The sequel to Nintendo’s pioneering Wii console has been the subject of an increasing amount of rumour over the last few months. It’s all been building up to E3 in LA, where Nintendo confirmed some time ago that it would be lifting the lid on the gaming goliath. Now it’s here: Nintendo’s tentatively-named ‘New Console’ has been unveiled - the Wii U - and T3’s been out to the annual expo to see for ourselves.
Like the Wii before it, the Nintendo Wii U is as much about the controller as it is the console. What we actually know about the console is fairly limited, but we do know that it boasts 1080p HD gaming, internal flash memory that’s upgradable via SD or USB, will have downloadable content and is backwards compatible with both Wii games and controllers. The graphics are impressive, but Nintendo hasn’t announced the official specs.
The controller is the story here, though; it’s a revolutionary bit of kit. The crux of the innovation is an inbuilt 6.2-inch touchscreen, which can be used either to display HUD info, for mini-games using the motion control (spinning it round you to aim in shooting games, for example), or simply to mirror what’s happening onscreen in real time.
Around that is a compliment of full, modern controls: a pair of thumbsticks, four action buttons and four rear triggers (two L and two R).
Frustratingly, Nintendo wasn’t at liberty to answer many of the burning questions that immediately spring to mind. What processing power does the Wii U have? Can’t say. How long will the battery last on the controller? No answer. Why doesn’t the touchscreen use the same 3D tech as the 3DS? Sorry. How much will extra controllers cost? Nope. What games will be on the Wii U? Try again. Can you use the controller to play while someone else watches TV? Silence. That’s because this unveiling is what Nintendo call a ‘coming out party’, rather than a launch.
The games we played were mere tech demos, but they were still impressive as a showcase of the console and controller’s potential. If you want to know what they were, check out our report on the tech demos, linked above.
The actual release won’t be until the next fiscal year, which means between April and December 31st 2012. Want to know what it’s like to play? We’ve got a hands-on first impression review, linked above.
Nintendo Wii U video: Hands on opinion
Source:T3 Tech Videos