Nintendo Announces New Console ‘Wii U’; First Games Revealed

It’s been rumored and speculated on for over a year now, but Nintendo has finally announced their new console. Called Wii U, the ‘console’ comes packaged with a controller that has a screen attached to it, right in the center. It kind of goes without saying that there’s never been anything quite like this.

The Wii U controller acts not only as the controller, obviously, but also as a screen. Depending on the game, you can use it to view additional information or, in the case of some games, use the controller’s 6.2 inch screen to play the game. It’s essentially a tablet device and a gaming controller at the same time.

The controller features rumble functionality, a touch screen, a gyroscope for motion sensing, accelerometer, built-in speakers and even a camera. The controller part of the controller includes your standard D-pad, analog “Circle Pads”, A/B/X/Y buttons as well as L/R and two Z buttons.

Nintendo wasn’t willing to release hardware specifications at the time, but they did reveal some of the third-party lineup for the console’s launch that suggests the console is at least on par with the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. One of the biggest surprises (beyond the obvious, of course) was just what third-party titles are coming to the console: Darksiders II, Batman: Arkham City, Ghost Recon Online, Aliens: Colonial Marines and Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, to name a few.

Other third-party titles coming to the console include Metro: Last Light, Tekken, and Ninja Gaiden 3. The fact that so many upcoming hardcore, AAA titles are coming to the Wii U marks a significant step forward for Nintendo’s goal of attracting the hardcore crowd.

The console will output games in full 1080p HD and includes USB, and SD storage options (via Joystiq). While they were willing to state that the console has internal flash storage, it isn’t known at the moment whether or not the console has a built-in HDD or not, but it does support external HDDs by way of USB.

The Wii U is due out sometime next year. To get an even better idea of just how Nintendo’s new console works, check out the debut trailer as shown at the press conference below.