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FEATURED VOXPOP KevinS
RIP Ralph Baer (1922-2014)
By KevinS
Posted on 12/07/14
RIP Ralph Baer (1922-2014) I really, really hate writing obits. I really do. But I take it as a personal honor to be able to say good things about the men and women I respect, whether in this industry or just in my life, and Ralph Baer is the reason all of this exists in the first...

The Real Reason Wii U Is My Most Anticipated Console Ever

Posted on Wednesday, November 7 @ 13:37:26 Eastern by


It was Christmas of 1986. A then four-year old me received a gift that would shape my entire life, and eventually, my career: the Nintendo Entertainment System.

I had seen my father play Kaboom! on our Atari 2600 like a champ, but the joystick and the dial on the Atari paddle controller was too much of a barrier for my young, uncoordinated mind. It wasn't until the simplicity and intuitiveness of the NES controller's directional pad and A and B buttons that I could firmly grasp a controller, and dive into a world where my imagination was at play.

As you may have noticed, it had quite the lasting effect on me.

I can also fondly remember hunting down the SNES shortly after it released, thankfully finding one at a local Child World. Remember those? Those are long gone, as is my old SNES. But I'll always have my memories.



In fact, I can remember the exact moment, exact situation, exact sensation I was feeling each time I've bought a new console over the years. I can remember eagerly anticipating their release, reading every issue of my subscription to Electronic Gaming Monthly from cover to cover, learning every bit of information I could ahead of that savory moment when I get to unbox that new console, and breathe in that new console plastic-y smell. Then I'd beg and barrage my parents until they caved and bought it for me. All the way until I could buy them for myself. Then, you'd find me searching the Internet for info, or sleeping outside of retail stores—first in line—to get a new console at launch.

Not much has changed in that sense. I still pay extra close attention to hardware, often disregarding the software to get a better look at the console itself. I couldn't even tell you specifically why, but it's the hardware that I truly love.

What's different now? I'm a father. I'm the one giving the gift of gaming to my child. And while I've already introduced video games to my daughter through her LeapPad, her Nintendo DS, and even my iPad, the Wii U will be her first console launch.



This may seem insignificant—she's only four. But what I saw today in her, was the same feeling that I had as a young child. That sense of wonder, the amazement in her eyes.

I've been telling her that we're going to be getting a new Nintendo system soon for a few weeks now, since she was wondering why I was trading in a bunch of old Wii games and accessories. I explained that it was to make way for the new system. But it wasn't until we walked by a Wii U demo unit in Target today, that it really clicked for her.

The touchscreen on the Wii U GamePad removes a barrier for her like the NES control pad for me. It's exactly why she gravitates to my iPad—touching is intuitive. Even more so than motion controls, and far more than buttons could ever be.

As she took the GamePad in her hands, seemingly massive in comparison to her, her eyes lit up brighter than the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree. I caught that moment, and my eyes instantly swelled with the proud tears of a father.



Even then, I don't think I realized just how much this meant to her. Or what it really meant to me. I knew she had been begging me for Burger King, all because she saw a commercial promoting their Wii U-branded toys in their kids meals. And then I caught her playing with my wife using her Mario, Luigi, Yoshi, and Peach stuffed toys that I had bought her a couple of years back.

She is genuinely anticipating the Wii U. And so am I, more than any console before it. Because I'm eager to share with her the same moments of joy, imagination, fun, and wonder, that I experienced so many years ago when my father gave me my NES.
Tags:   Wii U, Nintendo, nes
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