Nintendo out for all gamers with "Wii U" console

Nintendo on Tuesday provided the first glimpse of a second-generation Wii console designed to dispel notions its system is not up to the standards of "hardcore" videogame players.

"Wii U" builds on the Japanese videogame titan's record of hardware innovation with a controller that combines a tablet computer-style touchscreen with toggles and buttons used for blockbuster shooter or action titles.

"The boundaries that once divided players are starting to be erased," Nintendo chief executive Satoru Iwata said as the world got a look at the Wii U at the opening of the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles.

"For Nintendo, the goal of innovation is to serve every player."

Nintendo did not reveal how much it planned to charge for the Wii U when the new consoles hit the market next year to do battle with Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Sony's PlayStation 3 (PS3).

Major videogame studios such as Ubisoft, Electronic Arts, THQ and Square Enix are already on board crafting titles for the Wii U, according to Nintendo North America president Reggie Fils-Aime.

"It seems Nintendo heard the voices of the hardcore gamers," said Irrational Games studio co-founder Ken Levine, the creative force behind hit action game "BioShock."

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.

A forward-facing camera allows for online video chat with friends while playing with or against them online using a television connected to a Wii U.

A THQ game studio executive referred to the new console as the "Swiss Army knife" of consoles.

"You won't have to give up your game play when someone else comes in the room and wants to use the television," Iwata said, referring to the way game action could be continued on a controller's screen.

"This device is designed to appeal to all people, particularly the most dedicated and serious players."

Nintendo is credited with opening the world of videogames to moms, seniors, and other "casual" players with the introduction of motion-sensing controllers on the first Wii console launched in late 2006.

Microsoft and Sony last year challenged Nintendo by adding motion or gesture-based controls to Xbox 360 and PS3 consoles, which boast more power than the Wii for richer imagery and more complex action.

Nintendo will be firing back in the console wars with Wii U, which will power high-definition graphics along with creative new play styles allowed by the tablet-shaped controllers.

Wii U controllers are not designed to be portable gaming devices because play and content are based on wireless connections to consoles, according to Iwata.

The controllers are built with gyroscopes and accelerometers to allow players to shift in-game views or control action with motions.

The controller also works with Wii console wands. In one demonstration, a wand was used as a virtual golf club pointed down at a Wii U controller on the floor that showed an image of a golf ball on grass.

A swing of the Wii wand whacked the digital golf ball, seeming to send it flying onto a fairway on a television screen.

Virtual Ninja throwing stars were flicked from a Wii U controller at enemies on a television screen in another demonstration.

Wii U controllers could also be used as sketch pads or for videos, with content "tossed" onto television screens with simple swipes.

"More than anything, I'm looking forward to new styles of play we haven't thought of before," said Nintendo videogame legend Shigeru Miyamoto. "There won't be a shortage of ideas."

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - London - up to £40,000

    £35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Creative Front-End Developer - Claph...

    Ashdown Group: QA Tester - London - £30,000

    £28000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: QA Tester - London - £30,000 QA Tes...

    Ashdown Group: Linux Administrator - London - £50,000

    £45000 - £50000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: Linux Systems Administrator ...

    Ashdown Group: Business Intelligence Analyst - London - £45,000

    £40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: SQL Server Reporting Analyst (Busine...

    Day In a Page

    The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

    The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

    Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
    Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

    Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

    Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
    Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

    David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

    The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
    Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

    Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

    Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
    With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

    Money, corruption and drugs

    The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
    America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

    150 years after it was outlawed...

    ... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
    Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

    Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

    The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
    Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

    You won't believe your eyes

    Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
    Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

    Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

    The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
    War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
    Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

    Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

    The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
    A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

    It's not easy being Green

    After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
    Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

    Gorillas nearly missed

    BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
    Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

    The Downton Abbey effect

    Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
    China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

    China's wild panda numbers on the up

    New census reveals 17% since 2003