Wedbush's Micheal Pachter has weighed in on the announcement of the Wii U, and his analysis is that the Wii U will be impactful, but it comes two years too late to make a significant impact on the market, given the relative power of competing systems like the Xbox 360 and the Sony PS3.
After mulling over the Nintendo Wii U annoucement, investors started selling Nintendo stock, enough to drive the price of the stock down 5% in a single day, and causing another 4+% the following day. This is despite strong statements of support from third party developers, and a positive reception of the Wii U on the show floor by several media outlets.
Nintendo's president expressed surprise about the nearly 10% drop in stock price. Mr Iwata said "The reaction to the presentation and what I heard from people I met and the mood of the convention did not chime at all with what happened in the stock market. It's very strange."
Nintendo formally announced their new console, the Nintendo Wii U at this year's E3. Like the Wii, the Nintendo Wii U has a unique controller, and will use this controller as a differentiator in the hotly competitive console market. 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.
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 (not HD on the 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 going on this week. However, the Wii U won't be released until the Fall of 2012.
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. Multiple sources have published rumors that the system will be more powerful than either the PlayStation 3 or the Xbox 360, and while this seems likely given their "bird" demo, this has not been directly confirmed.
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."
Nintendo sent out a statement immediately following their E3 2011 pres conference, confirming several details about the Nintendo Wii U.
Turn to the next page to learn all the Wii U hardware specs!