Exciting times for Nintendo fans today as Nintendo launches its groundbreaking new Wii U console today at E3. As has been expected from leaks prior to the launch, the main innovation comes in the shape of the revolutionary new Wii U controller, which boasts a 6.2-inch screen, and everything else bar the kitchen sink, it would seem.
“Wii U redefines the structure of home entertainment by fundamentally changing how the TV, the game console and the Internet function and interact together,” said Nintendo President Satoru Iwata. “The experience enabled by Wii U and the new controller takes players deeper into their games, while reaching out wider than ever before to be inviting to all kinds of gamers.”In addition to the 6.2-inch screen, the new controller also features (deep breath) an accelerometer and a gyroscope, a rumble feature, an inward-facing camera, a microphone, stereo speakers, a sensor strip and a stylus. Never fear though, all you traditionalists out there, the Classic Controller button scheme of two analog Circle Pads, +Control Pad, A/B/X/Y buttons, L/R buttons and ZL/ZR buttons will enable a breadth of gameplay experiences alongside the controller’s technological innovations.
Nintendo says that it wants to move away from the traditional way of playing console games, where they are confined to the TV and offer the same viewpoints to each player in a multiplayer environment. The new controller removes these boundaries and creates a more dynamic and fluid gaming and entertainment experience. For example, in single-player gaming, the new controller can display information on its touchscreen that doesn’t appear on the TV, and the information and viewpoint can also change in the new controller based on the orientation of its gyroscope.
In multiplayer games, the player using the new controller can have a different experience than those looking at the TV, offering a wide variety of competitive and cooperative opportunities.
Each Wii U console will be partnered with a new controller, and can also use up to four additional Wii Remote or Wii Remote Plus controllers.
Aside from the amazing new controller, one of the most exciting and long overdue aspects of the Wii U is the fact that it supports full HD graphics (1080p, 1080i, 720p, 480p and 480i). Compatible cables include HDMI, component, S-video and composite. Finally, Wii games will be visually equal to games on other consoles. Imagine Mario and Zelda in full HD!
The console will be powered by an IBM Power-based multi-core microprocessor.
So what exactly will the Wii U play? Well, its single self-loading media bay will play 12-centimeter proprietary high-density optical discs, as well as 12-centimeter original Wii optical discs.
The system is also completely backwards compatible, being able to play all Wii games and use all Wii accessories. As far as storage is concerned, the Wii U 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.
The fact that this will also be a console for the hardcore gamer is obvious when you look at the third-party games showcased during Nintendo’s presentation today, such as Aliens: Colonial Marines and Tekken. Sure you’ll have the family fun stuff in there too, and all the classic Nintendo heroes, but now you’ll also see serious hardcore shooters on there too. It’s exactly what Nintendo needed to do to keep up with their competitors, and it’s so exciting to think of the endless possibilities now that they’ve finally done it!