The hot new gaming system is sure to be on every kid’s wish list.
Much like Nintendo’s revolutionary Wii system, its follow-up, the Wii U (out Nov. 18), is destined to simultaneously confuse and astound a whole new audience. This time around, the centerpiece is the Wii U GamePad, an Xbox-like controller with a 6.2-inch touch screen in the middle.
With its latest innovation, Nintendo is pushing what it has dubbed “asynchronous play,” where the person holding the Wii U GamePad competes against up to three friends, who use the traditional Wii controllers. Launch game Nintendo Land is the console’s best demo collection, featuring challenges in which three people play on one TV, hunting the other player Pac-Man style, while the touch-screen player plots an escape on his or her own screen.
The GamePad also has a motion sensor, which, combined with the touch screen, creates some cool possibilities. ZombiU looks the most promising, utilizing the touch screen as anything from a radar sensor to a periscope-style view.
Though the system is admittedly wacky, Wii U will draw plenty of conventional games like Assassin’s Creed 3 thanks to its Xbox-like buttons and comparable hardware. As such, it may not excite nongamers the way Wii Sports did, but expect a Christmas-season sellout nonetheless.