New Wii U To Debut Next Year
Console To Feature HD Graphics, Unique Tablet Controller
Nintendo has announced the successor to its wildly popular Wii console. The new console is dubbed the Wii U, and is slated for release some time in 2012. Much like the original Wii, which revolutionized interactive gaming with its motion-based Wii remote controllers, the new device will attempt to add new dimension to home gaming with a radical new controller design. The new controller features a 6.2-inch touch screen, and looks more like a portable gaming system or tablet computer than a console controller. The multifunctional controller is expected to be at the core of the Wii U experience, offering a combination of motion controlling and augmented reality functions. The console itself will support HD gaming, finally putting Nintendo back into competition with Sony and Microsoft for the best-looking games. Despite offering less powerful hardware than the current Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, Nintendo’s first generation Wii has maintained the highest share of the home gaming market, largely because of its intuitive motion-based controls.
The glossy white tablet controller for the Wii U also contains an accelerometer and gyroscope, so motion gaming will still be part of the Nintendo experience. But the touch screen adds a whole new element to the Wii experience, including expanded views and unprecedented interaction. Also, the high-res display on the controller can be used in lieu of a television, so you can play all your games even if someone else is hogging the TV. With a push of a button, the digital video transfers from the TV to the controller and back again. The controller includes dual analog pads, a crosspad, buttons, trigger buttons on the back, a microphone, and both front- and rear-facing cameras that can be used for video chatting in addition to possible gaming uses.
The first game demonstrations for the Wii U suggest that the new tablet controller really might reinvent the wheel for videogame interaction, perhaps just as much as the original Wii remote did. When Nintendo first revealed the design for the Wii and its unique controller, many gamers scoffed at the idea of a motion-based control, and competitors Sony and Microsoft stuck with traditional designs. But after losing more and more sales ground to the Wii, both the PlayStation 3 and the X-Box 360 received new control interfaces focused on motion. This time around, it seems that the gaming world is ready for Nintendo’s continuing innovation, and the Wii U promises to be a smashing success when it debuts next year. Importantly, Sony and Microsoft do not have plans to introduce new consoles until 2014, so it will be interesting to see how they fare against Nintendo’s new offering, which looks to combine the high-powered, high-res graphics capabilities that the PlayStation and X-Box currently offer with the Wii’s uniquely accessible style of game-play. Check out the digital video transfer below to get an idea of what the new Wii U and its tablet controller can really do.
Watch trailer here: Youtube.com.