In our continued coverage of the Eurogamer Expo 2012, our roving reporter Mike Smith got some hands on time with Nintendo’s upcoming console, the WiiU. Here’s what he had to say about it.
“Walking up to the WiiU, you’d be forgiven for thinking it was a normal Wii on its side – then you notice the GamePad Pro and suddenly you realise it’s gonna be a whole different story. Actually picking up the GamePad Pro you instantly notice not only how light the unit is but also how much smaller it appears from the footage we have seen so far at shows like E3. I’m not sure if the GamePad Pro actually had a battery in it during my time with it (as it was attached via a power cable) but it was extremely light for what it actually is, and that’s essentially a tablet with all the buttons you’d find on a normal console controller. Nintendo have also released a ‘standard’ WiiU controller which essentially borrows the design of the other console giants in terms of familiarity for some of their games though I’m assured that for ‘most’ of the WiiU titles you can use a ‘second generation’ Wii-mote – the ones which came with Motion Plus built in.”
Mike also talks about the different games and software available on WiiU:
“Well, obviously there are a number of title available for launch day which we [Slimgamer] have talked about before and I have some exciting articles coming up about not only NintendoLand but also Rayman Legends, ZombieU and also my thoughts on Pikmin 3 and Wonderful 101 but all of the software did run pretty smoothly with he exception of ZombieU which had a few glitch issues but as this build of ZombieU is purely for press shows and not representative of the final game it’s easy to brush these issues aside”
Mike also gives us his opinion on whether or not the WiiU will compete with next (or even current) generation consoles:
“I think it’s really hard to say yet – I mean, I’m a Nintendo fan, always have been and always will be so there’s a part of me – that seven year old back in 1992 working together with my sister to try and beat Super Mario Bros 3 that will always think Nintendo will triumph. There’s also another part of me, the 27 year old video game critic who thinks that, without a full list of specifications for the WiiU or someone physically taking it apart, it will be really hard to tell if the WiiU will stand shoulder to shoulder with the 360, the 720 (or whatever it’ll be called) or the PS3/4 – it’s in Nintendo’s nature to create consoles that aren’t exactly ‘cutting edge’ and I don’t think that business model has changed but it’s what Nintendo *do* with the WiiU that will determine it’s success”
When faced with the question ‘Is it worth the money?’ Mike answered:
“Absolutely, if you have the cash to pre-order one I’d definitely do it, make sure you get something like NintendoLand if you already have some Motion Plus Wii-Motes or get something like Rayman Legends, those would probably be my picks.”
When approached with the (sometimes) sticky subject of issues with the WiiU, Mike had this to say:
“If there are any issues currently with the WiiU from my experience today, it’s that if you’re playing something that requires you to hold the GamePad Pro in one hand, like some of the sections on Rayman Legends for example, your wrist can become sore after a short while. Obviously in a home environment this won’t matter because you’ll be able to sit with the GamePad Pro or change positions to be more comfortable but that’s pretty much it, actually using the GamePad Pro with the games was really intuitive and much easier than I expected”
Stay tuned for further coverage of the WiiU including NintendoLand, ZombieU and – Mikes favourite – Rayman Legends.