Deep inside a heavily guarded building, in an undisclosed location, a select group of journalists and Nintendo employees played Super Mario Brothers.
If you grew up with this game and you think you know it, think again. Mario just got even more super with a supercharged controller.
"With the GamePad, basically this brings a second screen into the living room," said Chip Chipman, with Nintendo's product marketing team.
With its full color touchscreen, motion sensors, buttons and joysticks, the GamePad is the centerpiece of Nintendo's newest video game system, the Wii U.
In one instance, a player used the touchscreen to build blocks for the other players to jump on, in what's otherwise a classic Mario game, "And then it reminds you of your younger days as a child, you know?" Chipman said. "Jumping down warp pipes, busting blocks with your head."
Games like this have always been Nintendo's strong suit. But with Wii U, the company's also showing off games like Zombi U, which is definitely rated "M" for mature.
You see, while the original Nintendo Wii captured a whole new audience of families, busy professionals, even retirees, critics say Nintendo all but forgot about hardcore gamers. Well, now they're back, with a vengeance.
Taking full advantage of the screen and the gyroscopes in the GamePad, Zombi U brings another dimension to surviving the walking dead. And speaking of death and destruction, Call of Duty is coming to Wii U. Among the most successful game series of all time, the latest has HD graphics and futuristic weapons.
"Because Call of Duty Black Ops II is set in this near future, the 2025 universe, we're able to utilize technology that may or may not exist yet," said Neven Dravinski, Producer of Activision's Call of Duty Black Ops II for Nintendo Wii U.
When the Wii U hits store shelves, it'll definitely do it with a splash. But it'll have to, because it's coming in as the underdog against two very well established competitors.
"The Xbox 360, the Playstation 3, which are already in all these hard core gamers' living rooms, uh, they have the same games," said GamesBeat Editor-in-Chief Dan "Shoe" Hsu.
According to Hsu, there's no doubt the $300 Wii U is the most "advanced" system. But he notes that being new has a downside, "The Wii U when it comes out this winter is only gonna have a handful of games," Hsu said. "It's not gonna come anywhere close to the software library that you could find on a Playstation 3 or Xbox 360."