Monday, 12 November 2012

Nintendo Hopes Its New Wii Will Appeal To U

The new Wii U console could let Nintendo shrug off its casual gamer image and enhance its appeal among core players.

The touchscreen is being used as the primary controller
Handheld device as primary device

The handheld device can be used as the primary controller
Nintendo's Wii U GamePad and console
Nintendo aims to recapture the core gamer market with its new Wii U console

Nintendo is gearing up to launch its new Wii U video games console - and aims to address the shortcomings of the original device.

The Wii U is the first entry in the eighth generation of video game home consoles and delivers HD graphics and a 6.2-inch touchscreen controller.

Nintendo deliberately targeted the casual market with its original Wii.

Game designer and producer Shigero Miyamoto, the man behind the Mario and Zelda games, admitted this decision meant the Wii was not seen as a direct competitor to its Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 rivals.
The Wii had inferior graphics, but the new Wii U pushes the resolution up to 1020p on high definition TVs and monitors which support this display.

But the most radical innovation is the tablet-style controller, an attempt to mix traditional console gaming with the ever-more-popular casual touchscreen gaming of iPads and other tablets.

Wii U GamePad
The Wii U can be used with a big HD screen - and its own inbuilt screen
The controller, which features its own screen, can be used either to enhance the big screen gaming experience or as a standalone handheld device.

"What we're layering on are all types of new unique experiences," said Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime.

"Sure you'll be able to use the touchpad just from a touch perspective, but there will be a lot more activity that we'll be able to bring.

"For example, this device has near-field communication technology. So that brings a whole new level of interaction and different things that can be done beyond what you can do today with a tablet.
"But really the key part of this is that it's all one integrated system. So what you can do on the big screen and what you can do on the smaller screen.

"It's all connected, versus right now those are very separate experiences that aren't talking to each other."
Over the summer at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, Nintendo illustrated how New Super Mario Bros. U could be played on either a TV or the touchscreen controller.

Wii U (Nintendo)

The Wii U lets up to five people play together (Nintendo)
The latest instalment in the brick-smashing, coin-collecting franchise lets up to four people play simultaneously with traditional controllers, while another can join in with the touchscreen controller to jab enemies and build platforms.

New Super Mario Bros. U and another title called NintendoLand demonstrate what Nintendo calls "asymmetric gameplay" - where a group of people playing together are having very different play experiences on a single game.

And after taking on board criticism of the original Wii's awkward online system, Nintendo has boosted the new console's connected capabilities.

"The system will know when you're playing with your user account - everything that you've played in the past, what your preferences are," said Mr Fils-Aime.

"So it will truly be an experience unique to you. Versus if your wife or your children want different experiences, they really are tailored for each particular consumer.

The Wii U is scheduled to be released on Saturday in North America, November 30 in Europe and Australia, and December 8 in Japan.

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