I’m going to talk about Wii U, yes that new thingy majig from Nintendo. Is it a new handheld? Is it an add-on for the Wii? Let’s be honest the misinformation about it has been rife. I’m sure you all know that it is a new bona fide, plug it in your telly console. I’m a lucky boy; I work in the industry and have managed to get my hands on one today.
My first hurdle was the good lady; do we need a new console? We have a DS, 3DS, Vita, Wii, PlayStation 3 as well as a Xbox 360 and to be honest were running out of plugs, but hell its research for my job so I’ve got to have one right?
Its only been an hour or so but I thought I would share my initial experience.
There’s nothing like opening a new piece of hardware is there? The smell of the packaging and the careful removal of each layer of cardboard and foam. It’s like your own personal Christmas Day. As I got the ZombiU pack the first item removed was the pro pad. Almost identical to an Xbox controller – if ever so slightly thinner – it looks gorgeous. A beautiful gloss finish just begs to be caressed.
Next up was the, now familiar to Wii owners, dual drawer compartments. The top drawer was all the cables, chargers and other stuff required for the console to function. The bottom drawer was where the action was. The Wii U itself looks similar to the original Wii if it had got itself to the gym. A little bit smaller, but more robust and rounded. It’s the console equivalent of Cartman from South Park after he takes Weight Gain 4000.
The new tablet/control pad was the last delight out of the box. Now this is strange; it’s light, but heavier than I was expecting. I know that’s a contradiction but if you pick one up you will understand what I mean. I heard a lot of reports that it was very “toy like” but that is not the case at all. It feels sturdy enough to put up with long sessions, and a handy “finger cradle” on the back makes it very easy to hold. The finger cradle (I think I’m going to copyright that) also makes it easy to hold in one hand, so you can free up your second hand for dragging and dropping. Again all the hardware has a gloss finish which is very easy on the eye.
Currently the online functions like Netflix, You Tube and the shop are not ready yet, but an update is due on launch day which will activate all of these applications.
The set up was very straight forward, and if you’ve set up a Wii you will walk through it. The console itself can be sat flat or, using the two feet provided, can be stood upright like a proud new soldier. Once everything is plugged in the initial set up is pain free. It found my wi-fi without any issues and, once I found something thin enough to poke in the hole, the syncing was a breeze. I must admit now that my 6 year old daughter pointed out that maybe the stylus on the pad could be used to poke in the sync hole. What does she know? I’m the one that works in the industry. My hubris aside, it worked.
One thing I did not know or expect was that the new tablet/pad could be used as a TV remote control. By simply inputting your TV provider and model of TV the Wii U does the magic itself and Hey Presto, piff poff poof, it’s a TV remote. You can then turn on/off, alter the volume and using the D-pad scroll up and down the channels. I must point out here that my 6 year old daughter found a way to get a number pad on the screen and enter in the Sky channel numbers. Maybe I need to find her a job in the industry.
So that’s my first few hours on the Wii. My daughter has been playing with it for the last 20 minutes so I’m going back to see what else she has found.