Wii U Preview Event Recap

Wii U is coming on 11/18 with two versions. The basic set comes with 8GB of memory, a GamePad, and an HDMI cable for $300. The Deluxe version costs $50 more and gets you all of that alongside a console stand, a GamePad stand and charger. The Basic version is white and blue with 8 GB of storage while the Deluxe version is black and blue and has 32GB of storage. Nintendo Land is…not something I’m dying to get although the Balloon Fight homage is tempting. Lego City Undercover looks like a PG-ish version of GTA. Might be fun. Reggie’s up talking about how most people use their Wii to connect their TV to the internet…sure thing buddy. Nintendo TVii is announced. Netflix, Amazon Instant, and Hlu Plus are accessible and you can use TiVo functionality on the GamePad tablet.  It appears you can watch stuff on either the TV or GamePad and post live thoughts via the GamePad while watching the program. Zach Fountain’s here to talk more about Nintendo TVii. You can view channel guides on the GamePad. The home page for it has Favoritex, TV, Movies, Sports, and Search options along with a Mii on the upper left-hand side. The TV lineup shows everything with a nice large thumbnail image of the show. It’s all lined up easily and you can search through networks – basically exactly like the PS3 version of Hulu Plus. It appears to show you everything culled from every source you’re signed up with and you can access info on the show, the cast, and search via IMDb and Wikipedia tabs on the menu.

TVii allows you to choose between any source on the show’s menu, so if you prefer a Netflix interface to a Hulu Plus one, you can choose that instead.  The sports section lets you view stats and other info on your favorite teams. The search option lets you pick between anything tagged with that search term on the supported services. The built-in remote looks like it supports five billion options and is quite busy. The Game Pad takes thumbnails of what’s on the TV screen, and it allows you to do live tweeting or place emoticons – basically making use of some Hulu features that I’m sure some people use but I don’t know of anyone who does. The sports section has a little on-screen field along with live stats. It also allows you to watch highlights of things you might’ve missed…by doing things like paying too much attention to the GamePad. ZOMBIES are back in Black Ops II, and it’s coming in November; the game, not the zombie outbreak. Day one will have Mario Wii U, Nintendo Land, Black Ops II, and there will be 50 games within the ‘launch window’ that goes THROUGH MARCH OF 2013. Ubisoft had about one-fifth of the total amount, while Activision has nearly as many as Nintendo themselves.

I’m a bit less impressed by this than I was the last Sony press conference. There seemed to be more dedication towards third-parties, and Nintendo publishing something like Bayonetta 2 makes me think they’ll pay more than lip service to the idea of publishing more mature content alongside family-friendlier fare like Nintendo Land. The TVii thing looks like something I’ll be glad is free, because it’s hard to image making such a cluttered viewing experience the primary way of watching something. The HD-READY GRAPHICS hype is a bit ridiculous since it’s 2012 and not 2006. The games they chose to showcase that are also on current-gen platforms didn’t wow me. I can see Black Ops II being enhanced by the second screen, but not enough to where I simply HAVE to have it on Wii U. Tekken Tag Tournament 2 is coming months after the other versions and that time gets you…the ability use a mushroom and grow to super size. Yeah, I’ll rent the game for that, but a gimmick like that isn’t worth $60. The launch lineup seems solid, but I’m not quite sure if it’s worth even the minimum $300 price tag, let alone the $50 more it’ll cost for the deluxe version.