Nintendo Wii U

Nintendo Wii U controller displayNintendo Wii U controller display

Nintendo has finally debuted the much-anticipated next-gen Wii console, the Wii U. If you expecting a simple refresh for the motion-gaming system that started them all you were wrong: The Wii sports a similarly compact yet more traditional look and feel of your classic consoles – deviating from this, of course, with the addition of a 6.2-inch touchscreen-tablet controller. The device also functions as the remote and comes complete with front-facing camera, stand-alone games, photo viewing, video chat, Web browsing, and more.

But don’t worry, Nintendo won’t forgo all familiarity. In addition to allowing up to four Wii Remote or Remote Plus controllers to connect at once, it is also compatible with all original Wii controllers and input devices.


We outline the features of the new Nintendo Wii U which was unveiled and given an official name today at Nintendo’s E3 press conference.

Nintendo’s upcoming console has had a lot of rumored names and codenames. Some call it Project Cafe; some call it Wii 2; others believed it might have a simple name: “Nintendo.” Moments ago, we learned its actual name: Wii U. Describing the system, Nintendo Global President Satoru Iwata emphasized that it intended to make a console that was for “we and you,” where the ‘we’ refers to the broad casual gaming audience that the Wii attracted and ‘you’ points toward hardcore gamers, who have largely stayed away from Wii due to its lack of HD, wand-like motion controller, and lack of third party game support from major publishers.

Unveiling only the controller, Iwata called the system “Infinitely complex and perfectly simple at the same time” and “a system we will all enjoy together, but that is especially tailored for you [hardcore gamers].”

Nintendo Wii U controller tvSo what is the Wii U? Well, the actual console looks a lot like the Wii. It’s white, similarly sized, and has that familiar blue light emitting from its disc drive. Aside from some rounded edges, one might actually mistake it for a Wii. Until they see the controller, at least.

The Wii U controller is designed to take the place of your TV, if you’d like. It has all of the gyroscopic and accelerometer capabilities of the Wii Remote, but Nintendo has abandoned the one-handed design that helped make Wii such a success. The new controller has a large 6.2-inch resistive touchscreen (with stylus) on it, front and rear cameras, a microphone, speakers, and vibration. Those features may be cool to casual gamers, but hardcore gamers (the U) will be happy that the Wii U controller is two-handed featuring two shoulder buttons, two trigger buttons, a directional pad, two control sticks, four face buttons (ABXY), and start/select. The reason is clear: Nintendo wants hardcore game series like Assassin’s Creed and Bioshock on its system right alongside Wii Sports and Super Mario.

“You want what you’ve always wanted, but you want something new,” explained Nintendo of America President Reginald Fils-Aime. “You want comfortable and you want surprise. Contradictions? No problem. They come with the territory. Is it fair to ask or possible to deliver something for everyone?” Nintendo, he said, is targeting everyone.

Your controller is your TV

Nintendo will be showing off eight demos on the show floor, but highlighted some new gaming possibilities right off the back. With a push of a button, you can switch your game from your TV straight to your controller, a useful feature if your girlfriend or parents would like to watch something on the big TV, but you aren’t ready to stop playing. Or imagine playing Wii Fit without having to turn on your TV at all.

Wii U Controller Mario

In addition, Nintendo showed off a bunch of new ways to combine the screen of the controller with the TV. These include using it as a gun sight, having inventory items display on it, setting the controller on a table and using it as a multiplayer board game, etc. You can even make video calls with it, says Nintendo. The demos were highly impressive, but we still have a lot of questions.

>> Our hands-on with the Wii U motion controller

Can you use multiple Wii U controllers?

In its initial video and press materials, Nintendo emphasizes that the Wii U is compatible with Wii controllers and the Wii Balance Board, but it never showed more than one Wii U controller being used at a time. Could it be that the Wii U controller is just too expensive to sell separately (we speculate a new controller would cost in upwards of $100)? Or, more likely, the Wii U console hardware may not be powerful enough to stream to multiple devices at the same time.

Wii U Controller

We’re hoping that Nintendo will support more than one Wii U controller, especially if it hopes to target hardcore games, which often need two controllers for split screen or multiplayer gameplay. Without multiple controller support, many of the crazy possibilities Nintendo has opened up with the Wii U may not be possible.

>> More about Wii U’s single controller situation

How powerful is it?

Nintendo showed off several hardcore games. While many of these games looked about as good as their PS3 or Xbox equivalents, none of the videos shown implied that Wii U could outperform its 5-6 year-old rivals. Nintendo’s Wii U fact sheet states that the console has an IBM processor with multiple cores, but does not give any other details.

Nintendo Wii U Console

According to the fact sheet, the system will have built in flash memory, but also support SD card external storage. This is in line with the rumor we heard a few weeks back that the system will have 8GB of internal flash storage. Nintendo did not mention whether its new console will continue to use DVDs or if it will use Blu-Ray or a new proprietary disc format. It does have a disc drive, it appears.

What games are coming?

Iwata confirmed that a version of Super Smash Bros. is being co-developed for the Wii U and 3DS and that both versions will be able to interact together in some fashion. His wording implied that 3DS players will be able to face off against those playing on a Wii U.

Wii U ZeldaEA also took the stage to pledge much stronger support for Wii U and a strengthened relationship with Nintendo.

Fils-Aime also made a point of introducing Lego City Stories as a Wii U title, revealing that more than half of the 60 million selling Lego games have been sold on Nintendo systems. The game will feature a whole city full of Lego vehicles, but no in-game footage was shown.

In a highlight reel of gameplay footage, the following games were also unveiled for the Wii U.

  • Darksiders 2 (coming at launch)
  • Tekken (you can draw on your characters)
  • Batman: Arkam City
  • Assassin’s Creed
  • Ghost Recon Online
  • Dirt
  • Aliens: Colonial Marines
  • Metro Last Light, THQ
  • Ninja Gaiden 3: Razer’s Edge

Being a Nintendo console, we can expect versions of Mario and Zelda to be in development. Nintendo showed off a more detailed version of a Zelda: Twilight Princess.

It’s coming in 2012

Nintendo has unveiled the Wii U, but its debut has left us with more questions than answers. We expect to get a bit of enlightenment as we play through the demos on the E3 floor throughout the next three days, but it’s likely that full details on the system and its games may not come until this time in 2012, when the Wii U nears its launch. Hopefully we’ll have a better idea of Nintendo’s online plans by then as well.

Ckeck Out Link For More: Info.

One thought on “Nintendo Wii U”

  1. Nice post, great info

    I was reading about this the other cleared up some points of interest for me,..thanks!

    I wont buy it; Xbox 360 FTW

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