Wii demo units reach stores

by: Ben Berry -
More On: Wii

I was at the local Game Crazy not long after their Nintendo Rep dropped off the stores Wii demo unit. Setting up the unit, the employees noticed their demo did not include a Nunchuck control or the Wii Sports disc. This is apperantly Nintendos way of forcing the demo unit to be used to play Excite Truck as the other two games delivered today (Twilight Princess and Madden 2007) will not play without a Nunchuck controller attached. It did not appear to be an oversight, as the front of the box was marked with a large black X. Twilight Princess will show the opening cutscene and cycle through some game play video, but will not start into the game. Madden 2007 will not even get that far. Using the Wiimote to open the game channel brings up a box stating "Please connect a Nunchuck controller", and will not proceed any further.

Store employees were allowing customers to create their own Mii's and play ExciteTruck. The graphics appear to be better than the version of the game making it's rounds with the Nintendo Fusion Tour when I played it a little over a month ago. After about a half of hour of watching and playing I find that driving requires less oversteering than I remember, which could either mean a tweak to the game, or my increased comfort with the Wiimote.

Also, a customer had an SD card with some MP3's on it, so we plugged it into the Wii and took advantage of the ExciteTruck feature allowing MP3 playback during gaming. Listening to the Flaming Lips while playing the game definately enhanced the experience.  

Finally, the sensor bar was drastically smaller than the ones seen at E3 and on the Fusion Tour. It was out of reach near the wall mounted standard definition TV, but looked to be only 10 to 12 inches long, with the Wiimote having an effective range of about 15 feet.

These units have been popping up across the city, and should be in most stores by end of day tomorrow.

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