Today Nintendo unveiled a new paradigm for video games and home entertainment, the Wii U – a new console that includes a controller with a 6.2-inch screen. Adding a second screen to the living room creates a multitude of new video game experiences while offering families a variety of options to customize their entertainment. Previously, video games played on a home console have been confined to the TV and offered identical viewpoints to each player in a multiplayer environment. Furthermore, watching TV and playing console games have been completely separate experiences. The new controller removes these boundaries, creating a more dynamic and fluid gaming and entertainment experience. A release is expected in 2012. Stay tuned for updates as far as pricing and additional highlights are concerned.
New Controller – In addition to the 6.2-inch screen, the new controller also features an accelerometer and a gyroscope, a rumble feature, an inward-facing camera, a microphone and speakers. Adding these features to the Classic Controller™ button scheme – two analog Circle Pads, +Control Pad, A/B/X/Y buttons, L/R buttons and ZL/ZR buttons – will enable a breadth of game-play experiences while appealing to both casual and dedicated video game players.
Single-player – The new controller can display information on its screen that does not appear on the TV. The information and viewpoint can also change in the new controller based on the orientation of its gyroscope.
Multi-player – The player using the new controller can have a different experience than those looking at the TV. This will offer a wide variety of competitive and cooperative opportunities.
Backward Compatible – Wii U combines motion-sensing game play with the ability to support full HD graphics. Each Wii U console will be partnered with a new controller and can also use up to four additional Wii Remote™ or Wii Remote Plus controllers. The system is also backward compatible and can play all Wii games and use all Wii accessories.
Camera – A front facing camera sits at the top of the controller, ostensibly for use in taking pictures and possibly for augmented reality capabilities. At its E3 2011 press conference, Nintendo revealed that the controller will have video chat capabilities. Built-in speakers also playback sound, and the controller also features a headphone jack.