E3 2011: Wii U Hands on Impressions
With all the hype and speculation around the Wii successor, many people felt a little underwhelmed by the systems announcement and worried if Nintendo was really going hardcore. After spending sometime with the Wii U, and sitting through Nintendo’s developer roundtable discussions, I can honestly tell you the Wii U will be hardcore enough for people.
First let me talk about the physical feel of the Wii U controller. When I first saw the Wii U controller (Upad) reveled at the Nintendo press conference, I was a little worried the device may be a little heavy. The Upad feels a lot lighter than it looks. In fact the controller is not very heavy at all and fits comfortably in your hands.
My next worry about the Upad is how the controller will hold up for hardcore games, like FPS. I consider myself a moderate FPS player. I played a lot of Halo, COD, but I am no were near an expert on those games. When I first grabbed the Upad, and got my hands comfortable around the tablet, I looked down to see where my hands were placed. While holding the controller your hands sit comfortably at the joysticks, which resemble the 3DS pad. There are X, Y, A, B buttons comfortably in range of you thumb that can be used for reloading, changing weapons and ext. The two shoulder trigger buttons are what make the whole controller work. Like other gaming controllers, the left and right shoulder buttons can be used for firing your weapon or throwing grenades.
The next thing I noticed about the Wii-pad was the screen. To me the screen seemed to be the right size. Any bigger, it would seem over-whelming, any smaller, then it would become to small to see. The screen is not HD but the quality is high enough that it looks really nice for a handheld. I would say it’s at least a little better than the 3DS screen. A big plus for the screen, which was iterated by Ubisoft during their roundtable, was the ability to pull off all the menu options that are normally on the screen and put them on the Upad; Health, ammo, armor, etc. This allows for a wider and cleaner viewing area for games.
The Upad other functions seem to work really well. When interacting with other controllers the Upad did not experience any delays, even in the crazy atmosphere of E3. The gyroscope on the U-Pad seemed to work better than even Wiimotion Plus. No giant gestures by your arms needed to get the results that are wanted.
When people come to Pure Nintendo they may think we biased to all things Nintendo. That is not the case for me. When I first heard about the 3DS, I was very skeptical until I got hands on with it and loved it. The same thing happened with the Wii U. When Nintendo announced the Wii U, and its controller, the first thought that came to my head was “is this hardcore?” and “ Will this work for FPS and other hardcore games?” I can answer both of these questions with a simple..I think so. I was not able to spend hours with the Wii U to see how it would hold up with aggressive playing, but the time I did spend with it was very exciting. The Wii U does bring a different and interesting perspective to video games but it’s a perspective I believe will add to the hardcore enjoyment of the games.