At a recent Nintendo event, I had a chance to get hands-on with Nintendo’s upcoming console, the Wii U. One of the most interesting features about the new system is the WiiU GamePad, a hybrid of a tablet and controller. In just one instance, I saw the GamePad used as a controller for a player to add jumping blocks and assist others in New Super Mario Bros U..
The GamePad allows for tons of different gaming possibilities. I also saw it used as an overhead map in Pikmin 3; a life-form scanner integral to survival in ZombiU; and a full item management system in Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition. It will be interesting to see what other new and unique gameplay experiences the GamePad will create as developers start making more games for the console.
Another really cool feature of the controller is that with certain games you can play the entire game right on the GamePad. For instance, if someone wants to watch a TV show, but you’re playing a game, you can just transfer the image to the GamePad instantly. I imagine this is a feature that families or multi-person households will appreciate.
Similar to the way the Wii remote integrated motion controls into gaming, the Wii U is looking to introduce a new way to play games. The Wii U GamePad lets you augment your single-player experience by providing an extra screen, the use of which changes from game to game, or it adds in a 5th person to your multi-player experience.
The Wii U, which is the first Nintendo system to boast HD graphics, is also backwards compatible with all Wii games and even lets you use your original Wii remotes as controllers for the new console. Nintendo has yet to announce a release date or price point for the WiiU, however, the company has said it will be available before December 31.