On the way home from work today I stopped off to pick up some dog treats and other stuff from the local Target (or, as I like to call it, Not Walmart). Got those, some AA batteries, and something for my wife that you all don’t want to hear about. But while there, I swung up to the electronics section to see if a Wii U display was up for my gratification. Sure enough…
Seeing it, I was immediately struck by two things. 1.) Kind of unimpressive smashed in there between the Xbox and PS3 stuff, and 2.) Why was nobody playing it? I got my answer to the second question the moment I picked up the GamePad; there were no games. A bunch of game trailers, but no actual gameplay; the demo button on the touchscreen was grayed out for everything.
But no matter, as it was still great to get a good sense of the GamePad. It’s lighter than you may think, and quite comfortable to hold. The buttons were well placed for my thumbs, but I have fairly largely hands. Smaller children may have some trouble with this.
Even better is the ergonomic design, which seems it’ll be comfortable to hold for prolonged gaming sessions. The light weight is great, of course, as your arms won’t get tired by simply using it. But better, the ridges on the back make it more natural to hold than, say, the iPad, to which I’ll likely be comparing it for a while. Whereas the iPad is designed to be slim and suit multiple purposes, the Wii U GamePad is made specifically to be held for gaming purposes, obviously. Remember how natural the Wii Remote and Nunchuck felt when you first picked them up? You’ll likely have the same reaction with the GamePad.
The weight and curved back ends serve another purpose, too; the GamePad will be easy to grasp with one hand. This had occurred to me when watching demos and trailers of people using a stylus or swiping on the screen; will it be awkward to hold with one hand while using actions with the other? Nope…at least not for the brief period during which I used it at Target. After just holding the GamePad for a while and being reminded of how large the screen is, it occurred to me that I’m more more excited about the gaming possibilities it presents than I ever was by the motion controls of the Wii Remote.
The demo station had no games out yet, nor any Wii U-specific accessories. However, the standard Wii Remote and Nunchuck boxes had all been update with new packaging that focuses on the Wii, and includes a small stamp indicating they’re also compatible with the Wii.
So, it’s obvious that Nintendo is ready to go. Target looks ready to go, too. Am I? Nope. Still don’t know what game(s) to pick up with it, but I guess I have a few more days to decide. Any suggestions?