E3 2011: Nintendo Announces Wii U with Tablet Controller

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Wii UNintendo announced the successor to the Wii today, officially called the “Wii U”. The defining feature of the Wii U will be the tablet-like controller that features a 6.2-inch touchscreen.

Details are incomplete, but Nintendo did demonstrate the Wii U controller’s tablet capabilities, which include the ability to swap gameplay from a television to the controller seemlessly, freeing up the television for others to watch.

Nintendo reps stressed that the Wii U is not a portable gaming system, but rather an extension of their newest console that was not revealed. When played, the Wii U controller screen can add different perspectives and interact with the game. For example, the Wii U controller can be placed on the ground and act as a virtual tee for a golf game, requiring users to swing a Wiimote over head like a club to drive the ball.

Wii UThe Wii U controller will feature typical controller and tablet elements. In addition to the touchscreen, that includes a microphone, accelerometer, gyroscope, rumble pad, camera, D-pad, trigger buttons, and shoulder buttons.

The Wii U controller will also offer videochat, web browser, and the ability to stream images and swipe content from the controller to an HDTV.

Nintendo reps claim streaming is wireless with no latency, but did not mention which networking technologies the Wii U will support.

A video demonstration shown at E3 showed support for a stylus, but there is no word on whether it was active or passive.

There is no price or release date for the Wii U yet, but Nintendo will have Wii U tech demos on the E3 show floor. The team at TabletPCReview is here and we will be sure to get hands on time with the demos.

TabletPCReview sister site DesktopReview has even more details on the Wii U.

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