I’ve had relatively limited experience with console video games, so keep that in mind when I tell you the following: the Wii U is the most fun I’ve ever had playing games on a console hooked up to my TV.
I’m emphasising fun. Not necessarily the best graphics (which are nevertheless great) or most in-depth storylines. Just loads and loads of unadulterated diversion.
At a press event earlier today, I had a Nintendo employee guide me through the finer details of how to properly hack off a bad guy’s arms in Ninja Gaiden III: Razor’s Edge. And it’s easy to do! A simple button combo presents you with an intense (but totally rewarding) animation of your character making short work of your attacker. That’s fun!
My personal favourite was a game called Mario Chase. You can see where your friends are on the Wii U Gamepad, but they have to run around looking for you on the television without knowing your location. The Gamepad’s camera sends live video of your face to the TV for your friends to laugh at as you wince when they get close.
The game is essentially a hybrid of tag and hide-and-seek. And it taps into the primal delight centres of the brain that you lit up when you played these games as a kid.
There is a class of gamers for whom this stuff won’t matter. They’ll only want games requiring extreme processing power and elaborate rules. Let them complain. You won’t be able to hear them when you’re squealing through the next round of Mario Chase.