© 2012 Nintendo
Teaches: A game console from Nintendo
Tagged for: Camera, Library Videogames, Classics, Holiday
Here's what you need to know about the Wii U game console and controller. The console (the box that connects to your HD TV) is backward compatible with both your existing controllers, and your existing Wii software. For the first time, this is a completely HD, 16:9 system that pl...
Here's what you need to know about the Wii U game console and controller. The console (the box that connects to your HD TV) is backward compatible with both your existing controllers, and your existing Wii software. For the first time, this is a completely HD, 16:9 system that plugs into your TV with the now standard HDMI cable, just like the current PS3 and Xbox. Goodbye cathode ray tubes, hello Mario in HD. The innovative new controller, called the Wii U GamePad, acts like a traditional Wii controller, with motion sensitivity and vibration feedback. But for the first time, it has rechargeable batteries (no more AAs), it's own charger, a front-facing camera and a 6.2-inch clear color screen that looks and feels like a large Nintendo DS screen. A DS-like stylus slides into a slot in the back -- like the DS this is not a capacitive screen. Inside, you'll find an accelerometer, gyroscope and geomagnetic sensor); on the outside a front-facing camera, a microphone, stereo speakers, rumble features, a sensor bar and support for Near Field Communication (NFC) functionality. The controller is powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. The whole thing feels surprisingly light, and there are two triggers and full thumb controls for each hand. No Nunchuk needed, no extra wires. The Wii U console uses a sensor bar, just like the Wii, and it can detect two Wii U GamePads and up to four Wii Remotes, as well as existing accessories such as the Nunchuk, Classic Controller and the Wii Balance Board. So that's a total of six people playing the same game, at once. New software additions include Miiverse, a new network communication system that lets players from around the world share experiences with their Mii avatars. But the big feature is the TV Remote function. The Wii U Gamepad has "old fashioned" infrared communication, and can be quickly programmed to take over every existing remote in your living room, including your cable box and TV. You can then plug in any external hard drive into one of the USB ports, and record movies or other TV content, using the Wii TV software. No subscriptions needed. Wii U is sold in two configurations -- 8 GB for $300 and 32 MB for $350. The more expensive package includes Nintendoland, a suite of amazingly fun games that highlight the best features of the Wii U. If you get a Wii U, you have to get Nintendoland. We've now lived a month with the Wii U. It's convinced us that it brings enough innovation and open-ended potential to survive in the tablet age, despite having games that cost the same as 50 or 60 apps.