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The Nintendo Wii U - our first summary

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The Nintendo Wii U - our first summary

The Wii U concept has been under criticism and analysis since its introduction at last year’s E3 conference. Today Nintendo president Satoru Iwata gave a presentation on the Wii U, putting some rumours to rest, and showing us the basic premise behind the console. Nintendo’s new system is bringing in the next generation of home game consoles with style. The Wii U is no longer just a game console, but a full entertainment system, allowing web browsing, message board access, many new ways to play games and much more.

The concept.
Nintendo intend to expand on their idea of connecting people and families together with the Wii. The Wii U will allow you to connect with every other Wii U user across the world instantly, both in and out of game. Even single player games with no online play available will have online interaction, as shown here.
This makes for new levels of player help and support (as they showed us with their potentially head-wrecking video) and gives an unheard of level of community available through the console itself. This will be brought to us through the Miiverse.

The Miiverse.
This is going to be Nintendo’s online world, shown to us through the Nintendo Network. The first thing you’ll see when you launch the Wii U, is what Nintendo have dubbed the “Mii Wara Wara”. Wara-wara is a Japanese term for a bustling gathering of people, and this adequately describes the potential of this Wii U main screen:
This screen shows a selection of games, mostly games that you own, but some you don’t, and what people are saying about them. This brings in the connectivity and community aspect, and it all relates to the message board system that Nintendo will be using.

The hardware.
Little has been said so far about the actual Wii U’s hardware and capabilities, Nintendo have mostly been commenting on what they’ve named the “Wii U Game Pad”. Named from recollection of what players referred to the NES controller as, the Wii U Game Pad looks to revolutionise the way game consoles are treated in the home. The controller has been redesigned since last year, and is confirmed to be the same as the image that leaked a few months back.
Nintendo have reshaped the back of the controller for more comfort, as well as featured an NFC reader/writer (future applications are unconfirmed), a TV control button (this allows you to use the Wii U Game Pad as a remote control for your TV, even while the Wii U is off), a touch screen, motion and gyro sensors and clickable analogue sticks in the new design. Nintendo have also shown us the “Wii U Pro Controller”, similar to the Wii Classic controller, which gives a little more of a classic feel to games.

The Wii U Game Pad is designed to provide “symmetric diversity in gameplay” to the Wii U system. In more simple terms, this means that we’ll be able to use both screens in new ways while playing games. For example, Nintendo show a woman holding a Wii Remote, as if playing golf, standing over the Wii U Game Pad. On the Game Pad screen there is a golf ball and the ground below. As the woman swings, the ball is knocked from the Game Pad screen and onto the TV screen. This is just an example of the ways that Nintendo intend to bring new ways to play games into our homes.

So, basically, Nintendo intend on revolutionising the way games are played at home with the Wii U, by adding a massive sense of community to the system. This on top of the speculation for the upcoming game library will leave a pretty big impact for the first of a generation.

The rumours.
Now on to something we all love to read about: RUMOURS! With Nintendo’s full press conference not due ‘til Tuesday (5pm GMT), we still have a lot of speculating and guesswork to do. I’ve browsed this list and taken what I see to be some of the more important rumours worth mentioning, and here they are!
  • Wii U to support 720p as "sweet spot" resolution with tablet controller use, tablet controller screen to handle 480p, simpler games to handle 1080p at ease. – This kind of highlights the fact that the Wii is going to have to have a beastly GPU to be able to send images to the TV and the Game Pad, and if 720p is a sweet spot, I’ll be happy.
  • Nintendo to allow select GameCube titles to "be downloaded from WiiWare" onto Wii U, comes from NintendoGal interview with Amber McCollom, E&T director at NoA. – This really tickles my fancy, the GameCube is one of my favourite consoles and it had some amazing titles that would be so much fun, especially if they upscaled them to HD!
  • EA and Valve competing to become "main service" for Wii U's online system. – This I highly doubt, I can’t see Nintendo letting anyone else handle their online system, but it would be nice to see some synchronisation with Valve.
  • Final Fantasy XV to be officially announced for Wii U. – I only recently got to play FFXIII, and I must say I’m a fan, so I’d love to see how Square Enix would handle FFXV with the Wii U’s hardware.
  • Nintendo considering name change for Wii U, having trouble conveying message to consumers. – This has since been debunked, it will remain the Wii U, unfortunately.
  • Anonymous Japanese source claims Wii U to launch at $299, Nintendo has no plans to announce Wii U price at E3 2012. – This is a joyous piece of speculation, and considering the PS3’s launch price was about double that in Euro, I’d love to see a cheap starting price for the Wii U.
  • Nintendo tweaking dev kits to make room for Unreal Engine 4. – Just the thought that the Wii U will be able to run this engine makes me happy. Current generation consoles can’t fully run the Unreal Engine 3, so this looks damn well promising.
  • Wii U tablet controller camera to feature facial recognition, movie recording, motion tracking (head/eyes), video chat, to support DRC camera. – This has been pretty much confirmed, as well as the ability to use the controller as a webcam for video chats!
  • Wii U to come packed-in with free Wiimote, tablet controller to possibly have capacitive touch screen, according to Nintendo patent. – The Game Pad has been confirmed to have a touch screen, and I can’t see any reason for them not to include a Wiimote, too.
  • Wii U to feature cloud storage for save games and profile data, comes via system update in 2013, tied to Nintendo Network profile, to be integrated into Wii U channels, joint development between Mozy Inc. and Nintendo. – This also seems quite likely, considering the vast application of the Miiverse.
  • Nintendo to show Star Fox, F-Zero, Smash Bros. at E3 2012, claims source from Gaming Unwrapped. – While Smash Bros. wouldn’t be all too surprising, I’m sure I’m not the only one who’d love to see F-Zero or Star Fox in HD.

Finally, here are some third-party games speculated for the Wii U, none are confirmed as of yet.
GTA V, Dead Space 3, Black Ops 2, Metroid (on Unreal Engine 3), Splinter Cell, F2P game from Ubisoft (Ghost Recon online?), Castlevania, Kingdom Hearts HD, Final Fantasy XV.

So I think I’ve made myself apparent enough as a Nintendo fanboy here, but I hope I do seem fair in saying that this could be another revolution from Nintendo, though we really can’t tell until the system has had at least a few months on the market. What do you guys think? Will you buy the Wii U, or wait for Sony or Microsoft’s next-gen hardware?
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iWriteBoutStuff is offline  
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Looks awesome! Going to buy it as soon as possible, thanks for the summary.
Mrxshamsi is offline  

e3, nintendo, wii u

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