Nintendo announce details of WII 2 - Now known as WII U
After months of speculation, At the E3 Expo in Los Angeles, Japanese gaming giant Nintendo confirmed details of it's new console - The WII U.
With a provisional launch in 2012 (possibly as early as April) , as a successor to it's massively successful WII console (which nearly doubled the sales of it's rivals - Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Sony's Playstation 3 with over 86 Million sold worldwide), the Japanese gaming giant have disclosed the details of the new console, which confirms that they are heading back to the hardcore Gaming territory previously dominated by Microsoft and Sony with a high-spec, feature rich console, which although perhaps is not as innovative as it's predeceser, should put in a strong challange to it's rivals sales in the short term.
The WII U doesn't throw up too many surprises, as the features have been correctly speculated for some months by the gaming press, but the core feature is the (rather large tablet-like) wireless controller which turns the console into a hybrid handheld with a built-in 6.2" touch screen, which will also allow the player to continue playing even if the TV is switched off. The new controller will work in conjunction with the existing WII Remote Plus Controllers, so the overall gaming experience would not be too different, in reality to the WII, for many games.
The actual console itself does not appear to be too dissimilar from the WII but it will come with an IBM Multi-Core Processor with embedded DRAM and an AMD Manufactured Readeon Graphics Chip with full HD 1080p compatibility and overall performance that should outshine it's rivals in the short-term. Whilst the consoles drive will support HD optical disks, It has not been announced whether the drive will be Blu-Ray Compatible.
The console boasts will have a HDMI and 4x USB interface and be fully Wi-Fi compatible and backwards compatible with the full WII games range along with the Gamecube. One feature that some where expecting, following on from the success of the 3DS, was some kind of 3D support, it appears that Nintendo are holding back until the overall 3D technology improves
With the likely release of new games for the new console from the standard Nintendo stable such as Mario, Zelda etc, Nintendo also mentioned versions of Assassins Creed and Ghost Recon, again confirming the consoles pitch to the core gaming market.
With sales of the WII now slowing, the release of the new console comes at the ideal time for Nintendo, however I would imagine it is very unlikely that the WII U will match the incredible success of the WII, due to it's target market and whilst the spec is impressive, it doesn't have the unique wow-factor that it's predecessor had at launch with features that overall aren't too different from the Xbox 360 or Playstation 3. Added to this, the manufacturing costs of the inclusion of the touch screen will filter down to the consumer, again, moving the the console out of the casual gaming market which was so critical for the original WII's success.
Somehow, I don't think the executives from Microsoft and Sony will be quaking in their boots just yet, over Nintendo's latest offering.