Extra: Wii U Goes Hollywood

On August 20, 2013 by Jason Rechtman

Extra: Wii U Goes Hollywood
Nintendo is finally getting the word out about Wii U. They covered the core gamers with the E3 Nintendo Experience events and a presence at expos such as Comic-Con 2013, so now it’s time to take to the streets and rope in the casuals. All summer long, Nintendo has been sending its Wii U Summer Tour to landmark locations across the country, including Disney World, Mall of America, and Chicago’s Navy Pier. Now, for the grand finale, they’re bringing the tour to the capital of entertainment: Hollywood. We swung by the Hollywood & Highland Center to see what the Wii U Summer Tour was all about, and naturally, to take a whole bunch of photos (all of which can be found below).

The tour’s setup is rather unique. Instead of simply plopping down rows of kiosks, Nintendo chose to build cubic rooms that resemble the ones from the Wii U launch commercial. Each cube is themed around a different game, be it New Super Mario Bros. U or Game & Wario. These themes are represented by giant character art on the side of the cube, as well as by the decor within. The Mario cube, for example, features plush Starmen and giant ? Block cushions. Even though some feature themes of single-player titles like Pikmin 3 and Wind Waker HD, the cubes are exclusively used for multiplayer experiences. Everyone crams on the couch, impromptu competitions are held, and an announcer with a microphone is there to give running commentary. The games being demoed in the cubes include New Super Mario Bros. U, its New Super Luigi U expansion, Nintendo Land, and Pikmin 3’s Bingo Battle – all of which help to sell the Wii U as a multiplayer, family-friendly machine.

Of course, single-player and more mature game demos are also on display, but these are restricted to more traditional kiosks in regular booths. The demos include Resident Evil Revelations, Need for Speed: Most Wanted U, Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD, and The Wonderful 101. The tour team also runs an ongoing tournament for Injustice: Gods Among Us, which draws quite a crowd and has Wii U-branded drawstring backpacks as prizes.

Nintendo set up 3DS demo units as well, choosing to sample an assortment of already released titles like New Super Mario Bros. 2, Mario Kart 7, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, and Lego City Undercover: The Chase Begins. It was a bit puzzling to see Nintendo emphasize these games over more recent releases, but perhaps they feel such ‘evergreen’ titles are a better fit for the tour’s more casual audience. For those who already own a 3DS and bring it with them, Nintendo is rewarding them with the opportunity to StreetPass Nintendo president Satoru Iwata’s Mii.

All in all, the Wii U Summer Tour is a fun event that helps get the word out about a system that needs all the attention it can get. The staff of Wii U and 3DS “gurus” do a good job of keeping visitors engaged, there’s a fun Mario-themed photo booth, and having a surprise appearance by the one and only Luigi certainly didn’t hurt our experience. You can learn more about the Wii U Summer Tour, which will be in Hollywood and Boston until September 2, by visiting its official site. If you live nearby, it’s definitely worth checking out. And if you don’t, we hope the below photos will give you a good taste of the experience.

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