UPDATED: Nintendo revealed a 25gb disc capacity, AMD is making the GPU, and Pikmin 3 is now on the Wii U.
Though it had been leaked a bit early, the announcement of the Wii U today was still quite a surprise. This new console will be released sometime next year (after April) and with it Nintendo hopes to revolutionize gaming once again.
There has been some confusion over what the Wii U is, is it a controller? A companion to the Wii? Well luckily Nintendo has answered all those questions. The Wii U is a brand new console entirely separate from the first Wii. The press conference focused on the new tablet-esque controller, and that will continue to be Nintendo’s focus. In an interview with Gametrailer’s Geoff Keighley, Reggie Fils-Aime (President of Nintendo of America) said “the console is just a box,” and it’s the controller that they are excited about. Reggie also said that they will not talk about “launch date, launch line up or price” at this year’s E3 so don’t hold your breath for those details just yet.
The Wii U will stream video to the controller allowing people to play independently on each controller, and some games will even feature sections where players complete different actions at the same time on their controllers. Even though the controllers all have their owns screens the Wii U will still display onto your main TV, and there are 7 different ways to play the Wii U. The 7 ways are: Just the new controller, combining the new controller and TV, gameplay using the new controllers motion sensor, using the stylus to control software, using the new controller in combination with the Wii Remote Plus, using the new controller with a group of Wii Remote Plus controllers for multiplayer sessions, and using the new controller for zooming and controlling websites that display on the TV.
The Wii U will support up to four Wii Remote Plus controllers and an unknown number of new tablet controllers. The Wii U will be backwards compatible with Wii games and will also play downloadable titles (not clear if it will play existing downloadable Wii games).
The new controller will be integrated into gameplay with the TV. One demo showed a player holding up the controller as a shield and blocking enemy attacks. Another demo showed a player holding the controller up and moving it left and right to catch a fly ball in baseball. The controller will combine multiple sensors to allow it to know where it is. This unique combination will allow for many new innovative gameplay features. You can watch the unveiling of the Wii U and more examples of its unique control system here.
Reggie Fils-Aime revealed “the system itself holds the GPU and CPU,” so we know that’s where the power itself rests. IBM has revealed the Wii U uses a 45nm multi-core processor that “is based off the same technology used in the Watson super computer.” AMD has now confirmed that they are making the GPU and that it will be a custom Radeon HD. Reggie also said that the system will use optical disks (as we can see in photos) and Kotaku has confirmed that the console uses 25gb discs. Footage from the Nintendo Press Conference shows a very small Wii U console next to a TV, which gives us an idea of its basic size:
The Wii U will support 1080p through HDMI and will include internal flash storage and the ability to use SD memory and USB ports for additional storage. The Nintendo spec sheet specifically lists that external HDD’s will be supported through USB.
Reggie said the disks they are using “proprietary technology” and that they need to be spacious to hold all the data for HD games, Nintedo employee Katsuya Eguchi has now confirmed that the discs are 25gb in size. The discs are not Blu-Ray and the exact technology is not confirmed. The Wii U will finally give gamers the HD experience they want, Reggie confirmed it will support 1080p and the box will hold “the latest technology.” It is probably safe to assume that the console won’t be too expensive due to Nintendo’s history.
Price of the controller itself is another mystery. It is not known how many will come with the console or how many the Wii U will support (though we know up to four Wii Remote Plus controllers will sync up with it). We do know that the Wii U controller will feature a 6.2 inch touch screen, microphone, stereo speakers (and a volume slider), a headphone jack, front facing camera, a gyroscope and accelerometer. The controller has two “circle pads” which look like some sort of analogue sticks, which do not click down. Also included are a control pad, and the standard A,B,X,Y, Start, Select, and Home buttons, it will also have left and right bumpers and left and right triggers that look closer to the triggers on the Dualshock 3 than the 360 controller. A press photo from Nintendo shows the Wii U controller with a stylus that looks very similar to the DS stylus. Joystiq has confirmed that the touch screen is indeed resistive. For those not up to speed on technology resistive is an older touch screen technology that responds to physical pressure, unlike modern smart phones (iPhone, Droid, etc) which use a capacitive touch screen which responds to electrical current in the human body. This means the screen will not be as responsive as a capacitive screen and will not support multitouch (Joystiq tested this and found it responded to multitouch just as a DS does by placing the cursor in the midpoint of both inputs).
The controllers will receive gameplay through “lagless video streaming” (similar maybe to technology we see in OnLive)
Wii U is finally delivering on what hardcore gamers want, HD graphics and hardcore games. Nintendo showed off a ton of titles in its press conference and Platform Nation has assembled all the games in a list below.
*NOTE: This list is not final. Game availability may change and game names may differ. Some software may be for example only. We will update the list as new info arrives*
Alien: Colonial Marines – This first person shooter from Gearbox Software and SEGA is a long time coming. The game would be a port of the same title coming to the 360 and PS3. Nintendo showed some gameplay of a Wii U version in their press conference; however Gearbox has yet to confirm if the game is actually real. After the conference Gearbox said that they have a team looking at a port but they have not yet decided if they will make a Wii U port.
Assassins Creed – Use the new controller for a new multiplayer experience
Batman: Arkham City – The crowd cheered at this announcement. Very little info available at this time, not even screens.
Chase Mii – A Nintendo game where up to four players work cooperatively to chase another player. The team of 4 uses Wii Remote Plus controllers while the one being chased uses the Wii U tablet controller allowing them to see a map other players cant. So it sounds like a hi-tech hide and seek. Gameplay footage.
Darksiders II – Will come out at launch from THQ
Dirt – From Codemasters, an entry in the DiRT series is coming. The gameplay footage did not have a “3” attached to it, which means it is probably a unique title and not a port of the newest released version.
Ghost Recon Online – Will use the new controller for a unique online experience. Shown at the Nintendo press conference. This title will not be a condensed version but will be a full fledged Ghost Recon experience.
Lego City Stories – Think Grand Theft Auto for kids. Explore a massive open world constructed from Legos, in the vein of the classic computer Lego World series. Developed by Travellers Tales. Also coming to the 3DS
Madden NFL – Will feature unique features for play calling and planning. Part of EA’s new initiative to support the Wii U.
Metro: Last Light – The hardcore FPS sequel to Metro: 2033 will have a Wii U version. This is a realistic first person shooter set in the future after a devastating nuclear war, fight mutants and bandits and attempt to save the remaining humans living in the subways of Russia.
New Super Mario Bros. Mii – This is a demo Nintendo is currently showing. Its the same game as New Super Mario Bros. for the Wii but you can play as your Mii character instead of Mario and his friends. This may not end up being a full commercial game.
Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge (Working Title) – Tecmo Koei is working on an exclusive version for the Wii U. Gameplay showed lots of blood like in the upcoming Ninja Gaiden 3.
Pikmin 3 – The long awaited Pikmin sequel is no longer coming out for the Wii, it is now coming out for the Wii U. Shigeru Miyamoto decided the new graphics and features were perfect for the series. He also said that development progress is quite far along so the game should launch near the Wii U launch.
Rabbids Series Title – Announced by Ubisoft, no other details.
Smash Bros. – Few details exist but we do know that the game will feature cross compatibility with an upcoming 3DS version.
Tekken “Wii Successor” – The first Tekken game for a Nintendo home console. Unique character customization was shown, allowing you to draw details on your fighter. A 3DS entry in the series has also been announced, cross-compatibility features unknown.
Untitled Ubisoft FPS– Ubisoft announced a new hardcore shooter will be developed “exclusively” for the Wii U.
Untitled Ubisoft Sports Game– Ubisoft announced they are also working on a “multi-sports” game for families. Possibly similar to the multiple sports games we see on the Wii know that try to expand on Wii Sports’s popularity.
Wii Sports – The initial reveal trailer for the Wii U showed multiple Wii Sports games including baseball and golf. You can use the new controller to act as a glove to be the catcher or outfielder in baseball. In golf it showed a player placing the controller at their feet for teeing up.
Wii Fit – The initial reveal trailer for the Wii U showed a girl using the balance board with a unique interface for the Wii U controller showing charts and graphs. It is not known if this was simply a demo or will become a full game.
The Legend of Zelda – The initial reveal trailer for the Wii U showed footage for a Zelda game featuring stunning HD graphics. There will be unique interactions on the touch screen allowing you to see your inventory or map among other things. Few other details exist.
See gameplay footage of many of the new titles below:
Did we miss something? Tell us if there are any detail we forgot and discuss what you think the Wii U will bring to the world of gaming below in the comments.