Nintendo has announced the successor to the Wii, dubbed the “Wii U” and due in 2012 – this time the gimmick is a large screen in the controller, together with some much upgraded hardware.
The huge new controller has a variety of applications – it can be played as an oversized console tethered handheld, used as a normal controller with the screen providing a supplementary display, waved around as an oversized Wiimote, used as a tablet with a stylus or finger, or be employed in conjunction with (or replaced by) updated traditional Wiimotes.
Its spec in detail:
The new controller incorporates a 6.2-inch, 16:9 touch screen and traditional button controls, including two analog Circle Pads. This combination removes the traditional barriers between games, players and the TV by creating a second window into the video game world.
The rechargeable controller includes a Power button, Home button, +Control Pad, A/B/X/Y buttons, L/R buttons and ZL/ZR buttons. It includes a built-in accelerometer and gyroscope, rumble feature, camera, a microphone, stereo speakers, a sensor strip and a stylus.
Up to four Wii Remote™ (or Wii Remote Plus) controllers can be connected at once. The new console supports all Wii™ controllers and input devices, including the Nunchuk™ controller, Classic ControllerTM, Classic Controller ProTM and Wii Balance Board™.
The ungainliness of the new controller has already provoked some scepticism amongst Japanese observers…
Aside from the controller, Nintendo is describing the graphics as “HD” (“Supports 1080p, 1080i, 720p, 480p and 480i”) presumably meaning they will at least be on par with the PS3 or Xbox 360 (game preview imagery being what it is, comparisons at this stage are likely premature). Details on its exact specs are lacking.
Media is provided by a new 12cm proprietary disc format, with the console capable of reading Wii discs as well. SD memory cards and USB hard-disks are supported.
Nintendo fans have already put their minds to the possibilities this offers: