At E3 2011, Nintendo unveiled the long rumored successor to the Wii, dubbed the “Wii U”. The only software that was available to play on the show floor was comprised of tech demos that, according to Nintendo, did not show off the power of the new system. The star of the show was, in fact, the new controller that resembles an iPad more than a video game controller. I got some hands-on time recently with the new controller and here are my observations.
- It is very, very, light! Seeing the controller online or through a display case does not do it justice. Once I had it in my hands I noticed that it was lighter than my Xbox 360 controller. It could still be in the prototype stages, but it did not feel as durable as the other console controllers.
- The button layout felt very familiar. Since there is a decent sized LCD screen in the middle of the controller I was worried my hands/fingers would be too far apart. I was honestly shocked by how good the controller felt in my hands.
- The LCD screen in the middle of the controller is quite impressive. The Wii U can actually stream the video from the game to the controller in a flash if you do not feel like playing on your TV for any reason. I wouldn’t say it outputs HD visuals just yet, but it does get the job done if you have to leave the room for any reason and want to continue your game.
The Wii U is shaping up to be a strong contender with the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. Nintendo has committed to revamp their online strategy and focus more on the hardcore gamers and third party developers. With a release date sometime around fall 2012 we probably will not see anything new till next years E3 in Los Angeles.