Nintendo debuts touchscreen Wii successor

Jun 07, 2011 By DERRIK J. LANG , AP Entertainment Writer
Nintendo debuts touchscreen Wii successor (AP)
Reggie Fils-Aime, President of Nintendo of America, introduces their new gaming console the Wii U during a news conference at the E3 Gaming Convention in Los Angeles, Tuesday, June 7, 2011. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

Nintendo has introduced the world to the Wii's touchy new big brother: the Wii U.

The Japanese gaming giant on Tuesday unveiled the Wii video game console's successor, which will broadcast high-definition video and feature a touchscreen controller that can detect motion and interact with what appears on a television display.

"Up until now, home console games had to occupy the TV screen in order to be played," said Nintendo president Satoru Iwata. "The new controller for Wii U, with its 6.2-inch screen built in, means you won't need to give up your gameplay when someone else comes in the room and wants to watch a TV program."

The white touchscreen controller, reminiscent of Apple Inc.'s iPad and other tablet computers, can broadcast standard-definition video but also features a directional pad, microphone, dual analog sticks, speakers, two pairs of shoulder buttons and a front-facing camera, which can be used to make video calls.

Global president of Nintendo Satoru Iwata (L) president of Nintendo America Reggie Fils-Aime, speak during a news conference after the unveiling of the new Wii U game console at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles.

The console itself will use proprietary high-definition optical discs, 1080p HDMI output and internal memory that can be upgraded with USB and SD technology. No other technical specifications were provided.

The prototype controller was demonstrated during the Electronic Entertainment Expo, the gaming industry's annual convention, in several ways: displaying a player's inventory in a "Legend of Zelda" game, offering an alternative way to play a chasing game, being used as a shield from incoming attacks in a first-person shooter game and showing the image of a teed-up golf ball on the ground before it was struck to a putting green depicted on a TV.

The controller was also shown being used to browse the Internet both on a TV and the controller. Reggie Fils-Aime, Nintendo of America president, noted that the touchscreen controller is not meant to be a portable gaming device and that the system is dubbed the Wii U because its "unique, unifying and maybe even utopian."

A key feature to the Wii U controller is a 6.2-inch (16-centimeter) screen that displays maps or other information to complement game play, acts as a touchscreen game board and serves as a second monitor.

Nintendo said the Wii U will be released between April and December next year and will be backward-compatible with Wii games and controllers.

"Smash Brothers," "Darksiders II," "Batman: Arkham City," "Tekken," "Assassin's Creed" and "Metro: Last Light" were among the titles announced that would be released for the system.

The price for Wii U was not revealed.

The new Wii U will have HD graphics, a controller with a 6.2 inch touchscreen and be compatible with all other Wii accessories.

The unveiling of the Wii U comes after two years of slumping sales for Nintendo's Wii, which remains the overall top-selling home video game console against Microsoft Corp.'s Xbox 360 and Sony Corp.'s PlayStation 3. Those consoles already feature high-definition graphics and added motion-sensing capabilities similar to the Wii last year with their respective Kinect and Move camera systems.

Explore further: Google challenges nonprofits on ideas to use Glass

More information: http://e3.nintendo.com/

5 /5 (2 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Global sales of Nintendo's Wii top 50 million

Mar 26, 2009

(AP) -- Japanese game maker Nintendo Co. said Thursday global sales of its popular Wii video game console have topped 50 million since it went on sale worldwide in late 2006.

Nintendo's 'Revolution' becomes 'Wii'

Apr 27, 2006

Japan's Nintendo announced that its new gaming console -- known during development as "Revolution" -- will be called "Wii" and will be unveiled next month. ...

Nintendo launches dark Wii, expanded bundle in US

May 03, 2010

(AP) -- Nintendo Co. is trying to expand U.S. sales of the Wii by throwing in an extra game and its MotionPlus accessory for making the console's signature motion-sensing wand more precise. The company is also offering a ...

Wii 2 goes HD?

Apr 15, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- Is Nintendo working on a high-definition console called the Wii 2? That is the big question flying around the world of gaming today.

Recommended for you

Japan's digital eyes show your emotions for you

Apr 21, 2014

Can't be bothered to show anyone what you're thinking? Then a Japanese scientist has the answer—a pair of digital eyes that can express delight and anger, or even feign boredom.

Review: With Galaxy S5, Samsung proves less can be more

Apr 20, 2014

Samsung Electronics Co. has produced the most formidable rival yet to the iPhone 5S: the Galaxy S5. The device, released over the weekend, is the fifth edition of the company's successful line of Galaxy S ...

Five features an Amazon phone might offer (Update)

Apr 18, 2014

A report this week in The Wall Street Journal that Amazon is planning to release a smartphone has prompted industry analysts and technology blogs to muse about what the device might offer.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Is nuclear power the only way to avoid geoengineering?

"I think one can argue that if we were to follow a strong nuclear energy pathway—as well as doing everything else that we can—then we can solve the climate problem without doing geoengineering." So says Tom Wigley, one ...

US urged to drop India WTO case on solar

Environmentalists Wednesday urged the United States to drop plans to haul India to the WTO to open its solar market, saying the action would hurt the fight against climate change.