Ok, with the announcement having been made over a year ago.. we are slowly creeping into the release date for the Wii U, anticipated for the 4th Quarter of 2012.
The Wii U is the newer version of the Wii as you might have guessed. The console will be backwards compatible with Wii games, and is trying to create another entirely new form of gaming, just as the Wii did on its release date.
The biggest talking point, is shown in the image above, the Wii U GamePad. This has a screen on the front and allows you to view the entire game on this screen, or supplementary information such as maps, just like the bottom screen on a DS and also acts as a touchscreen. The interesting thing is that this can be used with, or without a TV.. The first mainstream console that could also double up as a handheld. The GamePad also has a front facing camera, a built in accelerometer and Near Field Communication (NFC) built in. This, like many smartphones means that you will be able to make payments using the Wii U and also use this with interactive figurines within a game.
As well as the GamePad the Wii U will also have the option of a more mainstream Wii U Pro Controller, which is an attempt by Nintendo to attract more console gamers away from the Xbox and Playstation and bring them to the Wii. Nintendo are also attempting to make porting of games to the Wii U far more easy and streamlined meaning that some of our other console favourites could be making their way to this device. This could be a massive benefit in my eyes as when I had my Wii, it was more of a child friendly gaming device that occasionally was a good laugh at parties.. but I would never sit down for hours on end and play like I would an Xbox or Playstation.
It will be good news to existing Wii owners that all peripherals such as the Nunchuk and Wii Balance board are all thought to be compatible with the Wii U.
The following games have been confirmed for the Wii U:
Nintendo Land, New Super Mario Bros U, Pikmin 3, Wii Fit U, Wii U Panorama View, SiNG, LEGO City: Undercover, Project P-100, Game & Wario, Aliens: Colonial Marines, NINJA GAIDEN 3: Razor’s Edge, Darksiders II, Assassin’s Creed III, Batman Arkham City Armored Edition, Mass Effect 3, Rayman Legends, Scribblenauts Unlimited, TANK! TANK! TANK! , Tekken Tag Tournament 2 and ZombiU.
It will be interesting to see how it performs at its release date. The Wii did well, but like the DS, it flourished to an unusually high level at Christmas. This is a time console sales usually shoot through the roof but even taking this into account, Wii’s have been like golddust for the past few years at Christmas with stores selling out for weeks and possibly months on end.
The Wii U is thought to be arriving shortly, and with rumoured prices of upwards of £200, equivalent to 2 Ouya’s it might be an easy choice for some, but a tough sell for most.