Café closed: Nintendo debuts WiiU at E3 presser

Tuesday, 7 June 2011 17:46 GMT By Johnny Cullen

Nintendo’s lifted the veil of its brand new console in Los Angeles this evening, a machine with a tablet-based controller known as WiiU.

WiiU

Get full hands-on impressions and photos of play-testing here.

WiiU has a tablet-style controller. The console itself wasn’t shown today.

It’ll launch in 2012.

Super Smash Bros in development for WiiU as well as 3DS.

Major third-party support confirmed, including THQ, Warner, 2K and more.

Darksiders II, Batman: Arkham City, Ninja Gaiden III, Tekken, DiRT and Lego City Stories all coming to WiiU.

The tablet controller has a 6.2 inch screen on a 16×9 touch screen, D-pad, standard Nintendo A/B/X/Y buttons, L/R buttons & ZL/ZR buttons, an accelerometer, gyro sensor, rumble support, camera, mic, sensor and touch pen.

WiiU will be backwards compatible with Wii accessories such as the balance board, Wii Zapper, Classic Controller & its pro iteration and the nunchuk.

It can also display a video output of up to 1080p, comes with four USB ports and has flash memory, although can be expanded upon with SD card and external USB drives. It’ll also use 12cm high density optical discs, but can use the 12cm optical discs for Wii games.

It’ll be powered by a multi-core processor from IBM’s Power series.

The controller shown was a tablet-like device. You can switch your games from TV to the handheld, draw on it and play only on the controller, with a game of Reversi was shown as an example for the latter.

A new Zelda was seen with vastly superior graphics to Wii, with all games apparently playable on the handheld.

It was not designed to be a portable gaming machine, Iwata warned, but It can be used without the need for a TV at all.

It’s possible to play games with both the controller and the TV screen.

“Our vision of the new console will include numerous ways to play,” said Shigeru Miyamoto.

Nintendo confirms Smash Bros for WiiU, teases experiences for E3 showfloor

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata confirmed that a new Smash Bros. game is to be developed for WiiU, as well as 3DS. The two versions will work together.

WiiU software will be on display at E3 this week. “Eight different interactive experiences” will be at the show. They’re not games, but rather examples of what the system can do.

Nintendo America president Reggie Fils-Aime showed one of those experiences. It featured a bird flying and landing on a cherry tree, flying off with blossom over gardens and lakes. It dropped the flower into water before a fish leapt out to grab it.

WiiU’s formal announcement, as well as
an example of how it works.

New Super Mario Bros. Mii was confirmed as one of the experiences, as was something called Shieldpose. You have to move the controller around to stop pirates shooting arrows at you.

Another was Chase Me, which is different if you use either Wii or WiiU. A spaceship shooter was also seen.

One game was confirmed, however: Lego City Stories is being made with TT and Warner. It’s an open world thing exclusive to Wii U and 3DS.

Strong third-party support announced, Darksiders II and more coming to WiiU

Third-parties then came out to talk about the new machine. EA Sports president Peter Moore, Vicarious Visions’ Karthik Bala, THQ core boss Danny Bilson, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guilemot, Warner Interactive head Martin Tremblay, 5th Cell’s Jeremiah Slackza, Irrational’s Ken Levine, Junction Point’s Warren Spector and EA Games boss Frank Gibeau all turned up for the party in a video.

Darksiders II, Tekken, Batman Arkham City, Assassin’s Creed and Ghost Recon Online were all confirmed for the machine.

Darksiders II was shown in action on the new console, looking absolutely fantastic. Codemasters’ DiRT was also shown as was Gearbox’s Aliens: Colonial Marines. Ghost Recon, 4A’s Metro: Last Light, Tekken (character customisation and all) and Tecmo Koei’s Ninja Gaiden 3 were all demoed.

Ubisoft announced after the press conference that as well as Ghost Recon and Assassin’s Creed, it was bringing Rabbids to WiiU. A “revolutionary first person shooter for the hardcore audience” and a casual multi-sports title were also confirmed from the publisher, both of which were new IPs.

Iwata said he was pleased so many developers were on board with the console, before introducing one final guest: EA CEO John Riccitiello.

He described WiiU as a “stunning breakthrough in gameplay technology”. Madden was shown on the screen, and Battlefield was seen, as was FIFA, Need for Speed and Harry Potter.

“We’re changing games from things that you buy to a place that you go,” he said. He described the EA-Nintendo partnership as “unprecedented”.

Reggie closed out by saying that all Nintendo’s current platforms represent “innovation,” saying DS, Wii and 3DS have changed gaming, and that WiiU will do the same.

“Our presentation this morning is just the beginning,” Reggie said.

You can find one of the first impressions in the world of WiiU, provided by Keza MacDonald, along with hardware shots from LA here.

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