Nintendo Wii U tested in hands-on video

We get our mitts on Nintendo's Wii U console, and deliver our first-impression verdict on the follow-up to the Wii.

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Hit play on the video above to see hands-on footage of the Wii U , as well as getting a glimpse at the games that will be hitting Nintendo's latest console when it arrives this Yuletide. Oh, and a close-up look at the weird tablet-style controller too.

That controller may look bizarre, but it's actually quite similar to the controllers you get on the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3. There are two analogue sticks that click inwards, a slew of face buttons, two shoulder and trigger buttons and a D-pad, so that when you're actually gripping the thing, everything feels quite familiar.

The touchscreen in the centre is accompanied by a stylus, though I'll wager you'll spend most of your time prodding at it using your thumbs.

It's not the brightest panel I've ever seen, but playing New Super Mario Bros. U -- a game that prides itself on its ability to be played on the controller alone -- images were crisp and colourful enough to show the touchscreen's potential.

The controller is comfortable to hold, but I don't think the analogue sticks have the same sensitivity and finesse as the ones that adorn the Xbox 360 controller, and I found several games felt quite clunky to control.

The Wii U pumps out HD graphics, and while I don't think games on this console look any better than than they do on Microsoft and Sony's machines, cartoony titles like Rayman Legends or Scribblenauts Unlimited were where the high-def visuals really make a difference. This is Mario's first HD outing, and he's looking very sharp indeed.

In the video above you'll see a few games, like ZombiU, which make good use of the console's second screen. My concern is that -- like the Wii before it -- developers won't bother to design games around this quirky peripheral, and Nintendo's effort will end up devoid of decent titles and left to gather dust.

What do you think of the Wii U? Can Nintendo repeat the initial success of the Wii? Will this console win back the hardcore crowd, or just alienate casual gamers? Let me know in the comments or on our Facebook wall.

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Gaming
About the author

Luke Westaway is a senior editor at CNET and writer/ presenter of Adventures in Tech, a thrilling gadget show produced in our London office. Luke's focus is on keeping you in the loop with a mix of video, features, expert opinion and analysis.

 

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