The arrival of a new Nintendo console is always an exciting prospect; the company take great pride in their creative genius and (in their 30 year video game career) have constantly wowed fans across the world. The Wii U is another step in this direction, and whilst they have adapted some of Apple’s popular designs they are also busy leading motion capture, and the games industry, towards an exciting future. Read on to find out the details.
The Wii U is now available all across the world, having first appeared in America on the 18th of November 2012. Just one look at the console and it’s obvious what the selling point is; the Wii U’s GamePad controller (pictured below). This is perhaps the first time customers will be buying a games console purely for the control pad! Although the Wii U’s predecessor, the Wii – released in 2006, reinvented games with its motion orientated controls, the concept was soon mimicked by other firms. Ultimately the Wii lost its main selling point and sales didn’t threaten Sony or Microsoft’s more powerful machines. Nintendo now intend to stop all that with its ambitious new approach.; combing their legendary games with the Wii’s popular motion controls, along with Apple’s familiar designs.
The GamePad has a built-in 9-axis motion sensor (3-axis gyroscope, 3 axis0 accelerometer, and a 3-axis geomagnetic sensor), stereo speaks and a microphone, a front-facing camera, IR sensor strip, Infrared Transceiver, Headphone jack, a 6.2 inch, 16:19 resistive touch screen, a stylus, a rumble feature, and wireless communication with console. It’s a busy little machine and one with a unique selling point; you don’t have to play your games solely on the TV screen anymore. Take your GamePad wherever you want with you around your house or flat; now you can lie in bed and play the latest Super Mario! It’s an escapist’s dream come true.
The console itself (pictured above with the GamePad) offers a powerful step in the next generation of games consoles. It has a CPU: IBM PowerPC 750-based tri-core processor. This goes along at 1.24GHz. The Graphics Processing Unit is an AMD Radeon High Definition. It has been “clocked” at 550 MHz. The Wii U also (depending on which version you buy) comes with up to 32 GB of memory for your downloading activities; this will involve games mainly, but movies and music are, naturally, possible.
Video power is also at 1080p HD. It’s a big step forwards for Nintendo as the Wii was notoriously underpowered. For the time being (until Sony and Microsoft release their new consoles later in 2013) the Wii U will also be the most powerful console on the market. It also boasts an impressive set of games (24 already), many of which have gained great acclaim. There is also the exciting prospect of Nintendo’s (arguably the best games developers in the world) next wave of popular franchises; Mario, Zelda, Metroid, Mario Kart. All of these would be very welcome.
The Wii U is backwards compatible with all of the Wii’s games and peripherals so if you’re new to Nintendo, or an existing customer, you’re not missing out on the last half a decade of excellent titles. You’ll also be able to down load old Nintendo classics via the NetFront browser engine.
Creativity and Apps
As mentioned the controller allows you to wander off with your game displayed on the condensed screen, rather than being restricted to your TV screen. However, the GamePad offers other elements to the experience. It’s early days yet, but so far, in games such as ZombiU, players can lift the controller upwards to get a sniper’s view from a gun – via screen. With this you can save the world from zombies. There are a myriad of ways the screen can be used and, in the coming years, it is up to the most creative designers to utilise this in radical ways. Nintendo’s success really hinges on how they develop this over the next 12 months.
There will, also, be apps to download. The iPad styled touch screen will be the central hub for this. Already Google and Nintendo have teamed up and there will be an interesting Google Maps app (pictured above); using the GamePad you will can take up the Streetview tool and waltz around the streets with the controller’s motion controls. Meantime you can keep an eye on the overhead satellite view on your TV. Naturally there will also be more traditional apps; Netflix, YouTube, LoveFilm, Hulu, food services, mini games, etc. All will be downloadable onto the Wii U.
It’s an intriguing little console packed full of potential, and so far Nintendo are delivering the goods.