Let’s start this off with my full disclosure. I’m a brand ambassador for Nintendo. What does that mean?
It means that I have a relationship with Nintendo that does not involve compensation but it may involve the opportunity for me to enjoy new Nintendo products from time to time.
I’m not required to write about it or talk about it or show you great pictures or invite you to my house to play the new Wii U all night.
I just do it because I love Nintendo. I have a natural affinity for the brand and the products and they seem to like that affinity so it works out for all of us.
I especially love how creative they get when it comes to introducing people to what’s new. Whether it’s an online Mario Tennis match on my Nintendo 3DS with another ambassador (who incidentally kicked my butt) or an event that lets me introduce my friends to heart health using the Wii Fit, there’s always a fun factor. I mean, they sent me Mario themed cookies for Christmas!
When I heard about the new Wii U slated for release in fall 2012, I still had my doubts. I loved my Wii and didn’t want anything to change. I wanted it to stay the way it was. We didn’t really need to evolve, did we?
But then as I heard more and even got to preview the system, I started thinking, wouldn’t that be cool if Nintendo sent me a new Wii U?
Then my thinking became wishful thinking, which then turned into hoping. And finally, I was told that I’d be receiving a new Wii U before the holiday gift-giving season. WOOHOO!
My hoping soon turned into waiting as the news came out that the Wii U systems were selling so well for the holidays that I would just have to wait until early 2013.
My waiting turned into impatient waiting until the magical day my Wii U Deluxe system arrived.
Ah – but there was a catch!
In order to receive this system, I had to volunteer to host a house party, which I did last Friday. And here’s where you’ll see my life gets really tough.
I invited 20 of my friends (kids and grown-ups alike) to my house for a party. Nintendo came to my house to run the completely catered affair.
Chris and Brian (two extremely cool Nintendo gaming dudes) set up a full burrito buffet from Qdoba and set out plenty of beverages for the kids and adults (wink, wink). That last part was especially cool because all of my guests were neighbors with little boys who loved to game. And nobody had to drive anywhere.
With food and drink in hand, we listened to Chris and Brian give a quick introduction about Wii U, what it is, why it’s different than Wii, and what we can do with it. And of course, I had to chime in about it too.
(Side note: Since none of my neighbors are bloggers, I always have to reassure them that this is not a Tupperware party and I’m not trying to sell them anything.)
After that, the evening was simply about having fun and playing games. I even cautioned all of my neighbors that they WOULD be playing games and that we wouldn’t let the kids dominate it all night (although they mostly did).
The idea of the house party is simply to introduce people to the system and give them a chance to really play it and have fun in the way they might normally use it. It’s often hard to get that sense from a 10 minute demo in a retail store.
We spent most of our time focused on Nintendo Land, an amusement park-themed game that comes with the Wii U Deluxe and is actually more like 12 games in one (my personal favorites are The Legend of Zelda: Battle Quest and Pikmin Adventure). It’s a game that my family of three often plays together because it takes multi-player gaming to a new level that really makes it fun for everyone.
As the wine flowed, we couldn’t help but break out Sing Party, another game I love. Think of it as a karaoke and dance party rolled into one, complete with microphone and lyrics. We loved it but it turns out that no matter what song I sing, I’m still very, very bad. (After a few glasses of wine, though, it doesn’t really matter).
At the end of the night, a few of us sat down to give Chris some of our honest feedback and surprisingly most of my neighbors were considering how to fit the purchase of a Wii U into their upcoming budget (Easter present, maybe?) .
Maybe it was the wine talking but I could swear that my neighbors genuinely had a good time. Although they told me they did the next day on Facebook so maybe they really did.
I think the pictures speak for themselves.
Even the dog had a good time.
Since you couldn’t make it to my Wii U party, I’d love to know what questions you have about it. Are you a current Wii owner? Never had a Wii? Let me know if it looked like we really were having fun.
Photo credit (except for the Instagram pic of my Wii U shipment) goes entirely to Chris and Brian who know how to rock a video game system AND a camera.