A few weeks ago we were invited to Siren Studios in Hollywood to try out the new Wii U system. What a great event – besides turning a soundstage into a futuristic gaming nirvana with individual gaming stations, fancy couches and separate rooms for some of the games – they had Nintendo cookies, too. I say an event is reflected in the cookies they serve, and these were fantastic, classy and my teenagers loved them. And much like the event, they were making some people drool.
Here are some of the down and dirty specs of the new Wii U, and then I'll let my teens give you their reviews of the game. Stay tuned for hilarity.
The biggest difference in the Wii U is the addition of the Wii U GamePad™ controller, a gaming pad that features a 6" window that expands your gaming experience (not all games will require the second screen.) The GamePad also includes motion control, a front-facing camera, a microphone, stereo speakers, rumble features, a sensor bar, and a stylus. (Your old Wii controllers and nunchuks will work just fine with the new system – in fact, hang onto them because only the new GamePad will be included with the Wii U.) Here's a little intro:
Along with the Wii U will be a new movie system, Nintendo TVii. The GamePad will function with your DVR and TiVo and can also be used to search for programming from sources like Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant, cable and satellite channels and video-on-demand services. I CANNOT WAIT to check this out:
There will be two versions of the Wii U:
- The Deluxe set that features a black Wii U unit and has 32GB of internal storage. This will retail for $349.99
- The Basic set that features a white Wii U unit and has 8GB of internal storage. This will retail for $299.99
Because I'm old and boring, the first thing I inquired about was if the Wii U would still be compatible with my Wii Fit balance board. It is! But there will also be some new games as well in the form of Wii Fit U so that I can change it up from my old Yoga/Skiing/Segway Circuit routine. (See 'old and boring' above.)
My teenagers were much more adventurous. Their faves of the day were Batman: Arkham City, Pikmin 3, Just Dance 4 and Sing Party. I didn't play all of these, but I did sit in on the demos when the girls were playing – I had no desire to hold up the lines of people waiting for their turn while I tried to find the 'start' button. Have you ever pissed off a bunch of eager gamers? Oh, they get mean.
But don't take my word for it - here are reviews of a few of the games, straight from my 14 & 16-year-old daughters' brains:
BATMAN: Arkham City
"The batman game was super cool and really let you experience Batman first person with full use of all his fancy rich people gadgets. It's a bit difficult to get used to when you first play, but when you finally get the hang of all the controls it makes you feel pretty awesome. The ability to kick-butt as batman is pretty sweet if you haven't heard already."
"Batman had awesome graphics, and you also have the option to be Catwoman, which is super cool because I LOVE Catwoman."
"Pikmin 3 was also an awesome surprise because it's been FOREVER since the last one was out. It'll be a big hit for people not familiar with the previous ones, and of course even more exciting for those who are already fans. (The game in itself is pretty much the same as the others with added characters and new levels and actions with the GamePad.) It's both similar and different enough to live up to the old version's expectations as well as introduce some new things to do with the GamePad.(and omg there's cute lil' rock Pikmin??)"
JUST DANCE 4
"Just Dance was great as ever; still my favorite way to exercise without like, actually exercising. Probably the funnest game to play at sleepovers or just hanging out. The mix of wonderfully horrendous '80s songs and modern pop is enough to provide entertainment for happy(but wheezing) teenagers. Plus you can play with 5 people using the game pad so your poor friend doesn't have to sit down while you dance (for added usefulness the GamePad option doesn't require dancing, just in case you have a friend that hates dancing or is injured etc etc - or your mom wants to play and - don't lie - we all don't want to see your mom dougie.)"
"Just Dance was crazy but fun. The new 'puppet master' feature exhausted me. It's a great game to play with friends at parties and stuff, I even came back to play it twice!"
"Sing Party can only be described as a beautiful smoothie of Just Dance and Sing it. Although the Carly Rae Jepsen and LMFAO soundtrack will get a little headache inducing when your daughter plays Call Me Maybe for the 30th time in a row at 1 in the morning, even you can't resist the booty-poppin fun of dancing really badly while your friend takes lead rapper."
"Just Dance 4 was crazy but fun. The new 'puppet master' feature exhausted me. It's a great game to play with friends at parties and stuff, I even came back to play it twice!"
And there you have it – our preview of the new Wii U. We loved what we saw, and are totally looking forward to checking it out further. You can pre-order yours over here. Sorry, cookies not included.
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