This article has since been updated:
We knew a new Nintendo system would be confirmed during today’s E3 media briefing, and the house of Mario didn’t disappoint.
Known as the Wii U, the system sports a controller that is equipped with a 6.2-inch touchscreen, microphone, gyroscope, accelerometer, two speakers, dual analog sticks on either side, and a camera. It looks as if you can also attach a nunchuk attachment and other Wii accessories and controllers — Wii remote, Balance Board, and so on — work with the system. Wii games will also be compatible with Wii U.
The controller can be used independently of the system. In other words, one person could watch TV (say, a parent) while someone else plays a game exclusively on the controller. In one demonstration, the Balance Board is used to weigh someone with the results being displayed on the controller’s screen, not the TV. It’s not, however, developed to be a portable gaming machine, even though it seems like one in some regards.
The system is HD capable — a very-nice looking Zelda game was shown along with third-party games, many of which had nice graphics. There were other games showed — namely, a Wii Sports game — that looked like they wouldn’t be out of place on the Wii, which sends a confusing message about the system’s capabilities.
The system will be available next year. Pricing was, unsurprisingly, not announced.
Nintendo announced their next version of Wii today at the E3 expo today. I have to say, I’m EXTREMELY disappointed in what they have to offer. I don’t even own a Wii right now, but I was watching vigorously because I thought Nintendo was going to release a system that would make Microsoft and Sony scramble to release their next gaming systems ahead of schedule. Doesn’t look like that’s going to happen. From my understanding, the Wii U is a 6.2″ controller that basically is an add-on for the original Nintendo Wii. The president of Nintendo, Satoru Iwata, said “Please understand that it was not designed to be a portable gaming machine, even though it shares some characteristics. The images displayed on the new controller are generated only by Wii U.” Users must have the Wii if they want the Wii U. To me, this is basically like Microsoft saying “Ohh, look at us! We released the Kinect and we’re now calling the XBOX 360 Slim with Kinect the XBOX 720!” No, Microsoft didn’t do this. So to all who think this is the Wii 2, I hate to be the one to break it to you, this is simply just an add-on to the Wii; like the Kinect is for the XBOX 360.
Sony and Microsoft have nothing to worry about. When they release their next gaming counsel, the Nintendo Wii will still be trailing behind. This is simply a ploy by Nintendo to extend the Wii’s life; similar to what Microsoft and Sony did with their current systems.