Wii U: Everything you could ever want to know

Infendo

So Nintendo has spilled the beans on it’s on Wii U, but it seems that a lot of people are confused as to what that means. Will I have to buy a new console? Will the touch screen controller work with my current Wii? When can I get my hands on the darn thing? All these questions and more will be answered, just click on through!

The Controller
Understandably the input device for Wii U stole much of the limelight at last week’s show. Every Wii U console will ship with one of these bad boys, and if Nintendo has it their way, it will become our preferred method to play games.

Here’s the skinny: The the main draw of the tablet controller is the 6.2-inch resistive touch screen that displays images in super sharp 16:9 high definition. The fancy new controller will be powered by a rechargeable battery and feature two analog sliders, 10 button inputs (A,B,X,Y,R,L,ZR,ZL, +, -), a built-in accelerometer and gyroscope, rumble, a camera, a microphone, stereo speakers, a sensor strip, and a stylus.

Perhaps most exciting about the controller is its ability to substitute for a main display if your TV happens to be in use. Imaging taking Link with you on the can when nature calls.

All of the processing is done on the Wii U console itself which streams data to the tablet controller. This means you must be in range of the Wii U for the device to work so, sorry, no taking the controller with you for the car trip to grandma’s!

During my hands-on with the controller I was surprised at how light the device was, lighter than an Xbox 360 controller in fact. My hands had no complaints while holding the device as the it was very ergonomically designed. Epic sessions of Zelda will go just fine on Wii U.

Also notable is an HDMI port located on the bottom of the controller. During the event the port was used to connect the controller’s display to nearby TVs to allow onlookers to see the action. It’s unknown if this will be a feature on the final retail model, I asked and the Nintendo reps weren’t talking.

It also seems that the console will support multiple tablet controllers after all according to Reggie Fils-Aime. Looks like Jack can love Wii U after all…maybe.

The Hardware
Nintendo has yet to reveal complete system specifications for Wii U, and as such the specs for the console are what we know the least about. What we do know:  Wii U will be capable of outputting with HDMI, composite, or component cables in 480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, and 1080p. Yes, it does HD. Some developers who have gotten their hands on dev kits have stated that Wii U will have 50% more processing power compared to the PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360.

IBM who will be providing the guts of Wii U tells Engadget that the console will be packing a powerful 45nm custom chip with a lot of embedded DRAM. The custom chip will feature same processor technology found in the Watson supercomputer that competed, and won on Jeopardy.

The Games
So far the majority of titles shown were tech demos, but Nintendo and third parties have both gone on record in saying that they are working on games as we speak. Here is the complete list of confirmed titles:

Aliens: Colonial Marines
Assassin’s Creed (working title)
Batman: Arkham City
LEGO City Stories
Darksiders II
Dirt (working titles)
Ghost Recon Online
Killer Freaks From Outer Space
Metro: Last Light
Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge (working title)
Pikmin 3
Rabbids (working title)
Super Smash Bros. (working title)
Tekken (working title)

The Release Date
The most Nintendo is saying is that Wii U will be availible next year. My bet is in November. The jury is still out on pricing as well so keep the channel tuned to Infendo. As soon as we know so will you!

Any other questions that weren’t hit upon here? If so, just ask!

Eugene lives in New Mexico and has been a life long gamer since getting his hands on an NES. Always partial to Nintendo, Eugene has made it a point to keep informed on all things Mario.

28 Comments

  1. So we have to spend even more money now for new controllers????
    Yeah…. Still not buying into this

  2. … I’m kinda happy about this new system…. Is that bad???

  3. @Snake: It’s funny how split the audiences are.
    There’s a GIANT amount of people getting angry that the Wii U only supports one controller (meaning: no chance of no-split-on-screen multiplayer).

    Yet there’s also your side that doesn’t want to spend the money on other controllers…

    So uh… if you want them to focus on only one tablet-screen games: Better band up with fellow anti-multi-controllers to silence the other side. Because Nintendo only wants to add additional controllers BECAUSE SO MANY have asked “WHY ISN’T there multiple controllers???”…

    😛

    Me? I’m cool whichever way they go – I’m getting it.

  4. It’s a more powerful Wii in HD. I’m aboard! Everything else is icing on the cake.

    And Skotski, I agree: it’s funny how Nintendo can’t win no matter what they say–

    Nintendo: Wii U will only support one screen controller.
    Critics: BOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

    Nintendo: Okay, Wii U will support multiple screen controllers…
    Critics: BOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

    Nintendo: Um, the extra controllers are optional, y’know…ya don’t NEED ’em…
    Critics: BOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

    Just give me HD Mario Kart and Smash Brothers. I’ll be happy. 🙂

  5. Eugene, is the console casing itself finalized? Any chance it’ll be further tweeked? My only disappointment about Wii U so far–and it’s a minor one–is that the console itself looks so…ordinary. After the Museum of Modern Art look of the Wii, I was hoping for a trapezoid or something. 🙂

  6. Richard…I couldn’t have said it any better myself. People will find something to complain about, no matter what.

    As for the look of the console, I like it. The other day I was thinking the Wii is starting to look clunky and dated. This thing is so smooth and elegant. Dare I say it? It looks like something Apple would design.

  7. @Richard
    Official word from Nintendo is that nothing I finalized so what we see now with the controller and console are just conceptual, but I can’t see either changing too much between now and the console’s launch.

  8. @sparklegoogs, I agree that it looks very nice, with the exception of the port door on the front of the unit. I’ve always hated it on the Wii too.

  9. @ sparklecoogs, I agree w/ Richard. I like the Wii look. I mean what I really liked was the stand and the blue light around the disc entry. Also I did like the angles. The Wii U looks like a small xbox turned on its side; not very appealing to me. Whenever I turn my wii on it’s side like that it gets extremely hot, hopefully they fix that problem w/ wii u.

  10. Kinda REALLY disappointed that this thing won’t play Blu-Rays or DVDs because Nintendo doesn’t want to pay patents…

  11. Gojiguy–

    Blu Ray and DVD will both be extinct sooner than anyone’s expecting, and Blu Ray players will be very small and cheap when WiiU hits shelves. If losing that ability helps keep the price down, I’m totally fine with that.

  12. gojiguy: Nintendo it’s a videogame hardware and software company unlike Sony and Microsoft. I’ve heard they’re doing this to reduce costs. What i’m afraid it’s that they reduce prices for their own sake. They’re not releasing Blu-ray playback, no hard drive either….what do we get in return? Cheaper console? Better video card? Better processing power? I sure hope so.
    I say all of this because i’ve bee thinking: Nintendo is really cheap! They give us so little for so much money. And in the end they are the ones making a fortune of a very old technology. What about the rumors of the Wii U utilizing 3 year old technology (radeon HD 4890 or even less) and then Iwata saying: “It’s not gonna be cheap”. I just hope all of this is just speculation.

  13. I wish we knew the price. I just kn

  14. I know that the wii u will be great for shooters, as it eliminates the ability to “screen-peek”, so I have high hopes for the device, even if it has less processing power than the competition

  15. Devor3-

    I’ve always gotten my money’s worth of entertainment and brilliant ideas from every Nintendo console I’ve ever bought (didn’t buy Virtual Boy). Wii, in particular, was an inexpensive console that brought me many of the best gaming experiences I’ve ever had.

  16. thank god it can handle multiple controllers, if they had only gone with one that would have seriously limited multiplayer games using it

  17. Gojiguy —

    I agree with you, they need CD/DVD and Blue-ray. Currently, my xbox 360 in the family is my CD and DVD player. I use my Wii for Netflix (because I’m not xbox live gold member) and I have a stereo receiver for my speakers and the flat screen. I want more consolidation of my devices. I’m looking for a future where possibly my tv would have a Google or Apple or some type of box connected that could stream all my media and stream games, similar to OnLive. I can see some hint of Microsoft wanting to move toward the xbox being the one-stop media device, but they are not moving forward with progress fast enough. I see Apple allows streaming of ipad 2 to a flat screen through a Apple device box, but they can’t stream Onlive or Steam yet. I am hoping in the future that OnLive or Steam will team up with more hardware partners and start offering services similar to Netflix. I think Nintendo needs to get more serious about this.

  18. My guess is $299.99 to $319.99 for the price. Launch in Oct(Japan), Nov(USA)…

  19. well my 360 broke again.

    i’m replacing it with a cheapo off craigslist, but i really would have loved to switch brands. Nintendo’s harware is just quality. I still play my N64, well over a decade later, and it has never broken.

    But I’m locked into MS’s great online service. Something Nintendo didn’t even addressed during the E3. A real shame. I’d like to stop giving MS my money. They don’t respect my patronage. Or any one else’s who has wasted time replacing or fixing their broken crappola.

  20. Honestly, the lack of CD/DVD/etc. playback is really the straw that broke the camel’s back for me.

    It will be 2012. I will have a 3D (polygonal and stereoscopic…) Mario and Zelda in the palms of my hand.

    Why would I shell out $300+ for a home console that does the exact same thing with a giant clunky controller, no DVD playback (I don’t own a DVD player…I even went so far as to mod my Wii to do so), from a company that has a track record of bad online services and horrible third-party support when I could buy a cheaper (maybe) console that has a great online infrastructure, DVD playback, the best controller on the market, and amazing third-party support.

    I can put some things aside for Nintendo, and still buy their console. I did it for the Gamecube and I did it for the Wii. But it will be 2012, and certain industry standards exist, and ignoring them while touting a fat plumber may not be enough anymore.

  21. Everybody that has a job that I know already has a blu-ray player in their house. If they don’t have a blu-ray player then obviously they’re broke or not into movies that much.

  22. @monkat Because they have said that they’re fixing all of that? o_o If you need to watch DVDs, go to Walmart and shell out $20 for one. And in case you haven’t been reading up, IGN has said that the controller is actually very comfortable and light. I’m also tired of people that keep bringing up past problems with Nintendo, when obviously they’re showing that they are dedicated to fixing it…I mean, did you even SEE the line-up they have?

    Batman: Arkham Asylum, Ninja Gaiden 3, DarkStalkers 2, Tekken, and Assassin’s Creed.

    Do your math and think a little before posting bro. o_o

  23. @GameCollector44

    I HATE that attitude. It’s so patronizing. Telling him to think before posting? Seriously?

    Here’s a little context: this is a VIDEO GAME website. Is it really that important to you that people do independent research before posting here? Really?

    And he was just stating his opinion and preferences. But according to you, his preferences are objectively wrong.

    That’s really annoying.

  24. I see where Nintendo got the idea for your table

    uDraw Studio – Game and Tablet

    http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/81f%2BCkllugL._AA1500_.jpg

  25. Richard: Oh yes me too. I’ve never regretted buying a Nintendo console. I’m just saying that if they’re cutting back blu-ray and hard drive, they should at least give us a Radeon HD 5000 Series. But it all seems that it’s gonna be HD 4000 (that’s what the rumors say). Which is not bad considering it’s a 150$ to 250$ card, so it can be very affordable for all of us. I don´t think new consoles from microsof or sony are aiming for the HD 6990 card. Which is in the 750$ – 800$ range!!

  26. I don’t think I’ll have any time to watch any films on a Wii U with all the games I would probably be playing instead.

    Nintendo is in the business of making games. Rarely have they made any films, so why would they need to push themselves to make something that incorporates them. It’s just bad business.

  27. Did this post mention Smash Bros? It did! Im happy…the rest sounds rather good too

  28. Tell me someone with information…Does the Wii U play Gamecube games? Are you able to play Smash Bros. with it? Things just got more curious for me reading this. I like the new direction of their console however!

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