Nintendo formally announced their new console, the Nintendo Wii U today. Like the Wii, the Nintendo Wii U has a unique controller. The center of the large, pad-like controller features a 6.2 inch touchscreen. This screen allows a gamer to switch from playing their games on their HDTV to playing directly on the new controller, seemlessly. The Wii U isn't restricted to using this new controller to play games, however. The system can also be controlled with the Wiimote, using the screen on the additional display to show extra elements of the game. Several examples of this functionality was presented; for example, one demonstration showed a version of golf where the touchscreen was a picture of the ball. The screen adds several possibilities for gaming, including magnification of elements on screen, video chat, and "swiping" elements from the portable screen to your TV. All of this was shown at Nintendo's E3 2011 press conference today.
The Wii U is 100% backward compatible with the Nintendo Wii. However, no price was announced for the system.
In addition to the 6.2 LED screen, the Wii U controller has dual analog sticks, a user-facing camera, an accelerometer, microphone, speaker, triggers, and more. The imagery is generated on the Wii U console, which means that the graphics are all HD, and when desired, transmitted to the Wii U controller.
Web browsing, sharing photos, playing a game with either two screens or a single screen, and more are being shown at the E3 press conference.
The potential of the controller was really showed off. The controller has a touch screen, with a 6.2 inch screen. The system can play the games either on the TV screen, or you can move the game to your personal screen/controller.
Nintendo's new console system was previously codenamed Project Cafe. This year's Electronic Entertainment Expo marks the first time that the system has been shown publically. Nintendo had previously announced that the new console would both be shown and be playable at this year's E3. Multiple sources have published rumors that the system will be more powerful than either the PlayStation 3 or the Xbox 360, and will be backwards compatible with existing Wii software.
Nintendo is known primarily for "cute" games; will they appeal to their core audience this E3, or will this PhotoShop of Reggie be the most cute thing on display?
The rumored controller for the new Nintendo system was to be a touchpad-style device. The touchpad is also a 6 inch display, and is able to stream content directly from the device.
A few months ago, Satoru Iwata, president of Nintendo told Bloomberg News, "We would like to propose a new approach to home video game console. It's difficult to make 3-D images a key feature, because 3-D televisions haven't obtained wide acceptance yet." This statement seemed to squash rumors that the new console would support 3D in any major, marquee way.
StageSelect.com's coverage of the Electronics Entertainment Expo 2011 continues. We'll be bringing you all of the news to come out of the Nintendo E3 Press Conference, as the event happens. Stay tuned June 6th through June 10th for additional details on brand new games as they're revealed for the first time to the game playing public.