From the makers of Super Mario Bros and The Legend of Zelda comes the next generation gaming console, the Nintendo Wii U. A prototype was announced in April, 2011 at the Electronic Entertainment Expo and the console is expected to be launched sometime in December this year. From the illustration on the Web, the controller looks futuristic as it has a 6 inch touch screen, gyroscopes, microphone and proximity sensor embedded. The Wii U is also expected to have support for online gaming.
The Nintendo Wii was a huge success and with the next release, the company seems to go head on with Sony’s Play Station and Microsoft’s Xbox. During the 90s, the gaming market was dominated by the company, but one aspect that alienated Nintendo consoles in the 2000s was the lack of online gaming support. The Wii U seems to be Nintendo’s answer and if things go the way the company plans, it is going to redefine the market.
The Nintendo Wii U is said to be powered by an IBM processor, with half the computing cycle dedicated to drive the OS. Releases also say that there are going to be two versions of the console, one at 8 GB of internal storage and the other with 32 GB storage. Both the consoles are believed to have 2 GB of main memory, again, half of which will be dedicated to the operating system. Just like Sony’s Blu-Ray and Microsoft’s Dual layer DVD, Nintendo has come up with a high density optical disc. The new proprietary disc is said to have rounded edges, both, on the inside and out, making the disc smooth and easy to handle. It’s not known if the rounded edges will make a difference in way the disc is loaded or ejected. Other than the optical port, the Wii U will support SD cards. The new console will also have both HDMI and AV output.
The console will have two types of controllers, one with a 6 inch touch screen and the other with just the basic controls. It is also said that the game pad with the touch screen will mirror the game play and display other in-game information. There are also rumors that say that the game pad with the 6 inch touch screen will function as a standalone gaming device. This can be confirmed only when the Wii U is released. The other game controller looks a lot similar to Microsoft’s Xbox 360 controller and sources say that this version of the pad is aimed at serious gamers. It is said that the game pad with the touch screen will be part of the standard package and the Wii U Pro Controller has to be purchased separately. The Wii U will also have Near Field Communication and will directly stream videos from YouTube, Hulu, Amazon and Netflix. The additional information for the streaming data is said to be pushed from IMDB and Wikipedia.
The Wii U, just like the Nintendo Wii has the ability to connect to the Nintendo Network. Through the Nintendo Network you can connect to other users and organize multiplayer game play and even engage in video chats. The cost of subscription for the Nintendo Network is also not known, but sources say that the 90 day pass would cost around $25. While on video chats, you can mirror the display to the game pad and as it has a microphone, you can directly talk and this sure seems like a nice feature.
The games are also backward compatible which means that you can play the games that were meant for the Nintendo Wii. Apart from those classics, Nintendo has announced an array of 23 new games that will be available for the new Wii U. Some of the titles include Transformers Prime, New Super Mario Bros and FIFA 13.
When the console is released, we expect to have our hands and test it to the limits. Till then we can only hope that the new Wii U is going to lead the way for the next generation gaming consoles. If not the console, the Wii U Game Pad with the touch screen sure seems to be a revolution.