Nintendo have thrown open the doors to the new Wii U Experience Store in Sydney, Australia. Aussie-Gamer was on the scene to bring you the very first look!
A sister store was also opened in Melbourne as part of a wider attempt to get as many Australians as possible to get their grubby hands on the Wii U before its November 30th launch. Wii U pop-up sites will appear around the country throughout November – you can find local details right here.
The store itself is a stylish, simplistic and modern looking boutique. The idea is to have people playing on units, so open planning and bright colours on white are the order of the day. You wont find anything to buy, however – this is all about experiencing Wii U. You can buy the console from a number of retailers at the end of the month.
So, what games are on offer?
SiNG Party was set up on a stage with a Nintendo staffer begging people to put their social inhibitions behind them and jump up to sing infront of the looming food court outside. On the surface, SiNG seems to be not too different from Singstar on PlayStation, however there appears to be many different modes on offer. At one point the Wii U GamePad was completely ignored as the players sang in tune to the song playing – the TV would track the pitch or the quality of your performance. In this case, both players used a microphone attached to the Wii U via a USB cable.
Batman Arkham City: Armoured Edition is on show and is looking better than ever. You will first notice how much more advanced the graphics are compared to the PlayStation 3/Xbox 360 versions. This build seems to be a later one than the demo at EB Expo, and the game runs flawlessly. The Wii U GamePad is your “pause screen” where you can set up Batman’s inventory quickly and use the motion sensor to control the Batarang.
New Super Mario Bros. U has a couple of units set up and shows off the three levels we saw at EB Expo. Mario has never looked better, and a second person can pick up the Wii U GamePad and help out by placing blocks on the course or stunning enemies for a moment. The GamePad will also play the game on the screen itself, so you can free up the TV for someone else to play through.
Nintendo Land is back and playable at the store, too. Nintendo Land is a virtual theme park with a bunch of Nintendo-themed attractions. The game will be included with the Wii U Premium Pack.
Rounding off the experiences on offer is Scribblenauts Unlimited which is a completely open-solve puzzle game. You’re offered a range of scenarios and you must write in a solution. For example, a farmer might want to find his truffles. To solve this puzzle and progress, you can summon a “Pig” from the Magic Notebook. New to this series is the possibility to give your creations adjectives – for example, you might summon a “purple pig” or a “skateboarding pig”. You’re limited only by your imagination.
Rayman Legends is also playable at the store which is a new platforming title from Ubisoft, due for release next year. The game uses the GamePad as a support role – the GamePad player touches the screen to direct a character who interacts with the environment. For example, the GamePad player can open up secret areas, stun enemies, and gut down ropes required by the other players (who use a Wii U Pro Controller) to swing across pitfalls.
Four Nintendo 3DS XL consoles are also on show, featuring Paper Mario: Sticker Star, Pokemon Black and White Versions 2, PokeDex 3D Pro and Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask.
Head here for more details on your local pop-up location, including the titles that will be on show and opening hours. The Wii U Experience in Sydney will remain in its Westfield CBD location (George St entrance – go down two escalators from the Myer/Samsung stores) until early December.