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Posted by Caitlyn Muncy on Jun 11, 2011

Wii U Hands-On Experience Video [E3 2011]

This past E3, the new console from Nintendo was announced called the Wii U. Needless to say it was the probably the most exciting news in hardware for the entire event. We were lucky enough to get our hands on one, and got to see what all the fuss was about.

There were several tech demos for us to experience, including Catch Mii, Battle Mii, Shield Pose, Mario, and best of all, Zelda. Each demo gave us a different scenario to play through and different ways to use the Wii U. Each of the demos was shown on a TV displaying in full 1080p. Though we aren’t sure what resolution the touchscreen has just yet.

In Catch Mii, you use the Wii U to have an aerial view of a courtyard in which four other players are trying to hunt you down. The catch is that they only have their peripherals to find you. You had to look at the Wii U screen to see where other players are coming from while using the joystick to move your character wearing a Mario cap out of sight. This was definitely a lot to take in, but was easy to catch on and really fun to play! It added a whole new dimension to split-screen multiplayer games, as you have a distinct advantage over the other players (though they do have you outnumbered) on your private screen.

Battle Mii was likely one of my top two favorite demos. You had to utilize both joysticks, and could aim at opponents by tilting the Wii U forward, back, left or right. This was a whole new way to play as you weren’t just moving the joysticks and staring at a screen. Again, being the player with the Wii U, you have the upper hand, since you can fly around, and the others are stuck on the ground.

Mario was great fun, but didn’t seem to utilize the Wii U in very many new ways. Shaking the screen would make you spin, but much other than that, it was a duplicate screen. I’m not really torn up over this as it is still a tech demo, and essentially just the same Mario game that we saw on the Wii.

Shield Pose was the first demo we got to experience, and it definitely was impressive. A cartoonish skeleton pirate and his ghostly minions are firing plunger arrows at you, but give you a warning. The Wii U was used to see arrows coming from the center ship, left and right ships, and any arrows coming in from the sky. The Wii U was a completely different screen from what you saw on the TV screen, and moved with you, as opposed to having one set screen. If you turned around, you saw what was behind you. There was a full 360-degree view that is going to make for some pretty amazing games in the future.

Last but not least, the best demo (likely because of it’s content) was Zelda. It was not a playable demo, but showed us how a Zelda game might look if it was on the Wii U. There was the option to change camera angles and move the camera in those different angles, the ability to have the map on the Wii U screen, or as a side screen on the TV, and a daytime and nighttime button that will allow you to choose whether you’re looking at day or night modes in-game. The fangirl inside of me had a meltdown as I was looking at Link in HD, and he was full of Hylian manliness.

Seeing the release video for the Wii U tells us that the tech demo games we played through are just the tip of the iceberg. There are countless capabilities for this new console, and I can’t wait to see what is going to come of it.

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