Nintendo Wii U: What to Expect
July 20, 2012 | Justine Kelly
Gamers, get ready! Nintendo's newest gaming console, the Wii U, is scheduled to hit shelves this coming November. As Wii's successor, Wii U comes with all the same features; however, enhancements to the new console should make it a n0-brainer for the 2012 holiday season.
Wii U will offer a new controller, called the "GamePad," with a 6.2-inch LCD touchscreen that promises to eclipse traditional controller displays. The GamePad will incorporate both traditional analog sticks and touchscreen capability for a more advanced handheld gaming experience. It will also allows users to continue gaming when the TV is turned off, by viewing the game on the controller's high resolution display. GamePad specs also include motion control, camera, microphone, speakers, rumble features and a sensor bar.
In addition to the advanced controller, Wii U will deliver a variety of non-gaming features that will enhance the console's overall appeal. The Wii U will come with Miiverse, a network communication system that will connect gamers all over the world in international competition; video chatting and Internet browsing; and expanded home video entertainment options. Nintendo is currently negotiating agreements with Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon and YouTube to develop an integrated second screen for movies,videos and TV shows.
Nintendo is so confident in the Wii U's performance, they welcomed reviewers to try it out. In the past, gamers have noted that the Wii lagged behind other consoles in power and speed. The Wii U promises to answer this objection, and most reviewers responded positively to the unit. Jeremiah Slaczka of Game Informer was impressed. He said, "[The Wii U] is definitely more powerful than Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3."
The Wii U will have faster processing speed and top-notch graphics; however the question remains: will it convert hard-core gamers? By developing the Wii U with more advanced hardware, Nintendo is betting the answer is yes.
Current price estimate: under $400. Consider adding the Wii U to your home entertainment setup in time for the holidays.