E3 2011: Nintendo’s New ‘Wii U’ Console Will Change How We Look at Video Games

E3 2011: Nintendo’s New ‘Wii U’ Console Will Change How We Look at Video Games (photo)

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Maybe you’ve had arguments with a roommate or significant other over who gets to control the living room television. Or, maybe you’ve played a game on a tablet and really wished that you had the precision of button inputs to make the experience that much better.

Well, Nintendo has heard your cry. Announced some weeks ago after months of rumors, the next home console from the Japanese game giant was revealed this week at the Electronic Entertainment Expo. Called Wii U, the console comes with a large, touchscreen controller that also houses the standard set of buttons, triggers and joysticks as on other systems’ controllers. Wii U’s backwards compatible, meaning that you’ll be able to use the current Wii’s controllers, games and accessories with the incoming system. It’s designed to be utilized for nearly any of the common control inputs used to play games today. The touchscreen isn’t multi-touch, though. Nevertheless, if developers want to make a game with finger-tapping, stylus sliding or button-mashing, the touchpad for the Wii accommodates their desires.

And it’s those desires that will really shape the future of not only this new console, but of video games, as well. Nintendo only offered a handful of conceptual demos that showed what the console could do, but they harbored interesting implementations that blazed new territory.

E3 2011: Nintendo Wii U – Official Nintendo DemonstrationDemo, Shield Pose

One demo called Chase Mii created a game of hide and seek where the player with the touchscreen ran from four pursuers, using the screen to see where they were in the gameworld. The other players–who used Wii remotes to control their characters–had to shout out at each other where they saw their prey. The simple concept became even more fun by virtue of the asymmetrical design. On its own, that asymmetry opens up gameplay ideas that single-screen gaming can’t offer. Using the touchscreen as a playbook for “Madden NFL,” a map for a “Legend of Zelda” game lets you have a clean, image on the TV screen that pulls you in even more. Or, the place-shifting capability of the console/controller combo lets you view an image on the touchscreen alone, letting you play a game without hogging the TV.

The Wii U represents a shift back towards the hardcore gamer demographic that the Wii alienated with its cutesy Mii avatars, underpowered graphics and sometimes goofy motion control. With a console that supports full HD graphics, online play and motion, touch and button-based gaming, the Wii U throws the floodgates open to a torrent of ideas. It’ll be interesting to see what game designers come up with when the Wii U arrives some time after April next year.

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Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

Get to know Charles, the social media whiz of Brockmire.

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He may be an unlikely radio producer Brockmire, but Charles is #1 when it comes to delivering quips that tie a nice little bow on the absurdity of any given situation.

Charles also perfectly captures the jaded outlook of Millennials. Or at least Millennials as mythologized by marketers and news idiots. You know who you are.

Played superbly by Tyrel Jackson Williams, Charles’s quippy nuggets target just about any subject matter, from entry-level jobs in social media (“I plan on getting some experience here, then moving to New York to finally start my life.”) to the ramifications of fictional celebrity hookups (“Drake and Taylor Swift are dating! Albums y’all!”). But where he really nails the whole Millennial POV thing is when he comments on America’s second favorite past-time after type II diabetes: baseball.

Here are a few pearls.

On Baseball’s Lasting Cultural Relevance

“Baseball’s one of those old-timey things you don’t need anymore. Like cursive. Or email.”

On The Dramatic Value Of Double-Headers

“The only thing dumber than playing two boring-ass baseball games in one day is putting a two-hour delay between the boring-ass games.”

On Sartorial Tradition

“Is dressing badly just a thing for baseball, because that would explain his jacket.”

On Baseball, In A Nutshell

“Baseball is a f-cked up sport, and I want you to know it.”

Learn more about Charles in the behind-the-scenes video below.

And if you were born before the late ’80s and want to know what the kids think about Baseball, watch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

Amanda Peet brings it on Brockmire Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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GIFS via Giphy

On Brockmire, Jules is the unexpected yin to Jim Brockmire’s yang. Which is saying a lot, because Brockmire’s yang is way out there. Played by Amanda Peet, Jules is hard-drinking, truth-spewing, baseball-loving…everything Brockmire is, and perhaps what he never expected to encounter in another human.

“We’re the same level of functional alcoholic.”

But Jules takes that commonality and transforms it into something special: a new beginning. A new beginning for failing minor league baseball team “The Frackers”, who suddenly about-face into a winning streak; and a new beginning for Brockmire, whose life gets a jumpstart when Jules lures him back to baseball. As for herself, her unexpected connection with Brockmire gives her own life a surprising and much needed goose.

“You’re a Goddamn Disaster and you’re starting To look good to me.”

This palpable dynamic adds depth and complexity to the narrative and pushes the series far beyond expected comedy. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes video (and brace yourself for a unforgettable description of Brockmire’s genitals)…

Want more about Amanda Peet? She’s all over the place, and has even penned a recent self-reflective piece in the New York Times.

And of course you can watch the Jim-Jules relationship hysterically unfold in new episodes of Brockmire, every Wednesday at 10PM on IFC.

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Draught Pick

Sam Adams “Keeps It Brockmire”

All New Brockmire airs Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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From baseball to beer, Jim Brockmire calls ’em like he sees ’em.


It’s no wonder at all, then, that Sam Adams would reach out to Brockmire to be their shockingly-honest (and inevitably short-term) new spokesperson. Unscripted and unrestrained, he’ll talk straight about Sam—and we’ll take his word. Check out this new testimonial for proof:

See more Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC, presented by Samuel Adams. Good f***** beer.

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