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E3 2011: A closer look at Wii U, courtesy of Kotaku

by: Sean Colleli -
More On: Nintendo Wii U
The fine folks at Kotaku got a chance to go hands on with Nintendo's new console, the Wii U. This puppy features 4 USB slots (2 on the back, 2 under a small door on the front, nestled next to the SD card slot) and at long last an HDMI port--as promised Nintendo is finally getting into the HD era.

It's certainly sleek but am I the only person who think it's a little...boring? I mean, at least the Wii had a bit of edge and definition to it. The Wii U has the same generic, undefined lumpiness of the first-gen Xbox 360, almost as if the Wii and 360 had a baby...what is Nintendo doing in its labs, breeding consoles?!

In all seriousness though, I still really like the design of the tablet controller. Dan and the investors might think it looks uncomfortable but I'm happy to see a return to a traditional controller shape...with the customary Nintendo twist, of course.  I'd prefer if it had some handles and I have no idea how it'll feel to have an analog stick above the buttons, but I don't think it'll be too bad for long stretches of gaming.

After all, millions of people have been stroking and shaking their iPads for months now and we haven't seen any Apple-related injuries. As much as I hate the iPad, at least those bazillions of hours collectively wasted on Angry Birds are evidence that a tablet controller can work.

My biggest beef with the "iPad as a gaming platform" argument was that the iPad lacked buttons and triggers, elements that I personally think will always be necessary for a traditional, hardcore gaming experience. A hybrid solution was needed and for better or worse, Nintendo has just delivered it. I guess we'll see in the coming year if it works, but with titles like Batman Arkham City, Aliens Colonial Marines and Tekken already confirmed for Wii U, I have a feeling developers are a lot more enthusiastic about this console than they ever were about the Wii.
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