New Wii joins tablet craze

NINTENDO has introduced the world to the Wii’s touchy new big brother: the Wii U.

The Japanese gaming giant overnight unveiled the Wii video game console successor, which will broadcast high-definition video and feature a touchscreen controller that can detect motion and interact with what’s occurring on a television display.

“Up until now, home console games had to occupy the TV screen in order to be played,” said Nintendo president Satoru Iwata. “The new controller for Wii U, with its 6.2 inch (15.75 centimetres) screen built in, means you won’t need to give up your gameplay when someone else comes in the room and wants to watch a TV program.”

The white 15.75cm touchscreen controller can broadcast standard-definition video and features a directional pad, microphone, dual analogue sticks, speakers, two pairs of shoulder buttons and a front-facing camera.

The console itself will use proprietary high-definition optical discs, 1080p HDMI output and internal memory that can be upgraded with USB technology.

The prototype controller was demonstrated during the Electronic Entertainment Expo, the gaming industry’s annual convention, in several ways: displaying a player’s inventory in a Legend of Zelda game, being used as a shield from incoming attacks, offering an alternative way to play a chasing game and showing the image of a teed-up golf ball on the ground before it was struck to a putting green depicted on a TV.

Nintendo said the Wii U will be released between April and December next year and will be backward-compatible with Wii games and controllers.

Darksiders II, Batman: Arkham City, Tekken, Assassin’s Creed and Metro: Last Light were among the titles that would be released for the system.

The price for Wii U was not announced.

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