Looking forward to Nintendo’s Wii U

Wednesday I experienced the Wii U firsthand - and by the end of it i was literally say weeee-you! Boy was I thankful it was over – and I mean that in the best way! It was my most fun experience gaming – along with the best workout. I am still in so much pain today and it was all from this one, almost 3 minute, experience (beat that fellas!). The Wii U is launching black and white consoles. It's control, the Wii U Gamepad has a 6.2 inch resistive screen, stylus and motion sensors. It’s bigger than a ds, so try to remember the days of 'Game Gear' and just sprinkle some Hi-D, better positioned buttons and a whole lot of cool features.

I walked in on a demo showcasing Animal Crossing, one of the 12 games that will come in Nintendo Land, and I learned a new concept - asymmetric gaming. For those who are familiar with the concept, my apologies as I spend some time explaining it.

Asymmetric gaming is being able to play one game with multiple players having different experiences. It is more than just having multiple players - because you can be playing against each other, something uncommon (in my experience gaming) or with each other, as a ‘boost’, as Nintendo calls it. As a boost, you are helping your friend play by putting blocks in his path, without them knowing in a game like Super Mario Galaxy. A room full of people can be playing together, or alone, depending on who you ask. The concept is fantastic and also a great way of seeing how people team together – with non-verbal cues or other techniques because you can be sitting next to your opponent on one side, and your partner on another.

The Wii U Gamepad can serve as a universal remote and can be used even without the TV being on or with the TV being on, displaying something other than the game. Imagine that – gaming while your friends watch something else – talk about multitasking at its best! The gamepad has a built in camera that can enable video chatting with your social network on your Miiverse (pronounce me-verse). You can chat with your friends, talk about the games that you’re playing and even leave notes to your friends at different levels of a game (what the…) Forget looking up how to beat a level, just rely on your friends to hook you up! I love the collaboration that this console encourages.

Some differences that I saw – the Wii U allows for a very different experience, unless I’m just too inexperienced as a gamer. One thing that I don’t know how to describe is how you can jump into the screen, using your gamepad, and have things jump back at you in the screen. For example, imagine watching a 3D movie, flinging something to a bad guy, and then getting sprayed with a hose and your hair getting wet. Okay – I took it a bit far, but the way the remote shakes while things come out at you.

More posts and thoughts to follow - this rocks! Stay tuned!