Project Café Unveiled

Wii U Logo

Following nearly two months of rampant speculation, Nintendo took the wraps off their successor to the Wii console. Formerly known as Project Café, the new system is now officially called the Wii U. Why such a strange title? Nintendo isn't saying - yet - only that just as with Wii before it, it will conceptually make more sense sometime in the foreseeable future. While few details were given regarding technical specs, anticipated launch titles, or pricing, Nintendo did have a few small tidbits of information to share about the new console. Foremost of this information was the reveal of the new controller - which, at its core, is a 6.2" touch screen panel housed in a plastic casing. Much like its predecessor, the Wii U's controller sports an innovative design, which, Nintendo hopes developers will take advantage of to create new and compelling game experiences.

Wii U Controller Breakdown

As you can see by the above photo, the Wii U's controller is a formidable piece of hardware in and of itself. This controller, ultimately, is the Wii U's main differentiating feature. In addition to acting as the controller for the upcoming console, it also, when paired the system, can serve as a writing tablet, a screen for extra gameplay, and a video chat device. Additionally, all gameplay on the television can be wirelessly transmitted to the controller itself; ideal for times when another member of the household would like to use the television. Nintendo assures that there is no noticable latency when transmitting content to the controller using the device's built in wireless capability, but at this time did not disclose what sort of range it was capable of.

While Nintendo did not have any commercial games playable for the new console at E3 this year (instead showing a series of tech demos), they did announce several key third party partnerships for the console. Notable developers currently on board include Namco/Bandai, THQ, Disney Interactive, Irrational Games, Ubisoft, and EA. Confirmed in-development titles for the Wii U include Batman: Arkham Asylum, Metro: Last Light, Darksiders 2, Tekken: Wii Successor(working title), Ghost Recon Online, Ninja Gaiden 3 and more.

The Wii U will be fully backwards compatible with all Wii games and accessories, and is slated for release sometime next year.

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