Wii U coming soon to a living room near you
// September 20th, 2012 // Gaming
The Wii U, Nintendo’s next generation game console, will appear in the United States on 11/18/12 and on 11/30/12 in Europe. It has been six years since Nintendo has introduced a new Wii console. The Wii U will come in two configurations: a $300 “Basic Set” and a $350 “Deluxe Edition” which includes all the Basic Set gear plus a copy of NintendoLand, a GamePad charging center, and a GamePad and console storage stand. The system will be backward compatible existing Wii games.
Under the hood, the Wii U is rock solid with processing power, driven by three Power PC cores, estimated to be as much as 50% higher than Sony’s PlayStation 3. Nintendo emphasizes that the game will be capable of running Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 (which will be made available for the new console) at full 1080p HD at 60 frames per second. We have to point out though, that some developers are countering these claims and stating that their CPU intensive game scenes are lagging a bit.
The Basic Set will have 8GB of on-board Flash memory. The Deluxe Edition will come with 32GB of on-board Flash memory.
The device has four USB ports (two in front and two in back) and will allow additional storage capacity through SD storage. It features 801.11 b/g/n wireless Internet connectivity and will include Nintendo TVii to provide access to online video services such as Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime video and more.
What will not included with the Base nor Deluxe package is a Wii Remote and Nanchuk. Believing that Wii customers already own these backward compatible devices, they were left out in order to cut costs (profit margins take a hit when an expensive item, such as the new GamePad, are included, forcing Nintendo to cut costs wherever they can).
The innovative wireless Wii U GamePad is a cross between a standard game controller and a tablet. The GamePad will have a 6.2” 845×480 resolution touchscreen display (not capacitive multitouch) that will be used to display secondary graphics for display of game content such as maps or bag contents. The Wii U will support up to two GamePads attached to the console unit. The device will provide 3-5 hours of play time off of a 2 ½ hour charge cycle. The GamePad includes a front-facing VGA camera, microphone, stereo speakers, a headphone jack, and an infrared transmitter that allows the GamePad to act as a universal TV remote. In addition to controlling games, the GamePad can be used as a web browser. The GamePad will also include NFC allowing for wireless payments.
The timing of the console release could not be better. The PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 are six and seven years old respectively. Both will eventually have secondary displays in their game controller but Nintendo has beaten them to the punch. Regardless, game availability will determine the rate of success the Wii U experiences.
“We feel confident that Nintendo will develop its own compelling software that will drive initial sales; however, any long-term success will come from third-party developers creating unique and compelling content for the Wii U. Simply ‘porting” over existing Xbox 360 titles and slapping on some exclusive Wii U features will not cut it.”
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