Nintendo Details New Wii U Console for 2012 (Updated)

posted on by Andrew Osmond
New home platform can be played on touch-screen controller with or without TV

The videogame software and console developer Nintendo previewed its 2012 system, the Nintendo Wii U, before the start of the E3 conference in California today. The system is designed so that games can be switched from the television to the system controller (pictured right), or played across both the television and the controller in combination. It will target two contrasting markets: the "casual" and the "passionate" games.

The new controller will have a 6.2-inch touch screen (16:9 aspect ratio) and will be backwards-compatible with the Wii. It includes a microphone, a speaker, gyroscopic sensors, motion sensors, and a camera. Wii U games can be played either on the television or on the controller screen, or structured so that elements of the game appear on both screens. (For example, the controller may show energy and information bars, while the main action is shown unimpeded on the TV, or it may show an alternate perspective on the action.) In some games, the player will have to physically move the controller around to see the game world (for example, in shooters).

Two games were confirmed for the Nintendo Wii U. The next Super Smash Bros game will appear on both the Wii U and 3DS, while Lego City Stories, "full of Lego vehicles," will continue the Lego game franchise.

Update: In an in-house interview with Shigeru Miyamoto, Nintendo Global President Satoru Iwata mentioned that a total of one new Wii U controller and four existing Wii Remote Control Plus controllers can be connected to the Wii U console — indicating that only one new Wii U controller can be used at a time. [Via Hachima Kikō]

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