Now that (some of) the Wii U has been officially unveiled at this years E3, I can officially say it has me excited. While they didn’t release official specs of the system just yet, they have announced the processor manufacturers. And it seems as if Nintendo went with the same companies that developed the processors inside their last couple of systems. The CPU is a multi-core based IBM. The GPU is made by AMD and will be capable of 1080p HD gaming. Ive read rumors that the CPU will be based off of the SUPER7 chip, if this turns out to be true, we could be looking at some real processing power in the Wii U.
One thing that I love about Nintendo is that they go into every console launch with an idea behind it. Sometimes the idea doesn’t pay off, like for example, the Gamecube. The idea behind the Gamecube’s console design was that players like to play with the console close to them, mainly on the table in front of them, and they like to touch the console often. Which in theory sort of makes sense, but in practice you end up with an ugly handle on the back of your system for moving and carrying.
For an idea that did pay off, you could look at the N64 and its idea to bring true 3D gameplay to home consoles, with analog control. The N64 was built around Miyamoto’s Mario 64 design and its huge 3D environments, and is still considered one of the best games ever made.
Fast forward to today and Nintendo has a brand new idea behind the Wii U. That idea?… Never being alone and always being connected to your friends, no matter what games you may or may not be playing. The controller (Wii U Gamepad), with its built in touch screen will always keep you connected with your friends online, whether you are in front of the tv, out on the deck or in any other room of your home. And with its built in mic/camera and speakers, you can easily see and hear your friends.
The Wii U gamepad will also be used as a second screen in most games. It may contain the game worlds map, or may be used for inventory or an assortment of other options to enhance your game experience, such as aiming through the gamepads screen and onto your tv screen for sniping. That said, it also features gyro controls, rumble and all the other bells and whistles you would get out of most console controllers and even handheld consoles of today.
The Wii U also has “Near Field Communication functionality” built in, basically allowing you to scan real world objects into games, which is a great addition and could lead to many innovations in gaming going forward. While Sony and Microsoft have both done things similar to this with their respective camera add ons, this will be a first for a home console and will be utilized better than what the competition has done thus far as they don’t have NFC.
Another great feature is that you can take the full game off of your tv and play it on the go around the house using the gamepads built in screen. As Ive seen no concrete info on how that works, Im assuming it’ll be streaming the game from the console wirelessly to the gamepad, as the games disc will be placed into the Wii U console itself. Also meaning that the Gamepad will have to be within a certain distance of the Wii U console. Im very interested in seeing how this works out and if there will be any lag involved in this.
From a new online community (Wiiverse), to the online store (eshop), as well as all the video apps like Netflix and Hulu, to an internet browser and built in wifi, on down to full on backwards compatibility with Wii games and controllers, as well as Nintendo’s back catalog of all its games. The Wii U is shaping up to be a serious contender in the next generation console race. Specs aside, Nintendo has the ability to create must-have games along with having some of the most well known video game franchises in the business. From Mario and Luigi, to Zelda and Donkey Kong, no other gaming company has as many household name drops as Nintendo!
For any true gamer, the Wii U is something to watch!
A list of features from Nintendo:
Storage: Wii U uses an internal flash memory. It also supports SD memory cards and external USB storage.
Media: Wii U and Wii optical discs.
Networking: Wii U can access the Internet via wireless (IEEE 802.11b/g/n) connection. The console features four USB 2.0 connectors – two in the front and two in the rear – that support Wii LAN Adapters.
Wii Compatibility: Nearly all Wii software and accessories can be used with Wii U.
Audio Output: Uses six-channel PCM linear output via HDMI connector, or analog output via the AV Multi Out connector.
Wii U Gamepad: The Wii U GamePad controller removes the traditional barriers between games, players and the TV by creating a second window into the video game world. It incorporates a 6.2-inch, 16:9 aspect ratio LCD touch screen, as well as traditional button controls and two analog sticks. Inputs include a +Control Pad, L/R sticks, L/R stick buttons, A/B/X/Y buttons, L/R buttons, ZL/ZR buttons, Power button, HOME button, -/SELECT button, +/START button, and TV CONTROL button. The GamePad also includes motion control (powered by an accelerometer, gyroscope and geomagnetic sensor), a front-facing camera, a microphone, stereo speakers, rumble features, a sensor bar, an included stylus and support for Near Field Communication (NFC) functionality. It is powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery and weighs approximately 1.1 pounds (500 g).
Other Controllers: The Wii U console is capable of supporting two Wii U GamePad controllers, up to four Wii Remote (or Wii Remote Plus) controllers or Wii U Pro Controllers, and Wii accessories such as the Nunchuk, Classic Controller and Wii Balance Board.
Video Output: Supports 1080p, 1080i, 720p, 480p and 480i. Compatible cables include HDMI, Wii D-Terminal, Wii Component Video, Wii RGB, Wii S-Video Stereo AV and Wii AV.
Wii U Features: In addition to introducing new ways to play, Wii U also offers users a variety of non-gaming features to enhance the overall experience.
Miiverse: Miiverse is a brand-new network communication system that lets gamers from around the world share experiences, discuss games and discover new content. Using their personalized Mii character, players enter Miiverse and see games, applications or entertainment content that either they have interacted with recently, expressed interest in learning more about or that their friends are using or discussing. From here they can challenge their friends to play together, ask a question about a difficult level or discover new elements of their favorite games they never knew existed. After a notable achievement or other share-worthy moment, players can pause their game or application and seamlessly post messages to the Miiverse community.
TV Remote: The Wii U GamePad controller may also function as an infrared TV remote, whether users are watching TV or playing a game.
Near Field Communication (NFC): The Wii U GamePad has the ability to communicate wirelessly with objects that are held above it. This allows for a variety of interesting new possibilities for games and activities.
Nintendo eShop: The digital storefront for Wii U will be available at launch and offer a variety of content for people to download and enjoy. Consumers will also be able to purchase and download select games that are also available at retail stores.
Video Entertainment: Nintendo is working with Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video, and YouTube to bring video experiences to Wii U that will take advantage of the integrated second-screen experience. Additional details will be released at a later time.
Video Chat: Using the built-in camera of the Wii U GamePad, people can communicate with other Wii U owners in real time.
Internet Browser: Wii U comes with a browser that lets people with a wireless Internet connection surf the Internet from the comfort of their couches.
Wii U Gamepad Virtual Tour…..