E3 2011: Nintendo Announces the “Wii U”

Today, Reggie Fils-Aime pulled back the curtain on the “Wii U,” their HD console, codenamed “Project Cafe.”

Featuring a 6.2″ touchscreen, the Wii U is a tablet-like device with 6 buttons, a d-pad, dual analog sticks, an accelerometer, and rumble capability.  The Wii U is poised to be an in-home media device, allowing video sharing and fast-switching between the big screen and the Wii U screen.

Immediate reaction by gaming press and experts is overwhelmingly positive, but with a hint of confusion — Reggie’s presentation was very hesitant to call the Wii U a “console,” instead opting for the term “controller.” …but we see the Wii U working independently from the TV, and the Wii U is described as being able to play Wii games, meaning functions on its own separate from a Wii console.

Similarly, it seems like a new portable device, but it also seems like it’s tied to the home.  It has a game slot and its own graphics processor, but it can’t leave the Wii?

More details as they appear — hopefully, we’ll clear the issues up soon.

UPDATE:  Some new answers are popping up, and it’s finally beginning to make sense.  The entirety of Wii U’s portion of the press conference was focused on the tablet-like controller, but the Wii U itself is a brand new 1080p HD console.

This new HD console is getting some good third-party support, too.  A teaser video featured developers like Irrational’s Ken Levine among others and games like Darksiders II, Tekken, Batman: Arkham City, Assassin’s Creed, and (amazingly) Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Online.

The Wii U has been announced to be online-enabled (of course), but they have made zero indications as to what their online services will be.  No matter what it is, it will be, no doubt, better than their current Friend Code system.

Also, RIP Wii.

Written by: Dwight Tejano

Dwight is the founder of Open the Fridge, which he started in 2008 and rebooted in 2010. Due to the nature of early adopting, his bank account is normally empty. He likes to sing in world-renown choruses to forget such things.

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