E3 2011: This is the Nintendo Wii U

By and on

Nintendo just announced the Wii successor, the Wii U. The biggest news from the Wii U is that the new console will have a large, resistive (we’re guessing by the stylus) touchscreen controller with two ‘circle pads’, a D-Pad, the classic Nintendo face buttons, a front facing camera, a gyro and accelerometer.

And no, you will not need to get four different controllers if you have the Wii. Nintendo, the king of backwards compatibility, will still let you use your old Wii controllers. However, those with GameCube controllers should start ditching them, as now these are not supported.

For gamers with a huge HD screen, the Nintendo Wii U will be able to play games up to 1080p, which makes it now on par with its rivals the Sony’s PlayStation 3 and Microsoft’s Xbox 360. Is this the start of a new generation? No. Don’t count on it. Sony and Microsoft are committed to continue with their consoles and Nintendo is simply playing catch up.

The actual console will be powered by an IBM chip and a AMD Radeon graphics chip.

So far no details on internal storage have been revealed, so we have no idea whether it has a HDD or not. Nintendo has confirmed it will have SD card support and USB drive support including external hard drives, so either way you will be able to download content easier than on the Wii.

The controller looks like it could be pricey, but we’re hoping the console stays budget in some way.

Nintendo expects it to be released in 2012.