At the E3 gaming show in Los Angeles, Nintendo unveiled the Wii U to excited gamers on June 7, 2011, showing off the next-generation games console which they hope will put them back on top of the gaming market, according to coverage from the BBC.
The Wii U will continue the trend started by the original Wii by using a set-top box and movement sensors to accept commands from players, but develops the idea with a truly revolutionary controller.
Wii U’s controller doubles as a touchscreen device with a forward-facing camera. The controller is said to look and feel like a smaller and chunkier iPad tablet device with its 6.2 inch screen and Nintendo’s developers have been keen to point out the potential applications of the new hardware.
As well as the potential for internet browsing, video calls and various other functions, the high-tech controller can be used to display information on the touchscreen which is separate to the display on the TV screen used by other gamers. Developers have been quick to point out the potential for multi-player gaming of each player potentially having access to secret gameplay information and details.
Shy fitness enthusiasts using core products such as Wii Fit will be able to weigh themselves and get a readout of the results on the controller screen.
In addition, many games will be playable entirely through the controller, so that play can continue if another family member demands to watch something on the television. Switching the game display between the big screen and the touchscreen is a useful feature, and could avoid many family arguments.
Nintendo have taken on board the recent craze for tablet computing to produce a new take on the Wii, which had been looking a bit out of date compared to recent offerings such as PS3 Move and X-Box Kinect. The Wii seemed to chase casual gamers with its emphasis on its control system and social element at the expense of graphical sophistication and processing power. Gamers at the E3 show have expressed a bit of concern that the touchscreen controller might not be as robust as the old Wii controllers, but in general the response so far has been very positive indeed.
Nintendo have been keen to emphasize the processing power of the Wii U, which should be available from Spring 2012 and will be backwards compatible with older Wii games. So far no price details have been released, but this hybrid of tablet and console technology could put Nintendo back on top of the lucrative console gaming market.