Wii U "will launch in 2012, after April 1st," reveals Nintendo of America president

Summary:Nintendo of America President and COO Reggie Fils-Aime clarifies Wii U capabilities and even Nintendo's 3D-less strategy, in a revealing interview with Forbes.

It looks like the new Nintendo Wii U console "will launch in 2012" but not until "after April 1st", as Nintendo of America President and Chief Operating Officer told Forbes' David M. Ewalt yesterday.

In the interview, Fils-Aime reiterated that while the Wii U controller looks and feels like a hybrid tablet and handheld gamer like the DS, it is not a stand-alone device because controller relies on the console box to process and render content. In fact, the console must be turned on for the controller to work, even when it is displaying digital content like photos, videos and games on its touchscreen (rather than on the television).

As long as the content "originate off the console" (via an app), the Wii U can "theoretically" stream Netflix movies and even TV shows directly to the controller, according to Fils-Aime.

Other topics he addressed include:

  • Wii games will be backward compatible on the Wii U (as will Wii accessories as I reported back in June)
  • Wii U's online service will be a more "flexible system" that gives third-party publishers more autonomy/control
  • New Smash Brothers will feature cross-platform game-play between the Wii U and 3DS
  • Wii U will not be bringing 3D to console gaming just yet because:

Right now the TV’s that offer that… I would argue they’re overpriced.. and a fairly small screen. There may come a time when 3D without glasses becomes appropriate for console, but we don’t see that in the near future.

Personally, I'm glad to hear 3D gaming won't be coming to the Wii U soon (3D effects are hard on my bespectacled eyes), but will 3DTVs be so ubiquitous that by next year Nintendo will be missing the boat on yet another new technology, just like the lack of HD graphics on the original Wii? Nintendo has never been about out-speccing its competitors but will this 3D-less strategy come back to bite the company?

Most importantly, would consumers be willing to wait for the Wii U when there are other similar technologies like OnLive and the AppleTV+iOS 5 gaming platforms available today?

[Source: Forbes via Engadget]

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Topics: iPad, Apps, Tablets

About

Gloria Sin is a New York-based freelance journalist who writes about the tech toys that you can't live without for ZDNet. She has little patience for poorly designed user experiences, and is not afraid of opening the guts of her own machines for repair or hacking her gadgets for new uses.She has written for FastCompany.com, Popular Scienc... Full Bio

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