After coming back from New York Comic Con I was all in on the Wii U and had a very good gut feeling on why Nintendo would be succeeding again with this new console. The technical merits have been discussed over and over, so what I want to explain is how people interacted with the device and what some people had to say about it when asked. I spent a fair amount of time in the Wii U booth so I can help explain why I think it should be the present you kids will want under the tree this year. So take this as Wii U, what my gut is telling me.
The booth for the Wii U was packed, and by packed I mean you would be waiting a very long time to get a controller in your hand, but people were doing the waiting. They wanted a chance to play with the newest system on the market and this is what I was able to witness. The following games were the ones I was able to interact with while at the show: Game & Wario, New Super Mario Bros. U, Nintendo Land, The Wonderful 101, ZombiU, I believe that Rayman Legends was there as well as some others but I did not get a chance to play everything.
- People did not need much explanation to get started playing, it all seemed very intuitive. People did not want to stop playing, thank goodness for the Nintendo Booth Team for helping everyone get a taste
- It still does play Wii games
- You seem like you are on a team with the GamePad against the other controllers in some games. Eliminates the need for a second system and TV or any type of cross over cable. Metroid games in Nintendo Land was just so much fun this way. This is the big selling point for the Wii U and it seems to be working based on feedback at the show
- Using the GamePad to open key coded doors or pick locks is just way more fun with this device, immersion factor!
- Being able to reuse some of your Wii controllers helps take the sting out of buying a new system, plus they seem familiar
- The game lineup does a good job at using the GamePad without making it a gimmick
- Games like ZombiU will keep the Hardcore gamer crowd, and Tank Tank Tank plus The Wonderful 101 just seem very inventive at this point with limited playing time
The not so good:
- It does not play GameCube Games (still need to keep a Wii around for that)
- The graphics seemed about the same as the current generation of games. Now since that is at launch there will be some room for improvement I am sure
- Seems a bit pricy at launch
- Hopefully the GamePad holds up to kids playing with it
Most of the people who I spoke with in the booth really just had one word to say, the Wii U is “fun”. Nothing about the graphics, nothing about the controller, just “fun.” One person who did go into detail commented on how they liked the ability to play on different “teams” while playing the same game with the Wii U GamePad. Based on the buzz and hype around the Wii U at New York Comic Con, this is another winner console for Nintendo based on the Wii U GamePad functionality and strong Nintendo titles. The amount of booth goers and my gut also contribute to the feeling of a Nintendo filled Holiday Season.
Now take this for what it is worth, but the fact that Playstation was showing two games that are normally in Nintendo space, LittleBigPlanet Karting and PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale makes me think Sony is also trying to make sure it can take a dip into the Nintendo dominated pool of Karting and Brawlers and hopefully making people think twice about the Wii U. To me that is telling by itself that they see the Wii U as a threat. Now that isn’t to say that I didn’t enjoy both PS3 games, because I did, but this does make me think that maybe people will opt for those two games for the Holidays rather than the Wii U just based on price alone.
Update: You can see the booth at New York Comic Con 2012 in this video Nintendo Wii U Booth