Everything we know about Nintendo’s new console, the Wii-u
The Wii-U was first announced at E3 in 2011, and ever since it’s existence was announced it has been shrouded in rumors and mystery. There are a few facts about the system that have been unveiled, but there are even better, tastier rumors that have us chomping at the bit in anticipation to finally have answered. We’ll go down the list of facts and rumors (in no particular order) after the break.
Wii-U is not just a new controller
When the Wii-U was announced last year Nintendo did a horrible job at marketing the sucker. Everyone was confused and didn’t know if the Wii-U was a system, a tablet, or a new controller for their old Wii because all Nintendo showed was the, albeit cool, controller. The name certainly didn’t help, but we’ll get more into that later. They later revealed the Wii-U was a system. That looked just like the Wii. Only more round and slightly longer.
So they don’t win any points for originality, but if they are trying to make Wii an actual brand name, then I suppose focusing on making the aesthetics of the console completely different is a bad thing.
But they are thinking of changing the name
Allegedly, there has been talks that the higher ups at Nintendo have discussed changing the name of the system to help alleviate any confusion between the Wii and the Wii-U. I’m looking at you, out of touch American Parents. I personally like the idea of the name, Wii-U, since I see this as a possible second coming of the Super Nintendo. Nintendo does seem like they want to go back to their roots and support the hardcore gamers with their fancy new graphics.
How fancy of new graphics
The Wii-U is stated as being 3x as powerful as a PS3, with proprietary discs that hold up to 25 gigs of storage (compared to blu-ray, which hold up to 50 gigs). Not much else has been revealed, other than IBM is creating the multi-core processor for the new system, and that it shares characteristics as the chip that ran Watson (the computer on Jeopardy). Here is a tech demo (read: real time, in game engine demo) of what a Legend of Zelda game could look like.
HD and HCG
The Wii-U will mark Nintendo’s first efforts at welcoming the High-definition curve we hit a few years back with the Xbox 360 and the PS3, which should help entice some 3rd party game makers to start porting games to the Wii-U. So, now we will have 3 options for platforms to play the same CoD game every year. Huzzah!
HCG = Hardcore gamer. “But Eric, why didn’t you use it in a paragraph if it’s in the title of the section, retard-o?” I didn’t feel like it, and your hateful text does not hurt. Moving on.
What about the controller
The new controller is a tablet like device with controls attached to it (dual sticks along with your average number of buttons). Kind of like a Dreamcast controller with a huge vmu attached. It’s a touch screen that responds to stylus’, it has a camera attached to it, and it has the ability to stream your game right on the controller, in case you weren’t done playing the Legend of Zelda when your dad wanted to watch the football game. It’s got motion capabilities much like the Wii, but only with a tablet.
It seems like there is only one tablet style controller that will come with the system, and it is rumored that only two of those tablets will be able to be used on one system. The system is capable of 4 player games, but the remaining users will be stuck using Wii remotes to play. This seems to go along with the whole branding thing we discussed earlier, and also why show goers at E3 last year were so confused since they were playing this new system with old controllers (Yay! we came full circle!).
So, there we go. That’s about all the information we have on the Wii-U except for the release date (which is ambiguously stated as sometime between summer and the end of 2012), that there is a possibility that the controller will have NFC capabilities (for reasons that are not clear quite yet), and Nintendo is debating, if not preparing, for downloadable content in their new online store thing-a-mah-who’s-it. E3 will be when Nintendo gives us the skinny on the new system, but until then, we will keep our ear balls open for any new information as it trickles in on the interwebs.
PS: I don’t hate Call of Duty, but come on! They are “Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater”ing it into the ground! That discussion is for another time, though.