The wait is finally over, we now know many juicy details of Nintendo’s next home console. To say that the big Japanese developer want to cause another revolution in gaming is an understatement. There’s a bunch to say about the new system so let’s get going.
Firstly the name; Wii U, pronounced Wii You, takes some getting used to. It certainly appears that the Wii brand name is just too strong for Nintendo to let go, and with over 90 million Wii’s sold, we can understand why. President of Nintendo of America explained that that Wii U represents the way in which the system will be unique to everyone, the new Nintendo Wii is for ‘you’, whether you’re a casual gamer or a core gamer hooked on the FPS genre. We agree, a different name would have been better – but it’s here, get used to it.
We are still awaiting official specs but the the Nintendo Wii U itself looks very reminiscent of the original Wii with an almost identical classic white finish. It appears to be perhaps just a tad bigger and much curvier, so far we’ve not seen a vertical stand – this time we could be looking at a console that will only lay flat.
As usual the big N are keeping the tech stuff close to their chests but we do know a few details, the system is a big upgrade over the original Wii and looks to boast the following:
- A custom IBM CPU that will be around as powerful as the PS3’s Cell but much easier for developers to program for.
- A custom AMD GPU designed for 1080p graphics and multiscreen support, comparable to that of high end DirectX 10 PC graphic cards.
- 8 Gigabytes of super fast on board flash storage, expandable by SD Cards and possibly a USB hard drive.
- Full support for 1080p gaming over HDMI.
- DVD style discs that can store up to 25Gigs, around three times the size of 360 games.
- Wii backwards compatability.
The big talking point about Wii U is the brand new controller. Yes those crazy rumours about a giant touchscreen were true. The Wii U controller is a massive piece of Nintendo engineering; looking like a cross between the Wii Classic Controller and an iPad. But why? Well here are just some of the things a giant controller with a built in touchscreen can do:
- At any point you can transfer the console game running on your HDTV over to the controller, handy for those long trips to the toilet.
- Experience multiple views such as a car’s rear view mirror at all times.
- Declutter the TV screen of things like the heads up display and mini-maps.
- Incorporate iPad/DS style touch in normal console games for extra interactivity.
- and no doubt many more…
One nice feature of Wii U is that the system supports all the previous controllers, so bring along your Wii Remotes, Nunchucks and Classic Controllers – even the Wii Fit Balance Board works on Wii U as well.
What about the games? Well sadly Nintendo were a bit tight lipped about those too. So far we know that Mario, Zelda and Pikmin games are in the works for Wii U – but that’s not really a surprise. Third parties are said to be very interested in the Wii U and appear to be impressed with the tech, currently the following games have been announced:
- Zelda HD
- Mario HD
- Pikmin HD
- Aliens: Colonial Marines
- Darksiders II
- Ninja Gaiden 3
- Batman Arkham City
- Metro 2033; Last Night
- Assassins Creed
- Ghost Recon
- Lego City Stories
Of course when it comes to Nintendo, it’s their first party games that are quite often the best. We can’t wait to see all the major Nintendo franchises in 1080p HD running at 60fps on the Nintendo Wii U.
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