Meet the Nintendo Wii U console, coming 2012

Meet the Nintendo Wii U console, coming 2012

Summary: More details and photos on the newly announced Nintendo Wii U console. But will it be able to follow in the foot steps of the Wii, which sold more than 86 million units worldwide and expanded the gaming market?


Meet the Nintendo Wii U, the much anticipated successor to the popular Nintendo Wii. But will it be able to follow in the foot steps of the Wii, which sold more than 86 million units worldwide and expanded the gaming market?

The new console's name, Wii U, combines the contradictions built into this iteration: it is both a console for everyone and just for you, according to Reggie Fils-Aime, CEO of Nintendo of America. One of the main criticism of the Wii is that its games only appeal to casual gamers, so the mission this time around is to go "deeper and wider" -- offer deeper, more immersive experiences and appeal to an even broader user base (read: hardcore gamers). Of course, the new interactive experiences couldn't exist without the hardware to support them, which brings us to the new Wii U.

The new Wii U will support HD graphics in 1080p, run on IBM's Power-based multi-core processor and embedded DRAM, feature an AV Multi Out connector and can hook up to your television via HDMI or S-video cables. According to the press release, the system is also backward compatible and can play all Wii games and use all Wii accessories. Because the console itself wasn't demoed on stage at E3, details on the actual box are limited to the specs below:

  • Size: Approximately 1.8 inches tall, 6.8 inches wide and 10.5 inches long.
  • Other Controls: Up to four Wii Remote™ (or Wii Remote Plus) controllers can be connected at once. The new console supports all Wii™ controllers and input devices, including the Nunchuk™ controller, Classic ControllerTM, Classic Controller ProTM and Wii Balance Board™.
  • Media: A single self-loading media bay will play 12-centimeter proprietary high-density optical discs for the new console, as well as 12-centimeter Wii optical discs.
  • Video Output: Supports 1080p, 1080i, 720p, 480p and 480i. Compatible cables include HDMI, component, S-video and composite.
  • Audio Output: Uses AV Multi Out connector. Six-channel PCM linear output through HDMI.
  • Storage: The console will have internal flash memory, as well as the option to expand its memory using either an SD memory card or an external USB hard disk drive.
  • CPU: IBM Power®-based multi-core microprocessor.
  • Other: Four USB 2.0 connector slots are included. The new console is backward compatible with Wii games and Wii accessories.

According to Nintendo's legendary game designer and Senior Managing Director Shigeru Miyamoto, he envisions the Wii U "to become a more fulfilling device" in living rooms." That is why the controller can continue games to free up the television for other entertainment needs, and handle video chats on the same device. (More details and photos of the Wii U controller are available here.)

Don't be looking for this console in stores this holiday season as it won't launch until some time in 2012.

[Source: IwataAsks, Nintendo Network at E3, IBM's press release via NintendoWorldReport]

Related ZDNet Coverage:

  • Nintendo announces Wii U controller for new console, coming in 2012 [Updated]
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  • Nintendo unveils the Wii U
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  • Image Gallery: Hands-on with Wii U at E3 2011
  • Topic: IBM

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    • Will it still play gamecube supermario sunshine?

      Will it still have control ports for gamecube controllers? There is no more compelling game than super mario sunshine for the wii, and it's not even "for" the wii.
    • RE: Meet the Nintendo Wii U console, coming 2012

      Need more info on the media/streaming abilities so it can become the centre of your experience.

      Needs NetFlix, BBC iPlayer type of players, and ability to connect an external hard disk.

      I feel the 'pad' type controllers are a huge distraction, and Nintendo have got it badly wrong here, as they will add hugely to the cost, and provide little to the overall experience - people have this centres on their phone - increasingly iPhone and Android.

      All the Wii really neeeded was

      - Full 1080p HD via HDMI
      - Better Media handling/streaming
      - Ability to play DVD's
      - More grunt to compete with PS3/XBox360 demanding games like Halo/COD etc
      • RE: Meet the Nintendo Wii U console, coming 2012

        @neil.postlethwaite@... I'm actually quite excited about the new controllers and can see all sorts of unique possibilities. Also, the Wii already has Netflix. It's kind of silly to think the Wii U wouldn't.
    • Damn! I Want it now!

      Bah.. Now to sell my Wii before gamestop lowers its trade value to 20$ like they do every time a new console is announced.. Then place a pre order even though I don't really want this -_-

      Damn you Nintendo for tapping into my inner child!

      Also anyone know if there's anywhere that you can pre order from? Amazon doesn't have it up yet and the only site I saw that has some sort of recognition for pre orders is but even there you still can't pre order.
    • Really?

      So they basically caught up with PS3 and 360. Actually, they are still behind considering that it doesn't come with a hard drive.
    • too early

      I'm going to guess (hope) that the reason Nintendo didn't reveal the console itself is because they haven't set the design yet. You can already get netflix on the wii. The wii already has a hard-drive (albiet rather small).

      I'm guessing we'll see another announcement down the line on the guts of the console. Keep dribbling out the details to keep us drooling over their new machine.
      awkward hug
    • Still no BluRay?

      For those of us still not on the Bluray bandwagon, having this capability could put it over the top as a must-purchase. It would for me.
    • RE: Meet the Nintendo Wii U console, coming 2012

      Well unlike with the Wii, they [Nintendo] better come up with a way to transfer my Shopping Channel account with my Points and purchases. I can't purchase a black Wii because there currently is no way to do this.