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Wii U Demo Kiosk (Hands-On)

Posted on November 5, 2012 AT 06:46pm

We reported earlier today that Nintendo had begun setting up Wii U kiosks across the United States, allowing regular people a chance to grab their new Game Pad.

Turns out, one of the Best Buys were right nearby. We went to go check it out, and there was notably nobody waiting in line to play it. Was this from low notices of the console’s release imminent? Nobody knew the kiosk was there?

With a large screen (honestly, probably too large for how close you’ll be playing it), a Game Pad, a Wii Remote Plus, and a Nunchuck readily available, players stepping up to the console will naturally grab the Game Pad. 15 titles shown?

It’d be great if 15 titles were playable.

It’d be great if 5 titles were playable.

It’d be great if a game other than Rayman Legends was playable.

Seriously, there’s no arguing that Rayman Legends is anything but a gorgeous game, and on the latest hardware on a great screen, it really does show the wonder of sprite-based gameplay in this day and age. Still, the title doesn’t come out until March, and honestly makes very minimal use of the Game Pad. One of the levels is largely playable without it, and the second does include it as indicated. A secondary character will arrive, the screen will then duplicate on the Pad (surprisingly, it doesn’t duplicate for the non-touchscreen enabled moments, despite it being a prime candidate for second screen gameplay), and then you’re instructed to move platforms, rotate stages, and attack enemies. If you’ve played a DS game, you’ve got the general idea.

Trailers for Mass Effect 3: Special Edition and Arkham City: Armored Edition are readily available, alongside other titles, but the biggest disappointment is that New Super Mario Bros. U and Nintendo Land, two games that take greater control of the Game Pad (for second-player support in the former), are limited to trailers.

The on-controller menus did show options for playing grayed-out. Will they unlock later? Will different kiosks have different games?

Notably, Nunchucks, Wii Remote Pluses, and digital download currency cards branded with Wii U packaging were readily available. Additionally, signage pointed out that an official Microphone will be available, unlike every previous home console relying on third-party producers for the most part (the Odama mic was largely forgotten).

A kid walks up as I leave. “A Wii U? I must have it in my hands.”

I hope to have it in my hands one day, too, but today was not the day that I grasped the future.

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