Wii U - New Games Console for 2012
The Wii U is the new home games console from Nintendo. We're expecting it to be released in 2012 and we're rather looking forward to it!
The Wii U is Coming!
The Wii U is the next generation games console from Nintendo. It will connect to the TV and also have a hand-held controller with a screen. The Wii U will be the next all round family games and entertainment console.
We've had a Nintendo Wii since it was first released. And we still use it regularly. Now our kids are getting old enough to play games and they are enjoying it too.
From what we know now, I think it's pretty likely that the Wii U will be our main family Christmas gift in 2012 if it is available in time.
Let's take a look at what we know about the Wii U.
Nintendo Wii U
Wii U Controller with Touchscreen
The Wii U Controller is the most noticeable new feature of the Nintendo Wii U.
The hand-held has a touchscreen on it. This allows some really different features to what we have been used to:
- Custom controls can be displayed on the console creating a custom gamepad for any game.
- Different game details can be displayed on the controller to what you see on the big screen.
Nintendo Wii U Trailer
Play Games using the Wii U Controller Screen
Yes, that's right. The handheld until can act as a remote display. (You can't take it out of range of the Wii U console.) I am going to find this so useful! I like to play games in the evening but my partner is often using the TV screen. What a cool idea.
And that's not all!
- You will be able to play games using the screen on the controller if the big screen is in use.
With Wii U Controller
Wii U Stylus Pen
The Wii U also has a stylus pen that can be used for a different kind of input. One of the applications shown in the Wii U trailer is a drawing studio where you can use to the Wii U controller as a graphics tablet. (Rather like the uDraw accessory for the original Nintendo Wii but built in.)
Wii U HD and Graphics
Another key feature of the Nintendo Wii U is HD. Lack of HD on the Nintendo Wii does limit the in game graphics. HD with much improved hardware means some awesome graphics are possible on the Nintendo Wii U.
Real-time rendering of graphics allows for a lot more flexibility in coping with dynamic factors like lighting. This is much more impressive that precanned HD clips and allows for a really cinematic experience in the game.
I'm looking forward to wandering round some amazing games.
Wii U Zelda HD Tech Demo
Nintendo Wii U Bundles
Mario Kart, Zelda?
I'm expecting that there will be a number of Wii U bundles available at launch where you buy the console plus a game or a few games and additional controllers. The bundles are usually the cheapest way to get a initial console set up.
I know my older son will be after a Super Mario or Mario Kart bundle. He thinks Super Mario is brilliant. He'll probably be beating his Mum round the track by then. I guess I should be proud!
I love my RPGs so I'm hoping for a Zelda bundle. Ninja Gaiden 3 is more my partner's style. We'll have a look at the options and work out the best way to keep everyone happy.
Does the Wii U Work with Existing Controllers?
I really like my Wii Balance Board so I was pleased to find out that it will be supported by the Wii U - there's even a trailer that does the Wii U controller being used with the Wii balance board. I'm hoping for a new Wii Fit game that uses the awesome graphics. I'd like to be able to go running in some gorgeous locations please Nintendo!
Nintendo have said that the Wii U will be compatible with existing controllers (good, we have a few!) But if you want the new features then you'll need the Will U controller. It looks like you'll be able to use multiple Wii U controllers (there was a rumor that only one would work.)
Does the Wii U Work with Existing Games?
Yes, the Wii U will play existing Nintendo Wii games. This is a relief for us as our boys are just getting into playing games and we don't want to have to wait until the Wii U comes out to buy games suitable for them.
We've just bought Nickelodeon Fit and it's absolutely superb. My 5 year old loves soaring like a condor with Diego. If you're worried that computer games will lead to your kids being inactive then games like this are ideal.
Wii U Release Date
When will the Wii U be available?
When will the Wii U be available? We'd love to know the release date, but Nintendo haven't told us yet. They have previewed the technology so we know the Wii U is quite far along in it's development and that if things go smoothly we should expect to see in it 2012 in time for Christmas. But we'll just have to wait for official news I'm afraid.
Wii U Price
How much will the Wii U cost?
Nintendo have not yet set the Wii U price so we don't know how much it will cost. I can't see it coming in under $300 and you're probably going to want a bundle with some new Wii U games. And maybe new accessories. So if you're saving up for a Wii U it's best to aim for $400-$500.
Does this seem like a lot of money for a games machine? Well it's likely to remain current for few years. The previous Nintendo will have had 6 years as the current Nintendo home games console. We've certainly had our money's worth and I'm sure that now we have two boys (they'll be 4 and 6 by Christmas 2012) we'll get even more use out of the Wii U.