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Nintendo Wii U :: Hardware Preview

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One of the biggest announcements of E3 2011 is the revealing of Nintendo's new home console, the Wii U. Due out next year in 2012, the system promises to bring core gaming to Nintendo fans while still retaining the fun and innovation that defined the Wii.

The Console

Wii U sports a IBM multi-core microprocessor and a custom AMD Radeon HD Graphics card. Basically that means that the Wii U will be as powerful, if not more powerful, than the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360! Wii U will support 1080p HD graphics, SD cards for memory, and 4 USB ports for accessories. The special game discs for the Wii U will be similar to a single-layer BluRay disc in memory space.

The Wii U will have full backwards compatibility with the Wii, including all the accessories such as the Wiimotes, Balance Board, and Classic Controller. Just like the Wii, the new console will have a sensor bar. However, it will not support Gamecube games or Gamecube controllers.

The Controller

While you can play many upcoming Wii U games with your old Wiimotes, there is a brand new controller for the Wii U. The new control is big, even bigger than the old Wii console system! The major factor for this is the large touch screen that acts like the bottom screen of a DS, allowing people to use their finger or a stylus to draw and play.

The built-in screen will allow players to play games with a TV. There is also a front-facing camera on the controller that lets you interact with your TV screen in a new way. The controller will also feature motion control, dual joystiqs, four face buttons, two shoulder buttons, and two trigger buttons.

The Games

Confirmed first party games include Chase Mii, Super Smash Brothers, Mario, Kirby, and Pikmin. The Legend of Zelda, while shown in the trailer, has yet to be announced. Third party games for the Wii U include the upcoming Darksiders 2, Batman: Arkham City, Assassin's Creed, Ghost Recon, and Ninja Gaiden 3 games as well as the recently announced LEGO: City Stories. EA has confirmed that they will be working to bring Battlefield 3 to the new console and Ubisoft will also be producing a Raving Rabbids game for the new console.

Overall, the Wii U looks very promising. It is rumored that online play will be easier and that friend codes are finally gone. No pricing is confirmed yet. Looks like we'll have to wait until next year to find out!

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