On Tuesday, Nintendo unveiled its new home console called Wii U, which features the most sophisticated—yet possibly awkward—controller we’ve ever seen. The controller’s features are ridiculous: a 6.2-inch touch screen in the center, two analog circle pads, L/R triggers and bumpers, gyroscope, rumble feature, camera, microphone, speakers and the list goes on and on. You can transfer games from the Wii U wirelessly to the controller and play on the screen without the need of a TV. Conversely, you can browse the internet on the controller and then fling images and videos to your TV to share with your friends and family. It’s truly a marvel of technology, but the console’s success will be determined by the quality of the games. So far they’ve announced a few titles including, Smash Bros. and Lego City Stories and it will be backwards compatible with all Wii games and controllers—but not Gamecube.
Reactions have been confused and mixed, so far, but it’s clear that Nintendo has taken a neccessary step towards recapturing the attention of hardcore gamers and publishers alike. The Wii U supports 1080p resolution and has slightly more processing muscle than the current generation of consoles. A number of publishers have spoken out in support of Nintendo’s new console, including EA who took the stage at E3 to explain the opportunities the Wii U will give to their sports franchises. (Hiding play calling in Madden on the controller’s screen FTW!) These are good signs for Nintendo, but we’ll have to wait until its launch in 2012 to see how consumers react to it.
In the meantime, Nintendo has released a full spec sheet for the Wii U and you can watch the E3 trailer below to see it in action.
Nintendo Wii U Spec Sheet:
Size: Approximately 1.8 inches tall, 6.8 inches wide and 10.5 inches long.
New Controller: 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.
Other Controls: 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.
Media: 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.
Video Output: Supports 1080p, 1080i, 720p, 480p and 480i. Compatible cables include HDMI, component, S-video and composite.
Audio Output: Uses AV Multi Out connector. Six-channel PCM linear output through HDMI.
Storage: 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.
CPU: IBM Power-based multi-core microprocessor.
Other: Four USB 2.0 connector slots are included. The new console is backward compatibly with Wii games and Wii accessories.