Around this time last year, Nintendo announced its great plans to revolutionise video gaming and refresh the motion gaming sensation that is the Wii. With 2012 being the year it gets released, the company is now letting us see what we’re really in for.
Upgrading the Wii format to support HD and Full HD gaming, the Wii U pushes the motion gaming format into a different direction by adding a new controller that incorporates a 6.2 inch LCD touchscreen, sort of like an oversized Nintendo DS being used as a controller.
This controller will offer two fields of gaming view, with the controller’s LCD and TV as your windows to the world of Wii U gaming. The large LCD gamepad will still offer a control pad, buttons, camera, motion control sensors, speakers, and support for Near-Field Communication technology, offering different ways to play.
Multiplayer gaming will still be available – like the original Nintendo Wii – but everyone else will be playing with either a Wii-mote or special Wii U Pro controller. Other accessories already used with the Wii – such as the Nunchuck, classic Super NES inspired controller, and Wii Balance Board can still be used.
We’re told there will be some internal memory offered in the Wii U and that SD card and USB storage will also be supported. The games will still run from optical disk, and almost all existing Wii software should run on the new platform.
And finally, the picture you get will be compatible with your high-definition and full HD TVs, so it’s good to see Nintendo finally catching up and offering its games in a clearer and higher resolution format. The Wii U supports between 480i and 1080p over HDMI, Component, RGB, S-Video, D-Terminal, and AV cables.
Connectivity is also offered over a 802.11 b/g/n WiFi connection, as well as four USB 2.0 ports for connecting other devices, including Wii wired network adaptors.
Nintendo is eyeing a holiday launch window for the Wii U for most major parts of the world, including – we hear – Australia. This should include quite a few games from both Nintendo and third party developers, with titles including a new “Wii Fit” game, “New Super Mario Bros.,” “Pikmin 3,” “Darksiders II,” “Marvel Avengers: Battle for Earth,” “Rayman Legends,” “Batman: Arkham City Armoured Edition,” “Mass Effect 3,” and “Lego City: Undercover.”
No price has been announced for Australia yet, but one local retail is suggesting an RRP of just under $600, so here’s hoping they’re a long way off.