E3 Aftermath: WiiU

Well I did write an article on Sony and Microsoft and what they have in store from E3, but due to technical problems I lost it. I’ll rewrite it in the next couple of days but I know the one you’ve been waiting for is my thoughts on WiiU. So let us begin.

The WiiU is the new console that will be released by Nintendo and is due out after April 2012 (I expect a more definitive date in the New Year). The reveal of it was quite weird and most people didn’t realise it was a brand new console, Iwata had to pose with both to show that. So what do we know? Lets look at the three things that were sort of shown.

Controller

The controller  has two circle pads ala the 3DS, it has a D-pad, Home button, start and select buttons, ABXY buttons, shoulder buttons. It even has a microphone (which the original Famicom controller had), speakers, gyroscope, accelerometer, rumble and camera.

The Gateway to the WiiUniverse?

Oh and a 6inch touch screen in the middle, I forgot to mention that.  To me the controller looks quite weird and really uncomfortable to hold, but from what most sources have said this is not the case and it is quite easy to get used to. It currently doesn’t have a name but I’m going with the Gateway as it is the portal to the WiiUniverse!

I think the Gateway has huge potential as a controller as was shown in this video (apologies for the annoying acting, but this video showcases the controller best).

Additional things include that the controller will let you play with the TV switched off, though it needs to be within a certain distance of the actual unit to carry on with this feature. It was also widely reported that only one Gateway could be used due to technical limitations and cost. However as recently as yesterday Iwata stated “Technically, it is possible for the Wii U to support multiple Wii U Controllers” so I guess time will tell.

Console

Current design

Remember though this is still in the prototype stages and is likely to change. Miyamoto has stated that it will be white as it gets rid of the kiddy image that Nintendo has been stuck with (case in point N64/GCN consoles).

So what does it have spec wise? Taken from the Wii U fact sheet:

Media: A single self-loading media bay will play 12-centimeter proprietary high-density optical discs for the new console, as well as 12-centimeter Wii optical discs. (Nintendo have stated that it won’t play DVDs or Blu Rays as most people already have the means to play movies one way or another.)
Video Output: Supports 1080p, 1080i, 720p, 480p and 480i. Compatible cables include HDMI, component, S-video and composite.
Audio Output: Uses AV Multi Out connector. Six-channel PCM linear output through HDMI.
Storage: The console will have internal flash memory, as well as the option to expand its memory using either an SD memory card or an external USB hard disk drive.
CPU: IBM Power®-based multi-core microprocessor.
Other: Four USB 2.0 connector slots are included. The new console is backward compatible with Wii games and Wii accessories

www.n-europe.com yesterday (17th June) reported that the development kits that were previously sent out (which put the Wii U at 50% higher spec than PS360) are actually being replaced with updated developer kits which would “be quite a bigger leap over current-gen consoles than many publications are officially suggesting at the moment” so simply put everything is subject to change!

Software

Take my money now!

I’ll be brief with this as not much is known yet, expect the usual Nintendo line up and we have had a lot of current PS360 games confirmed for WiiU (including Arkham City). Crytek and Epic Games have also thrown their weight behind the console which is actually pretty exciting,

What do I think? I think a bridge needs to be gapped between the casual and hardcore gamers, I’m more casual than hardcore but still appreciate just how much better third-party games are for the PS360. If Nintendo can get it to the point where it’s blowing them out of the water and actually make the jump to the 8th gen (not 7.5 like the N64 was with the fifth gen) then we are n for a treat. The next thing that is needed is third-party exclusives something the Wii is very much lacking (Where is Dragon Quest X?), if they could pull that off you would have a reason for the Hardcore market to take note in this. Visuals are good but they don’t sell a console, game play is good but it can annoy people if the visuals are lacking (Zak and Wiki is a case in point). I just hope the Wii U can deliver this, though I’m sure more will be revealed come the Tokyo show.

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Posted on 18/06/2011, in Features, Previews, WiiU. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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