Wii U’s launch is still a few months away, but at the Nintendo World Store in New York, demo stations are already in place. In addition to showing off the system’s graphical capabilities and giving consumers a first chance to go hands-on with the GamePad, the demo systems also offer a tantalizing preview of what Wii U‘s menus might look like.
Video of that menu system has made its way online, courtesy of NintendoWorldReport. What’s on display is clearly not the final interface destined for retail Wii U hardware – there are, for instance, a number of informational trailers about the system and its features that hardly seem necessary for home users, while “killer app” Miiverse appears only as a grayed out box – but the windowed menu system and carousel-style presentation of games may not be far from what consumers will experience come November 18th.
Unlike the confusing clutter of the current Xbox 360 dashboard, the menus on Wii U are minimalist and clean looking. Games are sorted by category (Adventure/RPG, Action/Shooter, Board/Puzzle, Sports/Racing, Music/Health and All Titles), and within each category the box art for available titles is neatly displayed. After selecting a specific game, players are given the chance to watch a trailer or play a demo. If this is how Nintendo eShop looks on Wii U, it’s a significant step up from the garish, random presentation that currently greets 3DS eShop customers.
The demo option is particularly intriguing. Not to read too much into it – this is footage from a demo kiosk, after all – but if in-store demos are being crafted for practically every Wii U launch game, then it’s certainly possible that those same demos might be made available as downloads for players at home. Despite testing the waters with 3DS (which strictly limits the number of times a given demo can be played) Nintendo has not embraced the idea of playable demos in the way that both Sony and Microsoft have – particularly when it comes to first-party games. Will that change with Wii U? What do you think?
Ranters, how do the Wii U demo unit menus look to you? How closely do you think they resemble the system’s actual user interface? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.
The Nintendo Wii U launches November 18, 2012, in North America.
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