Nintendo Officially Announces New Console

June 7, 2011


Today at E3 Nintendo announced the 2012 release of its next generation console, the Wii U (great job knocking the 'an even worse name than I expected' ball out of the park, guys). The system will boast controllers with 6.2" high-res touchscreens (and a gyroscope, accelerometer, microphone, camera, stylus, buttons, flashlight, corkscrew, etc.), and that's about it. Oh, and HD graphics. Hear that? Of course not, because my excited alarm isn't going off.

The Wii successor's touchscreen controller can display anything: exactly what's on the TV screen, the same action but with a different camera view, or something else entirely. Since the controller also employs motion sensors, you can change the viewing angle or your aim on the touchscreen by moving your hands or your whole body. You can use the touchscreen as a controller, but since the device also boasts the same full range of buttons and joysticks as a standard gamepad, you don't have to.

As Link duked it out with a giant hairy spider on the TV screen, we could see all sorts of secondary info on the controller screen: the dungeon map, Link's health bar, the items he was carrying. These icons no longer cluttered up the TV screen and got in the way of the high-definition visuals. The cool part was this: With one tap of an icon on the touchscreen, the images flipped. Suddenly, seamlessly, the game was running on the touchscreen and the map, etc., was on the television.

Wow, that sounds...questionable. Especially after rumors the console was gonna blow my socks off. "And?" I'm wearing flip-flops. No word on price, but whatever it is I'm gonna have a hard time justifying buying one just to play whatever new Zeldas they release. Which, my friend, is where you come in. You get one, then I'll borrow it for a week whenever a new Zelda drops and pay you in not punches. Your face agrees it's really a great deal.

Hit the jump for the release trailer and demo in case you weren't sure if you'd be able to color pictures or play Othello using the controller (SPOILER: yes to both!).

Hands-On: With Wii U's Touchscreen Controller, Nintendo Could Radically Change Games [wired]

Thanks to Evil Ares, chris, Sarah and ninja gaydan (I'm digging the chaps, bro), who all agree the Dreamcast was way ahead of its time.

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