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Introducing… Wii U

by on June 7, 2011
 

Bet you didn’t see that one coming, did you?  (Now with hardware photos!)

Nintendo has finally revealed the official name for their new console, and it is… “Wii U.”

During their 2011 E3 press conference, Nintendo finally pulled the lid from their not-so-secretive hardware by showcasing the Wii U controller, which confirms nearly all of the rumors regarding it over the last month.  The input device is absolutely packed with features such as a 6.2″ touchscreen, accelerometers, gyroscopes, full standard button support and dual joysticks.  But, that’s not all!

A demo reel provided us a look at some of the interactive functions of this new controller.  Games can be played either on a television or directly on the touchscreen of your device.  Gamers will be able to surf the Internet and watch videos directly on their controllers, and then instantly transmit their display to the television.  The input device will also have specific games that can be played on the touchscreen, such as chess or checkers.

As rumored, all of the Wii’s control devices such as the Wiimote, nunchuck, and balance board, will be compatible with the Wii U.  It seems that Nintendo is not expecting people to buy multiple Wii U touchpads…  Probably because they will be expensive, I think.

A tech demo was shown that demonstrates some of the graphical potential of the new console, which looks fairly nice.  However, no actual Wii U games will be shown this week.  A lot of third party games were revealed for the system, such as Ninja Gaiden 3, Ghost Recon Online, Darksiders 2, and Metro: Last Light.  All footage was shown from the 360 or PS3 counterparts, so we have no idea yet if Wii U ports will look better.

No pricing details or firm release windows were announced sadly, but Nintendo did reaffirm that the new console will arrive in 2012 sometime.  Stay tuned to GotGame.com for more information on the Wii U and games throughout the week!

[UPDATE! – 10:45AM]

IGN managed to snap a shot of the actual console during the presentation.  Only the controller was highlighted during the press conference, leaving many of us to wonder what the actual Wii U hardware will resemble.  While this might not be the final model, at least it is something for now!

[UPDATE 2! – 12:20PM]

This Is My Next blog has obtained some of the official system specs for the Wii U hardware.  Though the internal components are still a mystery, we now know what to expect outside of the box.

  • 1.8 inches tall, 6.8 inches wide, 10.5 inches long
  • The new controller incorporates a 6.2-inch, 16:9 touch screen and traditional button controls, including two analog Circle Pads. This combination removes the traditional barriers between games, players and the TV by creating a second window into the video game world. The rechargeable controller includes a Power button, Home button, +Control Pad, A/B/X/Y buttons, L/R buttons and ZL/ZR buttons. It includes a built-in accelerometer and gyroscope, rumble feature, camera, a microphone, stereo speakers, a sensor strip and a stylus.
  • Up to four Wii Remote (or Wii Remote Plus) controllers can be connected at once. The new console supports all Wii controllers and input devices, including the Nunchuk controller, Classic Controller, Classic Controller Pro and Wii Balance Board.
  • A single self-loading media bay will play 12-centimeter proprietary high-density optical discs for the new console, as well as 12-centimeter Wii optical discs.
  • Supports 1080p, 1080i, 720p, 480p and 480i. Compatible cables include HDMI, component, S-video and composite.
  • Uses AV Multi Out connector. Six-channel PCM linear output through HDMI.
  • The console will have internal flash memory, as well as the option to expand its memory using either an SD memory card or an external USB hard disk drive.
  • IBM Power®-based multi-core microprocessor.
  • Four USB 2.0 connector slots are included. The new console is backward compatible with Wii games and Wii accessories.
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