Nintendo Announces Wii U Controller/Console, Strong 3DS Support at E3 Conference

Confusion abounds as Nintendo states a 2012 release date for their new console.

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Nintendo doesn't follow the curve. In fact, they try and take it straight on, so maybe that explains the unorthodox and terribly confusing demonstration of Nintendo's newly announced console, the Wii U. The announcement came onstage from president and chief operating officer Reggie Fils-Aime who proceeded to introduce a video montage of a controller...

... and only a controller. The console itself was never mentioned, and the proof-of-concept video promo only showed Wii titles. While the Wii U will be backwards compatible, it will have a slate of its own games, an additional promo showing off third party support with titles like Ninja Gaiden 3, Dirt, and Darksiders II.

wiiucontrolller.pngIt left more questions than answers, the Wii U even using the traditional WiiMote. It took a number of blogs to finally clear up some of the confusion, blowing up a still used in the presentation to actually see the console itself, not its touch screen focused controller. No disc format was stated, no price was stated, just that it has a tremendously bulky controller with a six-inch touch screen and Wii-like buttons.

Beyond the confusion, the Wii U is all about "Wii" as a whole, and "U," sort of like the marketing people took their naming tips from a teenager obsessed with text messages. The Wii U controller serves as an extension of the console itself, able to continue gaming off of the TV, but will not be portable. It must be near the main unit itself. Video chat and web surfing make the controller into a fancy tablet, which continues to beg the question of how much a 1080p capable tablet unit will cost.

Elsewhere, the presentation was dominated by the 3DS, this aside from an introduction focused on a Zelda anniversary milestone of 25 years. Nintendo is pushing first-party titles on their freshly minted handheld, franchises like Mario, Star Fox, Kid Icarus, and a surprising return of Luigi's Mansion. Thankfully, the 3DS doesn't connect to a hard wired console or use a WiiMote or else it could have been a real disaster.

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Matt Paprocki is a 13-year veteran of the video game, movie, and home media scene. He has written thousands of reviews, has been published on a variety of websites, and contributes his thoughts daily on a diverse range of topics.

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