Wii U logo on it! Or at least on the front. Come on Nintendo, add a bit color in the mix you boring bozo's. I know it's a proto type, but what a lame way for it to slip under the rater and for it to take a complete back seat compared to the actual controller.

Nintendo should of revealed the console itself first.



JettiBlue said:

"it's going to put an awful lot of pressure on developers to come up with creative uses for all of this unique technology rather than spend all of their time tacking worthless uses for it on just for the sake of doing so. "

Sorry mate, but that's just negative talk. The new controller and it's new gaming options are exactly what excites the 3rd party developers. Me too as a gamer. There are tons of different ways you can imagine how to use the new controller. And as Nintendo said, it's up to the developer if and in which way they use the additional functions.
You only played the Shield Pose demo (which sounds like the weakest of all demos and games shown), so you shouldnt base all your judgment on just that.

What has Nintendo to do to make people happy??Even around a Nintendo site like here. With Wii everyone was moaning ah no HD grafics, ah 3rd party support sucks, ah Wii Mote is a gimmick - give me hardcore controls. Now Nintendo IS delivering HD, IS getting tons of 3rd party support, IS providing a controller that can do conventional controls while keeping the Wii motes compatible, and all this time still delivers ONCE AGAIN an innovation for the gaming world... and people keep MOANING...
Seriously, you should consider buying an Xbox or a PS if even that cant get you satisfied.



Squiggle55 said:

I actually agree WaveBoy, I think you might have stumbled upon one of the things that bothered me about the reveal — too much attention on the controller and none on the console. It's the console that I wanted to get excited about and focusing on the controller and naming it Wii U gives off that gimmicky vibe that I didn't want to feel. Ultimately I think it was just a bad way of revealing it and that's all.

I'm still going to buy it and I'm sure it'll be great, but from hence forth I refuse to say Wii U. From now on it's Wii 2.



Corbs said:

@JettiBlue - Well I've owned the Wii, PS3, and Xbox 360 since their release, not to mention the PSP and 29 other game systems, so I'm plenty satisfied. And I think I was pretty clear about making sure people understood that most of my opinions about the console were based on a short play of one demo and toying around with the controller for a few minutes. But that doesn't make me any less skeptical about how much control variations they've squeezed into this system and how much pressure that will put on developers to make use of this technology whether it fits into the game or not. We'll see soon enough when the real games start being shown and it might very well turn out to be the most fantastic console ever. I certainly hope so, anyway.



JimLad said:

You only got to play Shield Pose right? It's a shame you couldn't play Chase Mii as that sounded like the better demo.
I'm excited at the potential. It'll be a day one purchase for me because I know it will have Nintendo games on it. If they can produce some awesome software that makes use of the system's functions that's a bonus. If third parties can, that's another bonus.
They've provided the power and given a few extra tricks, what more can you ask for?



WaveGhoul said:

The unveiling of the WiiU was super weak....especially compared to last e3's unvieling of the 3DS. How cool was that? A glowing Pillar slowly came out of the ground with smoke forming around it, to reveal none other the Aqua Blue 3DS. Yet with the Wii U...We never got any of that, we never even saw the system. Reggie reveals the horrible name 'U' then Iwata shows a picture of the controller....what the hell!? A Picture!? He should of just shown the video footage first with the controller.

It was a ho-hum unsatisfying unveling, with a horrible name and a controller that takes a complete step backwards yet forward in a different way when compared to the WiiRemote Plus and Nunchuck.

They should of revealed the conole in the same fasion as the 3DS, with some crazy real time visuals, smoke, and whatever. Followed by the video footage of the controller...

Console should of been shown first, then the video footage of the system/controller and games and how it all works AND Nintendo should of had some proper next gen games or one at least on display. It all felt poorly put together in a way.



Corbs said:

I watched every demo they had, and I don't think it really would have mattered if I'd played one of the other demos as I wanted to see real games on the system. I'd have rather them not even shown the system if they weren't going to have some real games to try out on it. But as I said, I'm not passing judgement on it until I've had a chance to see what it can and is going to do. I had to write up some impressions and that's exactly what I did.



Squiggle55 said:

@JettiBlue You're right about HD and 3rd party that's all great news, and I like a controller with a screen on it. I'm a little concerned about the price of the new controller though, and I'll be disappointed if it's completely unaffordable to have multiple controllers. Makes me worry about the state of local multiplayer b/c I don't want a lot of games compatible with only 1 new controller and 3 wiimotes/nunchucks. I just want this sweet HD machine and 4 new cool controllers with screens and, most importantly, no wiimotes in sight.

How about a brand new Zelda 4 Swords adventure, and everyone has their own screen for their inventory. That's the wii 2 game I want.

@Corbs Thanks for all your first impressions this week. Although it does just make the wait that much harder for all of those great 3DS games. and I understand being hesitant about the new console, but as long as everyone gets a screen and developers avoid incorporating touch mechanics and whatnot just for the sake of it then everything will be great.



daznsaz said:

you could maybe have controller resting on your legs using it like a jumbo size fighter arcade controller depending what game your playing they could have screw holes in the sliders so you could put sticks in if you wanted



Corbs said:

The only problem with that idea dazsnaz is that these are sliders, not tilting sticks. Not sure how an actual joystick would work or feel like that.

@Squiggle55 - My pleasure.



Cia said:

What's all this complaining about? I'm glad we finally got a HD console from nintendo with precise controls (unlike the wiimote). When i press the button, Link WILL swing his sword. Waving the Wiimote however doesn't always register, which is the reason why i regret buying Twilight princess for wii instead of GC (aside with the fully controllable camera, of course, which they couldn't implement in the wii version because of the lack of second analog stick). The best thing about wii u however is, that it still supports Wiimotes, so everyone should be happy.



Punky said:

well written impressions....but would have preferred to see impressions from someone who got to play all the demos available....I know they were not real games but still...



Corbs said:

Wouldn't have changed a thing even if I had played them all. They were all just silly motion-controlled mini-games and not one of them could put into perspective what we're hoping to see from the real games. And as I said, I watched every single one of them from start to finish and heard the demonstrators explain ever facet of them and how they functioned. That's exactly why I'm not going to pass final judgement until I see what this console can really do.

In fact I got far more out of watching the Ubisoft demos at the Developer's Roundtable than any of these silly demos. At least they showed how they were planning to use the hardware and controller by showing the actual Ghost Recon, Killer Freaks, and Assassin's Creed games themselves.

And man this is one of the best discussions I've had on here in awhile. You guys rock!



moosa said:

I dunno Corbs. I guess we're all just wired a little differently. As a "creator" myself, all I can think about whenever Nintendo comes out with something new like this is all the creative possibilities it brings, and that's what gets me flipping mad with excitement. My head goes wild with all these ideas and that's how I know Nintendo is on to something. It is worth mentioning that often times developers don't manage to deliver the full potential of the technology in their products. This was definitely the case with Wii as well as other consoles. So I guess for some people like yourself, you just need to see the final product in the games themselves before you can judge whether or not you like what's being offered.



Corbs said:

Perhaps the Wii and many of its games, especially third party offerings, has a lot to do with my skepticism. And some of it has to do with the fact that I built up a lot of hype and expectations for what we'd be shown that might not have been completely realistic. But in the end, we'll all see the goods soon enough, and then we can start making some real judgements about what's being offered up.



jerryo said:

yeah i think the name should be just U.

it could be interpreted and used in many ways. and make it more personal. but i guess they also didn't want to lose the wii brand name. the console and the controller appear to be stellar in power and conception, (i believe that sony added the console connection feature the last months going after the rumours for the "wii2" and trying to beat nintendo to it)

What is the most important now is the games and features at launch! real games and features at launch, not what they did to us with 3DS. i will never forgive them for this! unless; they make something amazing for us at launch! Chat and video conference a'la skype for free between friends is a MUST! (kinect allows you to do that already!!)



turtlelink said:

At the moment it seems like its just an HD Wii with a controller that has a screen. I hope we get tons more info about this by next E3 because just an HD Wii isn't really that big of a deal imo.

I also don't see why they didn't make the controller for the Wii instead.



Kirk said:

For a machine that's supposed to be more focused on the core gamer I'm surprised that the only game demos that Nintendo had to show were those that were clearly more casual focused (and incidentally they all looked like very basic Wii games graphically but just running in HD).

This machine has a lot of potential but there and just so many unanswered questions and uncertainties right now that I've still to be fully convinced it's not just going to be another Wii (and you know what I mean by that).



default12345 said:

@Corbs I'm sorry. I didn't mean for my last comment to sound so arrogant. I enjoy reading the articles on this website as the staff have refreshingly non-biased views and opinions.



melechofsin said:

@turtlelink - how can they make the controller for the Wii? This controller demands huge power, power that the PS3/360 can't come close to. It means trasmitting HD images to the controller at at all times, if you choose too, seamlessly, without any lag or latency whatsoever. The wireless connection between two will not be simple either like the Wii remotes, it will be some other radio signal most probably, and it exerts huge sources.

I am excited for this Wii revolution. Nintendo wanted something more than just HD and I think they came with one that's affordable (I would have like that haptic-touch sensitiive screen rumor, but it will be too costly at this point). Seriously, the tablet shouldn't cost too much since all the processing is done on the console, and it seems they're using the right chips and all.

Wii U will probably sell for $300... MAYBE $350 with all the controllers, be the most powerful console in the market, for at least 3 years I think, and will hopefully sell like crazy.




Thanks for the impressions.

I think it looks like the third party devs will have to get really creative for once - this may well be good for them - takes them out of their cjoypad controller gaming comfort zone. Good I say as it looks like THEY truly ARE going to get innovative (judging by their enthusiasm for the new console and its controller)....

Corbs, this may not be the final design for the controller although its unlikely there'll be dramatic changes. Is their any subtle changes you'd make to it at all, however?



Fuzzy said:

Good impressions. I'm still not quite sold on the idea though, but one of the videos I saw of it was impressive.

At the moment, I'm only interested in exclusive Wii U games, because if this is region locked, I'll get the multi-console games on my PS3.



NintyMan said:

Developers should be pressured to think up some creative uses, because that's what they ought to be doing instead of making half-hearted attempts at games, otherwise known as shovelware. Everyone is being way too quick to judgment about something that we don't completely know about. Wii U might sound too different for peoples' tastes, but that's what happens when there's change. Just you wait, once Mario, Zelda, Metroid, and other first-party games are revealed, people will dump their skepticism and heap praise on the console! Right now we're all just being in speculation mode.



warioswoods said:


"They were all just silly motion-controlled mini-games and not one of them could put into perspective what we're hoping to see from the real games"

Hey now, the Find Mii game looks tremendously fun, like a long-overdue revival of Pac Man VS — one of the greatest multiplayer games I've ever owned — but now with a more original look and more advanced display for the "Pac Man" player. Those are the kinds of social games I'm looking to see on the Wii U... I want to see the next living room experience to rival Wii Sports before they start rolling out traditional games on it in HD.



Kid_A said:

Nice write-up Corbs. That'll show those people that say we shamelessly suck up to Nintendo

Personally, I'm with you. I think the potential here is incredible, but I need to see some actual games before I'm completely sold on it. As Michael Abbot wrote on his Brainy Gamer blog, Nintendo went from industry leader to tanking sales overnight (almost literally, it seems) and they obviously ended up wheeling this thing out sooner than they expected.

But this is the way the Wii's unveiling went, too. Not a whole lot of actual games on display, just quirky tech demos that vaguely hinted at what the machine could do. I think that sort of thing is important, but it also had a little something to do with the fact that their stock declined after its showing, I think.



Malkeor said:

Very honest. Thanks for this Corbie, I have been wondering what you thought of this new system for a while now.

The demo you seemed to have tried just seems like a brief display of just one of the things the controller could do with not much depth, but I heard that the other demos were much more enjoyable. Especially Battle Mii and Find Mii.

I do agree with you on reserving your judgments until we see full fledged titles that can actually show what the system can pull off, especially with the controller in its entirety.
I want to be excited for the Wii you....I still kind of am, but I want to hold off my hype until we have full details about the system, as well as launch line up and comes up and coming. Though you can't help but let your mind run wild and get excited for what could come as we get closer to 2012.




With all ths exciting talk of third party games coming back to Ninty conoles I hope the brilliant, inclusive, "social" gaming WON'T be forgotten. I, like Wariowoods, have no problem with QUALITY mini-game comps on the WiiU (or even the Wii). In fact, some of the main, quality mini game comps on the Wii have been some of the best gaming experiences I've ever had.



GameLord08 said:

Thanks muchly for the impressions, Corbs. I admire how unbiased it came off.

After readin these impressions, I, personally, only have a few concerns;

Circle Pads and Button Feel - Two circle pads? How can we put those in use simultaneously? Are they really that soft? The DS Lite buttons are perfect to me, and I can't say being any more softer could ruin it, unless it's a drastic change.

Game Software - Without any actual game software to play on the Wii U, I can only imagine how it's going to play out. Now, I can honestly see reason why the stocks have taken a hit. I hope we can see some of those games we were promised, both third- and first-party, soon enough.

Wii U Controller - I'm glad that it's actually light, deceptive of its size. I just wonder how bulky it's going to feel, and if we can actually get used to it quick enough.

I'm still in support of all this new technology the Wii U showcases though, and I'm looking forward to see how games are going to put this to the best of use. Good stuff indeed.



Kirk said:

"Two circle pads? How can we put those in use simultaneously?"

Are you being serious?

Ever heard of a little genre called First Person Shooters. Or how about a little franchise called Grand Theft Auto. Or even a little Xbox Arcade game called Geometry Wars. Or...

Man, there are so many ways that dual analogue sticks can and are being used, and that's what dual analogue sliders are when all is said and done, I can't even believe you said that.



mikejonesuk said:

Right at the end of the Wii U trailer shown at E3, we see the Wii U controller standing upright on a table

The video implies that someone has just put it on the table, but we only see the hand leaving the controller, not actually putting it in place - so it could have been leaning against a tin of beans for all we know. (There is a strange bulge in the shadow that could be something it's leaning against.)

Corbie, can you confirm that the controller does stand up on it's like that? Does it have a built in stand or is it just balanced so that it will stand upon it's bottom edge?



erv said:

Great impressions and confirms only one thing: we didn't really get shown the wiiU at all, did we...? All that was demoed was a rough draft and developers that are in the knowhow seemingly very excited. Conceptually great material, thin air for gamers as it stands though.

I AM very excited about the new wiiU but maybe that is just because I have a profession in multimedia. I do, however, feel that the controller is a bit too "plastic dinky toy" and not enough "modern day technology" in its design. It needs ergonomics to be perfect of course (one thing I always considered nintendo to be vastly superior in) and I expect this will have superb gameplay once we get our hands on it, but I do hope the jellybean plastics will be redesigned into something that feels like it's from the future.



Token_Girl said:

The tech demos shown at the E3 presentation definitely sparked some ideas of new and different things this controller can do. I think the DS has also shown how 2 screens can be super handy.

I do worry about 3rd parties porting games from ps360 a year late using only the classic controller, wondering why they don't get good sales (because they were released a year earlier on the ps360, idiots - and you didn't add anything new or worthwhile to it), and then jumping ship when the ps4/720 drops and only making shovelware for the WiiU.

If Ninty is to win over the ps360 crowd it will have to run ports better and the controller will have to offer more. The console is more powerful, but will 3rd parties take advantage of that or will the new learning curve lead to sloppy efforts that still look the best on the 360? That will be the determining factor for Nintendo, for those who Nintendo's first party games aren't enough for.



rjejr said:

Full of potential. 1. Updated HD Wii with current gen competitive graphics and hopefully online gaming and store. 2. Backwards compatibility with Wii - (I actually view Wii to WiiU more as original Xbox360 to Pro/Elite than Xbox to Xbox360). 3. The controller - Reggie's comments notwithstanding - should function as a tablet for internet and Netflix even tethered as it is (Sony's DASH is $100), and allows DS type games to be played on a big screen.

I guess I don't see a need to excel and innovate for Nintendo, the Wii is the number one selling console this gen. NES, SuperNES; PS1, PS2, PS3 (which sold poorly due to price). WiiU is continuing a brand that works by giving people what they want - HD graphics - and are used to - 2 screens on the DS phat, Lite, i, iXL and 3DS. As for the price. This has an Xbox360 base ($200) and a DSiXL controller ($170) so $300 should get people competitive hardware plus a tethered tablet on the only system that has Mario and Zelda. Sign me up.

Disclaimer - I've had a Wii for 5 years (and a PS3 for 3) and am ready for an upgrade. I don't own anything tablet related (except 2 DSi's) so this technology interests me.



k8sMum said:

@corbs: nice, honest review as always. thanks much .

questions: how tough does the controller feel? will it stand up to being stored in a drawer? how will the screen hold up to games being inadvertently laid on top of it? will it stand up to kids using it??



CaPPa said:

I don't understand why some people are worrying that the WiiU will end up like the Wii when it comes to 3rd party games. The only reasons for the Wii missing out on them was the lack of HD graphics, lower power and lack of a 2nd analogue stick. The WiiU addresses all of these issues and adds further options for developers; so why wouldn't it get the 3rd party games?

Token_Girl had the best insight into potential 3rd party issues, that being the lazy porting of old 360/PS3 titles that wouldn't sell if they didn't offer any real improvements, which could then be perceived by publishers as being 'those types of games don't sell on WiiU'. Aside from that happening though I see no reason why future 3rd party titles wouldn't appear on 360, PS3 and WiiU.



Yadoking said:

No GC support is disappointing, but I think we'll get a nice run with this dude.



EdEN said:

Once E3 2012 comes around and actual, soon to be launched games are available for everyone to try...



Corbs said:

Regarding the controller standing up on its own, that I never saw at the show. I would have tried it, but I didn't even think about that when I was looking the controller over. I'll say this about the controller, it's certainly not of the build quality of a tablet or iPad and feels far more like a toy than a piece of advanced technology, but it didn't feel flimsy either.

My biggest gripe, by far and away, was the use of the Circle Pads instead of tilting analog sticks. That really bothers me. On the 3DS I can understand the use of the Circle Pad, but not on a home console where you have far more room and freedom. I really wish they would change that. But as far as holding the controller, it's actually fairly light and comfortable to hold and maneuver.



komicturtle said:

Those experiences better be.. well, recreated or released along with the console. Maybe even built-in for instant play. Because I'll be having loads of fun with Chase Mii.

Like I said, HD 1080p is cute and all, but it's not going to sell my interest. The software and that sweet controller will. A nice, big 6.2 inch screen to draw on.

Art Academy U. Please be in session soon <3



Corbs said:

And I wasn't trying to say the mini-games weren't fun, I personally enjoyed Shield Pose, although I wish they'd have cranked the difficulty up to make it more intense. I even wrote in my notes while checking the Wii U out that I hoped Nintendo would include these demos on the system when they released it. And the other demos looked fun enough, but I was looking to play some real Nintendo games on this baby and that just didn't happen.



TheSpud said:


THAT WOULD BE AMAZING! Let's hope Capcom doesn't abandon Okami! They made a DS game Okamiden... the 3DS or Wii U next?! Just not another remake!



Kid_A said:

Is it the idea of circle pads that you don't like or do they just not play well on the controller? I've been playing my 3DS a lot lately and I'm actually starting to really like the pads.



LittleIrves said:

I was lucky enough to be at E3, and I played most of the WiiU demos... Chase Mii was a rollicking good time, with on-lookers whooping and yelling as my little Mario Mii evaded capture. And Battle Mii was equally cool, really showing how you can get two different experiences out of the same game, depending on which controller you use. The potential here is huge. I agree that true, fleshed-out games would have been better. But as a proof-of-concept, the demos worked, in my opinion. I'm psyched.



Corbs said:

I just prefer the tilting analog sticks, to be honest. I'm sure in time I'll get used to it, but I just don't feel the control is as accurate or comfortable with the sliding Circle Pads.

And of all the demos I watched and played, the Chase Mii looked the coolest. As I said, plenty of potential here, but let's see it in action now.



DrCruse said:

Maybe I'm just a stick in the mud, but I'm really sick of Nintendo's gimmicks. The DS was great, but it seems like it went downhill from there.



Weskerb said:

Remember this is the guy that hyped up the 3DS beyond belief, then shortly after its release said he wasn't going to touch it again because he'd experienced a few you black screen errors. Let's just say, he's a bit moody: On another day he'd probably be hailing the Wii U as the the second coming.



yoyogamer said:

I know right? I like and agree with Corbs' reviews and impressions, but all that freaking out about a small error that affected 10% of 3DS owners seemed kinda pointless. I would be nice to him though, he's the only person outside of Nintendo that knows how to make the 3DS print money...



Corbs said:

I think you guys take things I say a wee bit too seriously. LOL. And I also never said I didn't like the 3DS and I told everyone that it would likely be fixed with an update and not to panic. That being said, when I buy a game system, I kinda like it to work - call me finicky.



Kid_A said:

I'm with ya. I think the reason they went with circle pads is because it keeps the design a bit slicker--after all, they're just...well, little circles And they barely rise above the surface of the controller. I can see how they wouldn't offer the fidelity and nuance of movement necessary for say, a shooter, so it'll be interesting to see how Nintendo responds, because it seems like most people aren't too happy with the circle pad decision.



Weskerb said:

Well you are somewhat of a diety on NL, so we can be forgiven for taking you too seriously.

I think everyone is just a bit suprised that the Wii U didn't grab your fancy, it is Nintendo after all. Maybe you were more impressed by Microsoft or Sony's offerings?

I thought it was fairly conclusive that Nintendo won the show...



Corbs said:

Oh I like the console just fine, I just would have liked to have seen it in action more with actual games. As I said, nothing wrong with the potential of the system and it's got plenty if developers will put in the time and effort to effectively make use of it. The Circle Pads and mushy buttons are something I'd like changed, but they're certainly not deal breakers.

And PSVita blew my socks off. That baby is gonna rock and had plenty of amazing games running on it. That being said, Nintendo's offerings as a whole, would give them the win at E3 IMO.



Kirk said:


Yeah, I think some actual demos of full-on Wii U first-party games was the one thing that was lacking and really could have helped answer a lot of questions and put to rest a lot of the worries and fears many people have.



Kid_A said:

The PS Vita blew people's BRAINS OUT OF THEIR SKULLS.

The Wii U made people go, "Oh! Well that'll be pretty cool...I think. Yeah, no, it'll be uh...yeah that should be pretty cool."



komicturtle said:


PSVita for me was "Okay... Cool. LBP. That's wicked. But I'll see how Sony handle this because they didn't all too well with PSP support.."

WiiU for me: "A 6.2 inch tablet for me to draw on screen... Art Academy!!!! Please! And Smash Bros?! Oh baby!"



jimmoon said:

i think im going to switch to the dark at least they have more traditional controllers and hopefully will never make a console whose controller relies on a tablet and motion sensors, that ruins control and gaming in general.

nintendos next bright idea might just be a controller that is a body suit



Kid_A said:

You know, if you really think Nintendo is ruining gaming in general...should you really be on a site called Nintendo Life? Just a thought



motang said:

I am going to get this for sure, but I would like to know the launch line up, which I am sure we will learn at E3 2012.



lex0plex said:

There are three things I am looking forward to:

  • Using the screen as a menu
  • Using the camera to look through
  • HD graphics

I like how Nintendo is thinking about improving gameplay rather than innovating it like they did with the Wii.

... and I'm sure the buttons will feel nice once they release the system.



James said:

I'm with @erv and a lot of you guys here — I personally feel Nintendo's hand was forced here and they would have rather saved the machine until next year's E3, but with decreasing Wii sales they had to pull it out of the oven before it was completely cooked.

I'm still looking forward to getting my hands on one though, and I don't doubt as soon as I can see Zelda/Mario/Sonic etc. running on it I will go into full-on excitement mode.



Corbs said:

I just have this feeling that this thing is going to hit before next year's show and this was the only chance to show it off before then. I keep getting this May 2012 feeling.



NiaLovesNinty said:

i was hoping that coming to nintendo life would make me feel better about the wii u (as opposed to ign and the like) but it seems that the more info i get and the more impressions i get, the LESS excited "I"'s kinda disappointing...i want to love and trust ninty so much but there are so many uncertainties (sp?).....i hope ninty has something up their sleeves to blow us all out of this iffy stage...i really do



StarDust4Ever said:

People should bear in mind, that the Wii-U tablet device shown at e3 was merely a prototype. The final revision may well have analog sticks and much better buttons. A clip-on acrylic screen protector would also be an excellent idea, to prevent damage when the controller gets tossed in a bin.



SilentJ said:

Kind of bummed about the fact that it will only support a single Wii U controller.



Bassman_Q said:

I agree with you on your impressions, Corbie. I'm not sold on the Wii U either. I thought Nintendo would make something more revolutionary and mind-blowing, as the Wii U just seems like a Wii with much-needed HD support and some more control gimmicks. I'm happy for it, but it just seems more like a slightly improved console than a brand-new one.

Then again, That's kind of how I feel about the 3DS.

Oh, and 100th post!



bader2 said:

guys what ever PS our XBOX do from first days when nes came there is no game machine can beat Nintendo



brenwizard said:

i was recently on nintendo's website reading about the wii u and i read that the wii u has a better graphics chip than the xbox 360 and the ps3

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