Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Nintendo's new Wii U aims to be a game-changer
Games giant believes the Wii U, complete with touchscreen, HD, camera and phone, will compete with rivals Microsoft and Sony
Nintendo, which introduced gaming to a new generation of players with the Wii, is aiming to break the mould with its next home console, called the Wii U.
Promising more for hardcore gamers, as well as the casual audience that flocked to the Wii, the next generation console features a controller that resembles a tablet PC, with a 6.2in touchscreen. It plays HD graphics and includes a camera, joysticks and buttons.
Nintendo's announcement will pressure rivals such as Microsoft and Sony to come up with new game systems, and could jumpstart a $65bn (£39.5bn) global industry that surpasses Hollywood in size. The new device will launch between April and December 2012, the company told reporters at the E3 games conference in Los Angeles. They did not reveal how much it will cost.
The console can also be used to play games with a TV screen. Its controller can be used to make voice calls and will be able to run previous Nintendo games. It has motion-sensor capabilities and works in conjunction with existing Wii controllers, the company said.
The device could appeal to hardcore gamers who enjoy playing first-person shooter games, an area where Nintendo has lost ground to rivals.
Wii U is the first new home console in five years. The device has graphical abilities roughly on a par with the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. This allows it to run the biggest blockbusters games, which currently only appear on those consoles.
At Nintendo's E3 press conference the chief executive of EA Games, John Riccitiello, said: "It's a better platform than we have ever been offered by Nintendo." Several games publishers, including Ubisoft, Codemasters, THQ and Capcom, announced that they will make games for it.