Nintendo Wii U
The Wii U, Nintendo’s next-generation console update to the Wii, was first unveiled a year ago at E3 2011. Back then, not much was known aside from the fact that the system featured a tablet-like controller studded with gyroscopes, buttons, and a 6-inch touch-screen, the whole device resembling a giant Game Boy Advance or even a Nintendoified PlayStation Vita.
A year later, the Wii U’s unknown quantities are still vast. No internal specs are known; no price or release date (beyond “holiday 2012”) has been given. At least we now know what some of the Wii U games will be, and what they will play like.
The Wii U’s centerpiece controller still has dual analog controls, a directional pad, and a slew of buttons and analog triggers that match the placement you’d expect on a standard game controller. This year, those analog pads have become analog sticks, but they function the same.
The GamePad is surprisingly lightweight, though the ones on display are tethered and don’t have batteries in place. The big feature, obviously, is the touch control on its 6-inch screen. But the GamePad is also designed to double as a TV remote (there’s a “TV” button and an IR blaster in the top). Another newly announced addition, near-field communication, could work with toys and other physical objects much like Activision’s Skylanders. Did I mention built-in speakers, a microphone, and a gyroscopic controller? When you add up what the GamePad includes, it seems only a rear touch pad away from the Vita’s control-option overload. Read More