Wii-U NY Press/Media Conference Recap

Recently, Nintendo had an “invite only” event to present the media more information about their new baby, the Wii-U. Luckily for the Nintendo Scene masses, I was able to get my hands on one of those invites and get the inside info you guys want and expect from Nintendo Scene. So, without further delay, lets get right into it.

Let me start out by saying that I didn’t even think I would be getting into this conference so you can only imagine the feeling I had when I checked the email-box a few days before the event and I had received an invite. This, in my opinion, is the moment where I arrived on the media scene in regards to video game news. So anyway, I made my way over to the “warehouse” like building where the event was being held in New York and saw the lineup outside, full of media reps waiting to see and hear about the Wii-U. While I was waiting to get into the event I noticed the guy watching the door looked a lot like a shorter Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and must have been having a tough day because I said “how ya doing?” to the door guys and they didn’t really say anything back. After I got inside and made my way to the check-in area, I received my wristband and the people running the event stuffed us into a freight elevator that reminded me of the house of the future from Looney Tunes, where the second floor was brought down to me and I didn’t need to use the stairs.

After we got out of the elevator, we were brought into a room that had a ton of chairs set up. I wanted to get a seat so I made a beeline toward an open one and set up my base-camp, which consisted of my phone, my notebook, and my 3DS. How could I pass up street-pass hits at an event like this? I got my fancy free water and started to play the waiting game. The event was very organized which surprised me because the events I had been to in the past were anything but organized. I guess having the media/press there will make you have your “A-game.” Anyway, the main points of the presentation that everyone knew Nintendo was going to reveal was the price of the system and the release date. Reggie Fils-Aime didn’t waste anytime and got right to it.  The launch of the system was announced as “66 days away” from the date of the presentation and Reggie saved everyone the trouble of doing the math by telling everyone that November 18th was in fact 66 days from Sept 13th. They also announced that the system will have two variations available at launch, the Basic set and the Deluxe set. The Basic set will come with the system, Gamepad, AC adaptor, HDMI cable and a sensor bar. The Deluxe set will come in black and have everything the Basic set has as well as better memory, a Gamepad charger, a stand for the system, NintendoLand game, and membership to the Deluxe Digital program. The program encourages the player to download games and gives points for each download. Nintendo doesn’t want the consumer to have to buy everything again so the Wii-U will work with the existing Wii accessories. It was also announced that the Wii-U branded accessories will be available in stores soon.

Onto the games that were shown off during the presentation. Nintendo decided to show off some of the newer attractions in the amusement park, NintendoLand and from what I got to play and see, these are some of the better attractions in the park. Metroid Blast was part of the presentation and is really fun. There are two modes to the game, single-player and multi-player. The point of the game is to shoot down the ship. Multi-player mode has the player with the Gamepad control the ship with the help of the control sticks and the players with the Wii-motes control the Samus-like characters and try to shoot down the ship. Controlling the ship takes a little getting used to because I found myself forgetting at times that each control stick has a function and I also found myself flying too high in the air and was an easy target for the other players. Metroid Blast plays similar to the Zelda attraction and is pretty fun, once you get used to the controls. There will be co-op missions as well Assault missions to master. More than Metroid was announced for NintendoLand. Mario Chase, Pikmin Adventure, and Balloon Trip Breeze were announced as attractions for the NintendoLand amusement park.

New Super Mario Brothers U was re-affirmed as a launch title for the Wii-U and its good to see that Mario will be back in the system-launching spotlight. I guess Nintendo learned that Mario in any form is better than no Mario at all. In NSMBU, there will be new abilities to test out as well as new ways to use the older power-ups. Different modes are available in this game such as Boost Rush mode, where the number of coins collected varies the speed of the screen as well as challenges. They could vary from time limits to beating a level without touching the ground. Sounds like your Mario-playing ability will be pushed to the limits with NSMBU. It was also announced the Lego City Undercover will have a pre-order bonus. Pre-orders will come a Chase McClain mini-figure, which it my opinion is a pretty cool pre-order bonus. I have the Lego Batman figure and usually the mini-figures are pretty cool to have.

Entertainment. Nintendo is always trying to come out with the next big innovation. They think they have struck gold with their newest innovation, Nintendo TVii. Nintendo TVii is a neat idea. While I’m watching sports, I can vote on polls about the coaches, comment on how bad a play was, and catch up on the game if I missed any of the action. Being able to see a replay of a great save or tackle right after it happens is awesome. You can also get recommendations from your friends about shows and you can save them to a favorites list. The option to record episodes is available as well. based on your favorites/direct profile link, Nintendo TVii can show you programs that it thinks you will be interested in, based on your profile. Another feature of the Gamepad is that it can be used as a TVii remote. You can just put your favorite channels on the Gamepad screen and then you can have quick access to your favorites. The rest of the presentation was used to show off the games that will be available soon and I’m going to have a separate post on the games at the presentation. The launch window for the Wii-U, which was stated to be from November 18th til the end of next March, will be the strongest ever.

“How U Will Play Next!”

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