Hands On with Nintendo’s Wii U

Filed Under: Tech/Videos/Video Games

I’m pretty sure the last time I owned a Nintendo product was when I owned my NES way back in the day.


See?! It looks like a standalone handheld!

I had two games for it: Super Mario Brothers and Duck Hunt. I moved onto Sega and then Playstation and have stayed that course. It’s not that I don’t like Nintendo it’s just I really suck at their games. Ask Peter and Stephen and they’ll confirm that what I’m saying is true.


On the first day of E3, Nintendo was having their press conference and as we hung out at Starbucks, tweets started rolling in with the name of Nintendo’s new console: Wii U. We all agreed the naming was unfortunate and a guy on my last flight today asked what they’d name the next console. Wii Us?

Apparently Nintendo didn’t do a good job clarifying exactly what the Wii U was and why people needed to spend their Benjamins on a brand new system since it looked like all you were getting was a touch screen handheld controller.

The line for some hands on time with the Wii U was ridiculous

Wii U line

From IGN

and one of the advantages of going to E3 with Sears/Kmart and having Rory and Kelly as our “handlers” is that we were escorted right into VIP and didn’t wait more than five minutes–and that was waiting on the awesome Nintendo rep. Part of me–let’s call it the “good angel”–felt bad for the folks who were waiting in those insane lines and the other part of me–let’s call it the “devil dude with the pitchfork”–was giddy to jump the line. I wanted to be all like, “I’m with the band.” except there wasn’t a band.


We were led into this posh viewing booth and promptly locked in–I kid you not. And when I say posh, that booth/prison cell was tricked out with a huge TV and comfortable leatheresque couches. When it comes to E3 and the copious amounts of walking it requires, leatheresque couches are something to be worshiped.

The “games” we demoed weren’t actual games but bites of what can be experienced with the Wii U.

The actual controller was ergonomic and fit my minihands and Rory’s giant hands equally well which was surprising to me. In the Zelda mock-up we got to play with, there was the option–on the touch screen of the controller–to switch from day to night and it was seamless. The switch happened in the blink of an eye and the details were amazing whether it was lit via the sun or the moon. Thought I haven’t seen very many “serious” Wii games, what I have seen were inferior to what we were shown with regards to the graphics.

After we oohed and awed of Zelda, we were presented with a couple of other bites and I sucked at all of them. But, even though I was HORRIBLE at them all, the possibilities for this new system just blows my mind.

This is one system where reading a press release and or watching a demo trailer just won’t do it justice and I worry that will be a major ding with regards to the PR.

Before we attended the Nintendo meeting, I commented that what I wanted from Nintendo was for them to convince me to buy one of their systems; I wanted them to wow me to such and extent that I was compelled to go out and purchase a second system even though I love my PS3.

While I haven’t seen an official announcement on the price point of the Wii U–though there is a £399 price floating around [648.0159 US dollars]–Nintendo did exactly what I wanted them to do: they convinced me to give the Wii U a serious look when it comes to the Christmas season.


  1. Charles Colp says:

    It looks pretty cool but not sure how it will compete on the serious gamer market. We have all 3 major systems and the only time the Wii gets turned on is when the kids want to bowl, play a mario game, etc. Mario Kart is fun but it really doesn’t have that visceral response that Gran Turismo 5 has when I get to buy my dream car and drive it on my favorite tracks. I hope they prove me wrong and I can get excited about it before my kids drive me crazy to buy one.

  2. TheAmyTucker says:

    @charlescolp Even though I got to play around with it and think it’s damn cool, the $ thing will be what ultimately makes the decision for me; a $600+ price point makes no sense for us. $300? Maybe but considering how we need to get a new PS3, I see us putting that cash to a new PS3 and not a Wii U.

    Again, I don’t know…I figure there’s still plenty of time and from what the awesome PR woman was saying, we shouldn’t expect this before 4th Q. 2012. No rush. 😀

  3. CharlesColp says:

    @TheAmyTucker you should check the pawn shops etc for a PS3 many people dumped theirs after the Hacking issue. They are really cheap all over I am keeping my eyes out for another slim.

  4. TheAmyTucker says:

    @CharlesColp OOO! I didn’t even think about that! I know that there are a lot of stores–like Kmart–that are doing crazy bundles with a big HD slim, the Move and a game. But even those are like >$300.

    As Tucker says, “Free is my favorite color.”

  5. CharlesColp says:

    @TheAmyTucker Living in a military town I have learned to love pawn shops for nearly new electronics.

  6. Amy @ Sims 3 Gamer says:

    @CharlesColp I read that as, “I’ve learned to pawn shops.” 😀

  7. Amy @ Sims 3 Gamer says:

    I’m annoyed that I’m not able to jump between the TheAmyTucker account and the Amy @ Sims 3 Gamer. I’ll have to do one account. Blah.

  8. The Wii U release date should better be announced along a reasonable price for the console. I’ve read that several retailers around the world are tagging the wii u for US600. That’s quite expensive, but since prices for electronics in the US have always been cheaper, I guess it will be different here.

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