Since Nintendo announced that their next-gen console, the Nintendo Wii, would not make the jump to high definition along side the rest of the console market, Nintendo fans have been enjoying titles like Wii Sports: Resort, Super Mario Galaxy, and winter blockbuster: The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword in a 640×480 motion controlled environment. Since then, technology has made a few leaps and it’s time once again for Nintendo to return to the drawing board to produce their next masterpiece: The Wii U.
Since the release of the Wii Mark 1 back in 2007, we’ve seen a lot of highly detailed games come out for the Xbox 360 and PS3 gaming systems. Since the Nintendo Wii’s graphics processor was neither high-definition nor powerful enough to call up most of the functions required to run the higher-res games of this decade, a graphics update is the first thing a lot of people are looking for. Whereas a lot of games couldn’t port to the Wii’s low-powered 2003-ish graphics technology, the Wii U looks to change all of that.
Featuring high-definition 1080p anti-aliased 3D graphics capabilities, the Wii U is right up there with the other two dominating 3D consoles. Just how powerful the graphics processor is has yet to be fully witnessed, though we do know that high-class games such as Batman: Arkham City will be making an appearance on the Wii U. Though this does not mean it is any better than it’s competitors in the eye candy department, it’s definitely a start.
The console’s networking capabilities seem to have jumped as well. The console will feature Wi-fi capabilities just like the Wii original, so surfing the net from your couch is still on the table and as attractive as ever. With the new Wii U touch pad controller, surfing the internet should prove less annoying than with a Wii-mote. Also coming out on the Wii U will be something called Miiverse. From Nintendo’s website, it sounds like a reinvention of sony’s play station network systems, which will be interesting to see.
The first major “what?!?” the company received when it announced the new rig was aimed at the new control scheme. The Wii U sports a sleek and rather large new game pad which appears to posses a high-res touch screen. If you’ve been to Nintendo’s website lately, you know that the touch pad consists of two thumb sticks, a classic D-pad, ABXY Buttons, a HOME button, Start and Select Buttons, Two Triggers at the top and the Touch screen. According to Nintendo’s website, the touch pad will bring in some fresh ideas on how games can be played. You can hold the touch pad Vertically or Horizontally depending on what the game you are currently playing demands.
Wireless Communication between the touch pad and your Wii U System means that the game you see on your TV interacts with what you see on your touch pad, similar to the way the DS kept us looking back and forth from top screen to bottom. Now, this new controller is nice, but what about people who want to get back to Wii mark 1 style motion play? Fear not! The Wii U is compatible with any Wii-mote controller you may have already lying around the house. That means that you can not only play Wii 1 games on your new Wii U system with classic controls, but newly released Wii U titles will be capable of wielding the power of motion control technology that we all know and love.
The touch pad is definitely good to look at, but wouldn’t a game pad that powerful come at a high price? At start up prices, Wii U game pads will cost you somewhere around $150. I bet you’re thinking the Wii-motes aren’t THAT expensive now, right? With the main controller costing that much to replace, it hampers whether or not this console will be worth your investment. Sometimes Quality comes at a high price; so true it is for Nintendo’s new rig it would seem.
The Wii U will start at $299 for the Basic set and $349 for the Deluxe model, and each only includes one touch pad controller. All-in-all, it looks like Nintendo is heading towards innovation more than convenience of price, though the fact that the console doesn’t cost any MORE than it does is nice.
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