Thursday, December 8, 2011

E3: Nintendo announces its new console, the Wii U

Nintendo's new console blurs the lines between tablets and traditional gaming systems. The controller for the Wii U, announced today at E3, combines a 6.2-inch touchscreen with regular video game controls like buttons and analogue sticks, while also providing Wii-like motion controls. Gamers can move from playing on a big screen TV to playing on the screen of the controller, allowing the TV to be used for something else.

The new console also works with existing Wii controllers. Nintendo showed an example of a golf game in which the new controller was placed on the floor to displaying the teeing-off point for a golf game, while a regular Wii controller is used as the golf club and hits the ball in to the TV screen.

A short graphical demo suggests the new console is more powerful than the Xbox 360 or PlayStation PS3, but Nintendo didn't confirm the exact technical specifications. The company also promised that gamers would be able to play against others using the Nintendo 3DS.

The tablet-like controller is certainly a step up from the Wii's current motion controls, but could it make the console prohibitively expensive? The large screen and multiple input devices won't come cheap, though Nintendo did not announce any prices for the system. We'll likely find out more as the 2012 release date approaches.

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