Now that the true nature of “Project Cafe” is revealed, we finally got our hands on the press kit to give you the details surrounding the new Nintendo Wii U.
Launching in 2012 (next fiscal year, so expect it after March 31, 2012), the Wii U is a brand new HD console. Boasting resolutions from 480i to 1080p, the Wii U is powered by an “IBM Power-based multi-core microprocessor.” The Wii U also has four USB 2.0 ports and supports composite, S-video, component, and HDMI connections. In a slightly disconcerting omission, the new console will have “internal flash memory” of an unannounced size but will be expandable via SD or via external USB HDD.
The big news, of course, surrounds the Wii U’s new tablet-like controller. The controller has a 6.2″ 16:9-ratio touchscreen set in its center, complemented with traditional button controls and two analog Circle Pads, to create “a second window into the video game world.”
The rechargeable controller includes the D-pad and the power and home buttons that we’re used to from the Wii Remote, along with the A/B/X/Y setup of Nintendo’s handheld consoles. The controller also has L/R shoulder buttons and ZL/ZR buttons set toward the back. Lastly, the new controller hosts a built-in accelerometer, gyroscope, camera, microphone, sensor strip, stylus, and stereo speakers.
However, your old Wii collection will not go completely to waste: the Wii U is entirely backwards compatible — in both software and hardware. All Wii games will be playable on the Wii U, and all Wii input devices (Remote, Nunchuck, Classic Controller, etc.) will be usable with the new console.
As more details surface, we’ll be sure to bring them to you. And like I said before, RIP Wii.