Hey folks, Valkor here. Later this year Nintendo looks to unveil upon the masses the successor of the Wii – The Nintendo Wii-U. Since E3 2011, I've seen a lot information released about the new system – the tablet controller, Wii backwards compatibility, and 1080p HD. But having missed out on the demo at E3, I've been patiently waiting my chance at getting some hands on with this new unit. And thanks to John "DirtyBird" Agan, Tech Editor from The BitBag.com, the opportunity presented itself and I wasted no time making the scene.
While the big deal is the console, the biggest deal is the departure from traditional controller in favor of a tablet. The tablet controller touts a 6.2" 16:9 touchscreen, two analog sticks, accelerometer and gyroscope for motion gaming, front-facing camera, Bluetooth, stereo speakers, microphone, and a stylus. The idea is to not only add new elements to gameplay but to also allow the gamer to switch from playing his game on the big screen and continue playing on the tablet.
At the meeting, nothing new had been announced in terms of final specs of the hardware or what we would see in terms of launch software. But we were able to sample a couple of party games that shows of the systems capabilities. The first was a game of tag, which allowed four players using Wii controllers to track down the fifth person using the Wii-U tablet and the object was to try to catch that player before time ran out. The screen was split into four and the idea is the four players must communicate to reveal the location of the fifth player. The second title was very metroid-esque third person shooter involving two players who had to take down spaceship controlled by the third player. The person in control of the tablet can manipulate the screen in any direction to fly the ship and shoot the other players before being taken out.
The next demo wasn't so much a game but more like showcase of how the tablet could be used to interact with gameplay. The footage shown was of Link from Legend of Zelda fame entering a dark hall and fighting a giant spider. Using the tablet you could control the lighting and camera angles of the scene.
Finally the folks at Nintendo showed off the real life "something" driving down a street in Japan. With the tablet you can tilt, twist, and turn in any given direction even facing the tablet straight down, watching the street as it passes below. It was pretty neat demo, which almost had me yank the tablet (which was attached by wire) from it stand.
E3 2012 will be quite interesting if Nintendo unleashes the full wrath of the Wii-U onto the masses before its launch later this year. As it stands nothing hasn't been shown that's been "too impressive" and there are many questions left unanswered. But as we get closer to launch we should start to see something more rock solid.