New Wii Announced – Called the Wii U

No, we’re not kidding. Reggie Fils-Aime just announced the successor to the Wii that everyone already knew about and it turns out it’s called the Wii U. The other rumours were correct too – it’s got a ‘controller’ with a 6.2 inch touchscreen, dual analogues, Wii remote compatibility, shoulder buttons, rumble, microphone, player-facing camera, gyroscope.

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It only does everything.

[drop]The demo shown was very, very impressive. The controller can be used as a second screen with touch input for a wealth of uses, some of the most impressive being a web browser where the full page is shown on the TV and the controller is held up to the screen to zoom in on the area you point the IR on the back at.

It was also used in golf, put on the floor to see the ball on its screen, using the Wii remote as a golf club, it was used for Video Chat, a sketchpad (that can also show the full image on the TV).

It’s a new console, with HD, and the controller is a wireless screen. And you can use your Wii remotes too. It’s all very confusing right now, it seems the console part is just a console and the bit they are (and, by extension, we should be) focusing on is the controller and its swiss army knife-type functionality.

All we need now is some kind of official press release to clarify just exactly why we’re all so damn excited.

Third party support is strong, with sames shown so far including Battlefield 3, Darksiders II, Tekken, Batman: Arkham City, Assassin’s Creed, Ghost Recon Online, Dirt, Aliens Colonial Marines, Metro: Last Light, Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge, The Sims and Army of Two. It’s not clear whether they were shown using Wii U visuals.

John Riccitello of EA also took to the stage to reiterate how enthusiastic that company is about the new hardware.

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97 Comments

  1. Cheesy…

  2. Wii U do with U on bed.

  3. It looks like a cheap knock off of the Wii. The controller is huge, i can’t use that. It is too big for my hands. Plus i don’t want to keep looking down at the controller and up at the TV at the same time. The sticks are in the most awakard place they could have put it. Wii U is a crap name and sounds like they came up with it at the last second. The controller has put me off the Wii 2.(i’m not calling it the Wii U). That is going to be a bit annoying in France as Wii(wee) is french for yes. I hope Ninty will still allow traditional controllers to be used on the Wii 2.

    • Did you watch the videos in Nintendo’s press event? You don’t look down at the controller and up at the TV at the same time.

      And French for ‘yes’ is ‘oui’, not Wii or wee. :)

      • I didn’t even know Ninty had one yesterday. i thought it was today.:O.

  4. “Put on the floor to see the ball on its screen, using the Wii remote as a golf club”

    Wait – what? They want me to put my 6.2″ touchscreen device ON THE FLOOR?

    Not in my house. It will get stepped on. By the dog. By the kids. By me getting knocked over by the dog and/or kids.

    :)

  5. Lots of fanboy smirks, presumption and avoidance of facts going down here. Lemme address a few things…

    Joysticks – IGN says they feel pretty much identical to the nunchuck, not slidey things like the handhelds.

    ‘This is just like using Vita/PSP with the PS3’ – I’m pretty sure neither has zero latency HD streaming and the range of TV interactive controls this has, nor would either ever be used in that way to play games. Yes with most things it will just be an inventory on screen, you could do that with Vita, but that’s a pricey second addition to the PS3, where as this is a bundled controller.

    ‘All the videos were renders’ – Zelda HD is playable and is getting very good feedback.

    ‘The next Playstation/Xbox will immediately trump this/this is just a glorified PS3/360’ – how? If this console outputs proper 1080p (which it seems to), which would be -noticeably better- than either current console, where is there for the next gens to go except 3D and other gimmicks? People don’t have beyond 1080p TVs yet.

    ‘I don’t want to be looking down to my controller all the time/looks uncomfortable’ – I don’t see how the first one is a big problem anyway, but the controller will be mostly for menus in proper games, so you won’t be. As for comfort, reports are that it’s very light and surprisingly good to use.

    ‘No Blu Ray, no HDD – why? How?’ – Ninty has never been about media centres, so no Blu Ray will only keep the costs down for them. Same with a hard drive really. The Wii didn’t need it, nor will this. Flash and SDs are enough for the minimal downloading that will take place.

    Games clearly aren’t a problem, so the question marks (aside from confirming native 1080p) are price and the online features.

    • Thanks for summing that up so nicely. I completely agree with you.

    • Allow me to open this door just here… inside wait one hundred thousand crying Wii owners, utterly desperate to recieve the DLC PS3 and 360 gamers have been getting for years. Having a hard drive isn’t about being a media centre, it’s about improving the quality of the gaming.

      As for 1080p, sure it’s capable, but so are both the other consoles. No one has said -all- Wii U games will output at 1080p.

      I’m not impressed with it being used as an inventory either, it’s needlessly complicated having to look at two different screens rather than one. Plus now we’ll have to deal with what will likely be annoyingly poor battery life, if Nintendo’s previous experience in that area is anything to go by.

      There’s potential for this console, but there was also potential for the Wii, and it failed to excite anyone other than parents, children and uber-casual gamers.

      • DLC is an interesting conundrum, and we will have to wait and see how they approach it. But the hard drive and proper 1080p, along with a host of other features, are as yet unconfirmed. So – and this is a concession on my part – we should really wait and see what the exact specs are first.

        Native 1080p would be a big thing for them though, as it would close off a marketing opportunity for the other companies. While current consoles are technically capable, graphical memory and other constraints means that very few can manage. Because of this there has long been a huge disparity between consoles and PC. See wiki entry on 1080p.

        I can’t accept that it is ‘needlessly complicated’ to look down and tap inventory items, though. Battery life is an problem, but the controller has a port on the bottom and an AC adaptor, so it -might- just be recharged via the console. That would be swell.

      • Forget about the 1080p output as being special. Both the PS3 and 360 output proper 1080p. That’s simply a video signal format, it says nothing about the quality of the video the format is being used to transport.

      • I think what he meant was that while both the PS3 and 360 can output 1080p already, they won’t be going anywhere with the next gen since there is no mass market TV with a higher resolution yet. So the next gen will probably just add more RAM and GPU power to let developers make games that finally run at 1080p 60 FPS. If the Wii U already has that upgraded hardware, then there is no need to worry for Nintendo.

    • No HDD .. How would that work with the massive download Market everything has these days?

      • Ninty barely had an indie download market to speak of with the last Wii, so I don’t see this iteration being a big drain on whatever memory it has; it will be mostly small, retro titles again. Like I say, who knows about DLC, but I can see them re-issuing branded SDHC cards at cheaper prices.

        On 1080p, it at least remains to be seen whether there is a tangible improvement in that video quality over the current gen. All rumours point to more memory and a good processor, but we will (hopefully) soon see.

    • Great summary. I personally think it looks fantastic, providing the 3rd party support turns out to be as solid as it currently looks

  6. Reports are coming in that it’s very awkward to hold and use for more than a few mins..

    • I’ve actually been hearing mostly positive things on Twitter, but the way I see it, you would sit with this rested against you being so big, and the waggle interaction will be minimal. I imagine people currently playing at E3 will be stood up and facing monitors at awkward heights. But they have a while to work on it if there are problems with comfort.

  7. So WII Us first fanboy is born…

    Good afternnoon doswillrude!!

    Seriously though that controller looks massive! Kinda like a kiddies toy? But how in earth are they gonna be able to keep the prices down on the control alone with the camera and touch screen that big!

    • So, nowdays people who keep an open mind about something that was just announced are called fanboys?
      Grow up.

  8. After watching E3, I was left red faced thinking this Wii U was nothing more than a controller peripheral/add-on for the Wii (considering they didn’t show the damn console itself once). It made me believe this was the case because of the pictures they showed of a TV, the controller, and what always looked like the Wii console below the TV. Thank GOD TheSixthAxis showed us that there really is a console with this (picture above).

    On to the Wii U at hand though, I don’t like it too much. I’m a pretty core gamer, but seriously, this new controller does not attract me one bit. It puts me off the Wii U almost completely. It would feel like I was using an iPad, with hardware buttons, to play console games. A lot of gimmick ideas packed into the controller aswell. I don’t think I want to be aiming my screen at the TV, or using the touch screen (hopefully all are optional). The off-TV screen though does interest me a tad. But as I said before, the controller itself really does bug me.

    I guess we’ll see how it all goes.

    • They did show the console, it was clearly the curvy thing in the background, but they naturally didn’t want to focus on it because it’s barely different, and because the controller is the real ‘innovation’. You should perhaps wait until you can hold it to judge what it will feel like, although I feel the same way in part. Can’t see the aiming stuff being a part of most games, it will be more camera angles and puzzle solving malarkey.

      I do hate to be among the minority defending it, but as a tech lover and mostly unallied gamer, it is defensible. It remains to be seen whether the developers and the company back the possibilities up with results. There’s a good article on Gizmodo (am I allowed to say that?) which lays out the things the controller could feasibly do.

      • The name does really suck, though.

  9. I can’t imagine the controller being comfortable for a long period of time. The whole reason that controllers work is that they fit in the hand. It just seems a bit too big, imagine running with the analogue stick and pressing a button on the right and then having to press something in the middle of the touch screen. It just seems a little clumsy to used for extended periods of time.

  10. As always Nintendo are paving the way for the next generation and Sony and Microsoft will play copy-cats in a couple of years. So impressed with their conference this year (and also very glad I took the risk on the 3DS)

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