Video gamers around the country lined up for the midnight launch of Nintendo's new video game console, the Wii U. NY1's Technology reporter Adam Balkin filed the following report.
Nintendo is trying to do it again, this time with the Wii U. Just as the original Wii console both changed the way video gamers play games and drew in non-traditional gamers, the Wii U hopes to do the same primarily through its new GamePad controller: a motion-sensing, touchscreen tablet.
"You have many new ways to play that were never possible before you may have," says Cindy Gordon of Nintendo. "For example, a very different view of the game you're playing from the players using the Wii remote, by using the GamePad, you might have a different set of tools that you're using, and you might even have a different strategy or goal."
While it is not known yet if the Wii U can duplicate the success of the Wii, thousands of customers waited for hours and even days on line at midnight launch events at locations like the Nintendo World Store in Rockefeller Plaza in Midtown.
Some gamers say the touchscreen is a logical next step.
"One can play on one screen, the other can play on the TV I find that amazing," says a gamer.
"Being able to play while I'm sitting down, looking at the screen and giving my girlfriend the television to watch whatever she wants to watch and I get to the keep playing the game I was playing that to me is a revolution, so I'll take that," says another.
"Maybe instead of just four people playing, a fifth person can get into the action and maybe control the others' fate," says a third.
Nowadays, consumers expect their video game consoles to offer things like Netflix, Hulu and YouTube, but Nintendo is really trying to up its game with non-gaming functionality, primarily through social networking.
"Your GamePad essentially becomes your personalized remote control," says Gordon. "It becomes your customizable program guide and it becomes a way to socially interact with people through Miiverse, through Facebook, through Twitter, even through YouTube."
Wii Us are on sale now as two separate bundles. The basic set sells for around $300, and the $350 deluxe set includes a game, more internal storage and some extra peripherals.