Handling the Wii U Hardware

Having spent several hours playing the Wii U, I wanted to spend a little time talking about the hardware of Nintendo’s new home console, including the system itself, the Gamepad and the Pro Controller. Firstly, the system itself looks a lot like a horizontal Wii when shown from the front, but is a lot more rounded and is around twice as long (not measured, but a considerable amount longer). Both the black and white version were on display and looked like they would fit nicely into a home theatre setup, as long as yours is deep enough to fit it.

The Gamepads we were using were tethered to the system by a large cable rather than being the wireless ones we will be using when the system launches, so it is unclear if the battery is currently inside them but the Gamepad is surprisingly light at this stage. The touch screen looks very crisp and bright, better looking than the screen on the Playstation Vita for example, and seemed to be fairly resistant to smudge marks after extended amounts of use by lots of people.

The positioning of the right analogue stick does take some getting used to for games used to offset analogue sticks (left stick at the top, right stick at the bottom). Once I got used to the analogue and button placement, the Gamepad was very comfortable and felt sturdy and well made. In much the way I felt about the Vita when it launched, it feels like a very well built and feature filled piece of technology.

The Wii U Pro Controller suffers the same teething problems for gamers used to offset analogue sticks, requiring a little adjusting to the different positions, but on the whole felt very comfortable. Fully functioned when compared to the PS3 and Xbox 360 controllers (no analogue triggers unfortunately) but they had just the right amount of weight to feel solid and well made without being too heavy to use for extended periods of time. Should be a more than acceptable solution for gamers looking to have the PS3 and 360 experience on their Wii U.

The Wii U also supports Wii Remotes, which work in much the same way as they did on the Wii. Not much change to their responsiveness or accuracy but they worked well enough on the games we tried them on.

Are you excited to get your hands on the Wii U at the MCM Expo later this month? Will you be picking up the system at launch? What games are you most excited to play? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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