Sunday, July 15, 2012

Nintendo Announces Next Gen Wii Gaming Console - Dubbed Wii U - Is Coming Before the End of 2012

Nintendo Wii U.jpg
While it's still the middle of the summer here north of the equator, most companies that deal with retail sales are already thinking about and preparing for the upcoming holiday shopping season.  So, needless to say I had to get my geek on when I recently learned that Nintendo is ready to roll with the second generation Wii gaming console which will be called Wii U.
While it's always good news when one of The Big 3 (Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo) announces anything that even slightly resembles an update to a gaming console, the announcement of a *new* gaming console is always the best.
It's even better when I can get a firm date on launch… but no such luck this time.  The best I can do is tell you that the company is promising it will be available for the holiday shopping season.  Rumors are that the device will be available for a retail price under $400.
Here are the specs and features from the Nintendo website and they are followed by a video the company has released to support the launch:

Technical Specs


Holiday 2012.

  • Size

    Approximately 1.8 inches high, 10.5 inches deep and 6.8 inches long.

  • Weight

    Approximately 3.41 pounds (1.5 kg).

  • Wii U™ GamePad

    The Wii U GamePad™ controller removes the traditional barriers between games, players and the TV by creating a second window into the video game world. It incorporates a 6.2-inch, 16:9 aspect ratio LCD touch screen, as well as traditional button controls and two analog sticks. Inputs include a +Control Pad, L/R sticks, L/R stick buttons, A/B/X/Y buttons, L/R buttons, ZL/ZR buttons, Power button, HOME button, -/SELECT button, +/START button, and TV CONTROL button. The GamePad also includes motion control (powered by an accelerometer, gyroscope and geomagnetic sensor), a front-facing camera, a microphone, stereo speakers, rumble features, a sensor bar, an included stylus and support for Near Field Communication (NFC) functionality. It is powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery and weighs approximately 1.1 pounds (500 g).

  • Other Controllers

    The Wii U console is capable of supporting two Wii U GamePad controllers, up to four Wii Remote (or Wii Remote Plus) controllers or Wii U Pro Controllers, and Wii accessories such as the Nunchuk, Classic Controller and Wii Balance Board.

  • Video Output

    Supports 1080p, 1080i, 720p, 480p and 480i. Compatible cables include HDMI, Wii D-Terminal, Wii Component Video, Wii RGB, Wii S-Video Stereo AV and Wii AV.

  • Appearance

    The new console features a compact design that will make it a natural addition to any home entertainment setup.

  • CPU

    IBM PowerⓇ-based multi-core processor.

  • GPU

    AMD Radeon™-based High Definition GPU.

  • Storage

    Wii U uses an internal flash memory. It also supports SD memory cards and external USB storage.

  • Media

    Wii U and Wii optical discs.

  • Networking

    Wii U can access the Internet via wireless (IEEE 802.11b/g/n) connection. The console features four USB 2.0 connectors – two in the front and two in the rear – that support Wii LAN Adapters.

  • Wii Compatibility

    Nearly all Wii software and accessories can be used with Wii U.

  • Audio Output

    Uses six-channel PCM linear output via HDMI® connector, or analog output via the AV Multi Out connector.


Wii U Features

In addition to introducing new ways to play, Wii U also offers users a variety of non-gaming features to enhance the overall experience.

  • Miiverse: Miiverse is a brand-new network communication system that lets gamers from around the world share experiences, discuss games and discover new content. Using their personalized Mii character, players enter Miiverse and see games, applications or entertainment content that either they have interacted with recently, expressed interest in learning more about or that their friends are using or discussing. From here they can challenge their friends to play together, ask a question about a difficult level or discover new elements of their favorite games they never knew existed. After a notable achievement or other share-worthy moment, players can pause their game or application and seamlessly post messages to the Miiverse community.
  • TV Remote: The Wii U GamePad controller may also function as an infrared TV remote, whether users are watching TV or playing a game.
  • Near Field Communication (NFC): The Wii U GamePad has the ability to communicate wirelessly with objects that are held above it. This allows for a variety of interesting new possibilities for games and activities.
  • Nintendo eShop: The digital storefront for Wii U will be available at launch and offer a variety of content for people to download and enjoy. Consumers will also be able to purchase and download select games that are also available at retail stores.
  • Video Entertainment: Nintendo is working with Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video, and YouTube to bring video experiences to Wii U that will take advantage of the integrated second-screen experience. Additional details will be released at a later time.
  • Video Chat: Using the built-in camera of the Wii U GamePad, people can communicate with other Wii U owners in real time.
  • Internet Browser: Wii U comes with a browser that lets people with a wireless Internet connection surf the Internet from the comfort of their couches.

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