As far as the name is concerned, Nintendo chose to stick with the Wii brand, which may be clever. But for the same reason, the console may also not be perceived as a new console generation, but rather as an upgrade to the existing Wii. In fact, it may simply be such an upgrade.
No sign of Rockstar being on board with ´GTA V´, but Irrational Games (´BioShock´) are. And it looks as if ´Battlefield 3´ will be on the system. ´Batman: Arkham City´, ´Darksiders II´, ´Tekken´, ´Assassin's Creed´, ´Ghost Recon Online´, ´Ninja Gaiden 3´, ´Aliens: Colonial Marines´ and ´Metro: Last Light´ are all confirmed. It appears as if Nintendo is ramping up third party support yet again. The mantra of uniting casual and core gamers may actually materialise.
The controller may be compared to tablets like Apple's iPad. But it has two features that make the device far better suited for games: physical buttons and a stylus. Strangely enough, the actual console has not been the focus of the presentation. In fact, it has been strangely absent. A more critical point we have not heard about tonight is pricing. The controller will have to be rather expensive. My guess is $100. But these details will be revealed at E3 2012, for sure.
For now, let us read what the lucky people wrote who already got to play with the Wii U.
Our first glimpse of anything running on the console was emphatically that: a lengthy fly-through in an immaculately constructed virtual Japanese garden, from the viewpoint of various birds, designed to show off Wii U's graphics-processing power.
Which was impressive if not jaw-dropping – on a par with the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, running in full HD, with depth of focus and convincingly modelled water and weather effects. We had established that Wii U will be able to run the sort of third-party titles that currently only make it onto the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 (...)
So will Wii U eclipse the Wii? Initial impressions would leave us answering that question with a resounding "Yes". In typical Nintendo fashion, Wii U is one of those objects that you have to get your hands on before you get what it is trying to achieve.
The new controller is such an odd, unlikely-looking thing that it will undoubtedly generate a wave of early cynicism. But the joyously unusual nature of the gameplay experiences that even a couple of hastily assembled tech-demos can engender bodes more than well.
And its sensible amount of under-the-bonnet grunt (an area in which the underpowered Wii suffered from its inception) gives it much more hardcore appeal than its predecessor. (...)
It will be the oddest console ever, and possibly the best, too. Or it may turn out to be a complete cul-de-sac. But one thing is for sure: it won't just be another generic games console.
The demo was not hyper-realistic, nor was it the greatest thing I’ve seen in the current generation of consoles, but it was definitely beautiful, crisp, and far above the visual quality possible on the original Wii. Also of note, the same visuals that appeared on the TV were being emulated on the controller’s screen. (...)
After this brief first hands-on experience with the new Nintendo system, I’m equally excited and anxious for the prospects of this unique controller. As they did previously with the Wii’s motion controls and the DS’s dual touch-screen innovation, Nintendo is introducing something wildly unique to the industry. If developers are able to wrap their head around this technology, it could lead to some incredibly interesting gameplay mechanics that simply won’t be possible on current competing consoles. With the DS, that put Nintendo ahead of the competition. With the Wii, it got them behind in third-party support because developers struggled to put the motion controls to good use. With the new system, it could go either way.
There are tons of questions left. With the amazing technology in the controller, how much will the system cost and (perhaps more importantly) how much will extra controllers cost? What about online? Will Nintendo finally become a major online player or will they remain stuck in the past? Where are the full games from Nintendo? Hopefully most of these issues will be cleared up one way or another on the march to the system’s current broad launch window of April 1, 2012 to December 31, 2012.
What's the thing feel like? In an artificially extended word, awwwwkwaaaaard. It's designed so that the players holds sort of the top area of the controller, and my (admittedly small) hands were placed such that my thumbs fell naturally onto the analog sticks. But not the buttons. Though the Shield Pose demo didn't require buttons, I tried it, and I had to make a very conscious effort to actually hit the face buttons instead of unconsciously tapping the circle pads while I was going to do something.
The demo also didn't make use of the touchscreen, so I can't speak of its quality or ease of use at the moment. Other demos did use this feature, and I will get hands on as soon as the opportunity arises, along with more detailed impressions of the rest of the functions. I will say that while the display on the touchscreen looked really similar in quality to the Shield Pose demo, it didn't appear to be HD itself -- and the Shield Pose game was extremely graphically simple, in the style of first-party "Wii" series games.