The one thing that I wanted to do at E3 2012 was to go hands on with the Wii U. If I failed this mission my trip would have been a complete waste of time. It’s the new console on the block, and as a gamer I was still on the fence about it heading into E3 2012. So did my hands on time make me a believer?
The simple answer is — yes. I was concerned with the Wii U GamePad’s design, surely something that big would be uncomfortable to hold. Well I’m glad to say that it’s actually one of the best feeling controllers I’ve ever held.
It’s lighter than it looks and the back rests in your hands perfectly. The button placement is also not an issue; my fingers could reach all the buttons easily. The thumbsticks click and they felt better than the ones on the Xbox 360, but not as good as the ones on the PS3’s Dualshock 3.
The screen on the GamePad was nice and bright with a solid resolution. It’s no iPad 3, but it gets the job done. The only issue I found with the screen was it’s not as responsive as I’d like it to be. It uses a resistive touch screen like the one in the 3DS so you have to tap the screen hard with your finger. Although, it is more welcoming to fingers than the 3DS’, but you won’t be doing any multitouch gestures on this thing.
Things became better when I whipped out the stylus, it felt like a 3DS and I could easily tap objects on the screen with accuracy.
I expected the touchscreen to be lacking, but it’s forgivable because it really enhances the gameplay. I had a chance to play a few co-op games over at the Ubisoft booth and when I had the Wii U GamePad I didn’t even have to look at the TV (different information was displayed on it). This will take co-op to the next level and I can’t wait to see what developers do with the screen once given more time.
While over at the Ubisoft booth I also got a chance to go hands on with the Pro Controller and it’s just as good as the Xbox 360 pad it attempts to emulate. It’s lighter and the button placement wasn’t a problem (just like the Wii U GamePad), it took me about 15 seconds to adjust to the layout.
Overall I was impressed with Nintendo’s new console, graphically everything looked like current-gen stuff, but the Wii U GamePad makes this a must buy for me. It makes game’s more enjoyable and I’m willing to bet that Microsoft and Sony will be copying it soon enough. Actually, we’ve already seen Microsoft try to halfheartedly emulate this with their upcoming Smart Glass apps.
Stay tuned to Geek Revolt, I’ll give my impressions of Ubisoft’s Wii U games later today.