According to an employee posting at Evil Avatar, the Wiimotes have arrived to GameStop and it looks as if everything will be playable, if not today, then very soon. Check out what happened:
As if on cue, the Nintendo rep walks in and begins to set up the Wii and he unveils the Wiimotes.1.) Reciever. Attached to the bottom of the widesceren Samsung TV was the reciever for the signal from the Wiimotes. I didn't realize it wasn't part of the TV until he pointed it out. It's sleek black and about 10" x 1" x .5"
2.) Startup Disk. Before the console could be used he had to insert a startup disk. He said that all Wiis (including full retail versions) will need to do this before the console can be used. I asked why but he said he didn't know. It is a one-time process that took less than 2 minutes.3.) WiiMotes. The Wiimotes were unveiled! Tiny and light, they took two AA batteries. The button to sync them with the Wii was inside the battery compartment. The button on the Wii for syncing is hidden in the panel to the left of the disc slot. It is above the slot for the SD cards.
4.) Sync. He synced the first controler and the first light at the bottom of the Wiimote lit up. He repeated the process with the second controller and it recognized it was the second controller automatically.
5.) No Tethers. They are not tethering the Wiimotes at all for the in-store displays, but to use them you will need to relinquish your driver's license AND a credit card. They will not let you play otherwise.
6.) Drive. The Disk Drive for the Wii works like a car stereo drive and pulls the media in. It can accept regular Wii games or GC games with no problem.
7.) Mii. He showed off a feature called Mii. You make a little cartoony avatar of yourself. It has a surprising number of options of pieces for facial features, most of which can be shrunk or enlarged as well as moved around the face. He made a remarkably accurate Mii of himself and of one of the employees. He said when Wii is online you can send Miis to other people's machines. You can have 100 on your Wii at any one time and they interact/dance with each other. You can also have them do a parade but when he tried to show us it didn't seem to work.
8.) Pointer. The pointer controlled by the Wiimote in the dashboard is a Mario-like glove with the pointer finger extended. Really cool was the fact that it would rotate (x-y only) through 360 degrees if you rotated the Wiimote. i.e. If the Wiimote buttons were facing the ground, the finger was pointing straight down. Sweet!
9.) Excite Truck! The game he brought was a full version of Excite Truck. He said that all the stores (at least in SoCal) will be getting this game.
* It had no appreciable load time.
* Before you can play the game you have to finish the tutorial once. The console saves that info and won't ask again. He ran through the tutorial.
* The game is played with the Wiimote held like with the D-pad at the left thumb and the 1 and 2 buttons at the right hand thumb.
* Button 2 is gas, 1 is brakes, D-pad (any direction) is boost. Steering is "turning" the Wiimote in your hands like you would a steering wheel. For a longer jump you rotate the Wiimote back and for a shorter jump you rotate it forwards. Control was intuitive but I sometimes wanted to rotate the Wiimote to control the direction my car was pointed instead of "steering".
* HE LET ME PLAY! He wanted to play a 2 player game and the guys were busy so we played a game... I uh came in second... The game was fast and a lot of fun, with the screen split vertically. At one point, this huge hill appeared in front of me. When I asked if that was pop in or some wierd effect the rep said that I'd hit an icon that causes the terrain to change. When I hit another one a bit later I realized the effect. In this case, the path originally banked sharply to the right. When I hit the icon the ground swelled up into a huge jump that allowed me to bypass the S turn completely. The framerate never slowed down a hint, even though we were split screen and the terrain was changing on the fly.
* Graphics are good. There is environment mapping on the trucks. Clearly sub-360 graphics, but I never expected otherwise.
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