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E3: Everything You Need to Know About the Wii U

Did you hear? Nintendo’s next console has been unveiled and it’s capable of some pretty cool things. Sure, it looks like a Wii with rounded edges and its controller doesn’t look like the most confortable thing you could hold for hours on end – if you’re focusing on those things than you’re missing the point. The Wii U is Nintendo’s attempt at satisfying us, the hardcore market, and with the lineup of games the system has for it so far (more on that later), it looks like they might be on the right path to capturing the hearts of people who aren’t soccer moms, retired or can’t legally drive.

We’ve covered some of the important features and the many ways you can play it, but there’s still plenty we haven’t discussed. I’m talking about the games you can expect on the console and the specs, or at least the ones Nintendo has revealed so far. Head past the break to get in the know. Let’s answer a few questions before we dive into the game’s current software lineup.

How big is it?

I’m glad you asked. It stands close to 2 inches tall (1.8″ to be exact), is 6.8 inches wide and 10.5 inches long.

What’s so special about this controller?

It’s the first controller that utilizes a 16:9 touchscreen built into the hardware, and a large one at that, as it measures an impressive 6.2 inches. It includes dual analog sticks, a rechargeable battery, and all the buttons we expect from a Wii controller (Power button, Home button, +Control Pad, A/B/X/Y buttons, L/R buttons and ZL/ZR buttons).

It also features a built-in accelerometer, gyroscope, rumble, front-facing camera, microphone, stereo speakers, sensor strip, stylus, and supports all of first-party peripherals and controllers (Nunchuk, Classic controller, Balance Board, Wii Remote, Zapper, etc.).

What types of media does it support?

The console has single self-loading media bay that plays 12-centimeter proprietary high-density
optical discs (these store 25GB, or half the capacity of the PS3’s Blu-ray discs), as well as 12-centimeter Wii optical discs, so you can play your Wii games on your Wii U.

The Wii isn’t HD, what about the Wii U?

It is. In fact, it supports everything from 480i to 1080p and is compatible with your HDMI, component, S-video and composite cables.

How will it sound?

Like a thousand angels cooing softly into your ears, or something similar. The Wii U uses an AV Multi Out connector and Six-channel PCM linear output through HDMI. I’m sure roughly a fifth of you understood that (spoiler: I sure as hell didn’t).

How many games/music/videos/porn will I be able to store on it?

Not as much as you could on your 360 or PS3. The console has internal flash memory but you’ll be able to expand it with an SD memory card or external USB hard disk drive.

What about all that other nerdy mumbo jumbo?

The Wii U is powered by a “custom AMD Radeon HD GPU” graphics card and its CPU is an IBM power-based multi-core microprocessor. The console also has four USB 2.0 connector slots.

If you’re as technically literate as I am I’m sure you’re feeling a mild pounding as your feeble brain attempts to process everything above. The gist of it is: the Wii U is no slouch in the power department and it will certainly give the rival consoles a run for its money. By rival consoles I mean the PS3 and Xbox 360, since we still have no idea what Sony and Microsoft are cooking up right now for their followups.

On to the games! Now, obviously this list will grow over time but as of right now these are the games you can expect on Nintendo’s next console:

LEGO City Stories
Darksiders II
Tekken (working title)
Assassin’s Creed (working title)
Ghost Recon Online
Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge
Dirt (working titles)
Aliens: Colonial Marines
Metro: Last Light
Super Smash Bros. (working title)
Batman: Arkham City

Some unconfirmed but no less intriguing games include a potential Battlefield and/or Army of Two game for the console, as EA’s CEO John Riccitiello hinted at. And including the Rabbids and Assassin’s Creed games listed above, Ubisoft has two other games cooking, including a multi-sports title aimed at families and an all new first person shooter IP. Exciting.

So that’s everything I know. Yes, I know, it’s a lot and I’m obviously a very intelligent person to have been able to withhold all this information in my obviously large brain. If you still have questions regarding Nintendo’s new console (or how I came to be so damn scrumptious) let me know, I’m sure I have an answer floating around up there somewhere.



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