back to article Nintendo takes control with next-gen games console

Nintendo took to the stage at E3 today and revealed the highly-anticipated Wii successor that seeks to once again redefine the way we play games. The console previously known as Project Café has been officially unveiled as Wii U. It features HD graphics that appear to blow the PS3 out the water. The main talking point, however …


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  1. GottaBeKidding

    Less gimmick?

    The only way I can see to make it more gimmicky would be to put a set of flashing blue LEDs on it.

    If I'm playing a game, I like to be immersed in it - Not glancing down to my "controller" to see what button I'm going to be mashing next on the "wonderful" touchscreen.

    It makes sense in a small platform, like the DS + friends, but on a full-sized console? No thanks!

    1. Oninoshiko

      Actually, if used well

      It has a lot of potential, being used for player inventory (or other similar things unique to that player), it makes sense. I'm sure not all games will make effective use of it (and some may not use it much at all). Two things are going to decide if this works out, What are they pricing this at (as was mentioned in the article) and will they get the ergonomics right (the original XBox controller anyone)?

      In short, I reserve judgment.

    2. LaeMing

      On the one hand, I see your point.

      But on the other, if companies don't try these things out, how will we really know if the idea is any good or not?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      My initial thoughts were that it would be useful for the likes of Fallout and similar RPGs, being able to select items immediately, itself acting as the wrist pipboy.

      Any news on specs or will it lag behind the inevitable PS4/xbox720?

    4. Anonymous Coward


      Hmm, let's hope Nintendo listen to criticisms such as yours, maybe then they'll add some analogue sticks, D-Pad and buttons to the controller.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      You've missed the point completly...

      ...the controller can be used to reflect what is on screen.

      So come 7pm when the sprogs a mid battle, the wife can watch some crap on on telly and the kids can carry on playing.

      Sure people will say it won't catch on, but they said the same about the Wii and it's crap graphics and stupid many have they sold?

    6. Peter Gathercole Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      You're assuming a certain type of game.

      I would guess that Nintendo are trying for another Wii moment, with completely new types of game with more interaction that you can get from a tradditional controller.

    7. Disgruntled Grunt

      Im far from a nintendo fanboi

      but your over zealous judgement appears to be founded on nothing. The one picture in the reported story shows the menu from Zelda which would appear to let you pick an item from your inventory. Something you would have had to press pause for previously to enter the menu.

      So not quite getting in the way of your furious button bashing...

  2. mafoo


    Surprised they didn't go with "Wii DS"

    Also, how much are extra controllers gona cost when they are effectively tablets.

    The idea of £35 per controller when wii 1.0 came out entirely put me off buying the console - these im guessing are gona cost near the same as a DS, if not more.

  3. AlexS


    Looking at the BBC news website I see IP6 is the number one news story, the new Wii isn't even reaching top ten.

    The fully scientific conclusion is then that IP6 is way cooler than Wii (don't argue with me, you are wrong ;). I guess the public have grown up (they just don't care about hype any more with 10p left in their pocket).

    Footnote : Funny how BBC news calls IP6 'new'.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Yes, but is the console...

    ...finally going to have more RAM than my mobile phone did seven years ago?

  5. SteveBalmer


    "It features HD graphics that appear to blow the PS3 out the water"

    Back in the land of reality.....

    Clearly this is either Nintendo lame spin, or someone too stupid to understand that with the PS3, the GPU ( - the RSX, a deriritive of the GF7800), it's only a very small part of the rendering pipeline, the Cell actually having much more to do with rendering.

    This, and other comparisons love to conveniently forget this.

    I guarantee now, when this launches, it will be highly likely still behind the PS3, at best it bight be on-par with the Xbox360.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Presumably you know what main processor and what GPU(s) the Wii U has in it in order to make that statement? Remember that GPU tech and processor tech has come on a bit since the PS3 was launched. Whilst Nintendo are kings at making good games run on relatively low spec machines, the processing required to feed multiple displays (eg the controllers plus the TV(s)) means that they do need a lot of ooomph, whatever the game actually is. They also need to encode the rendered image to send it to the controller, and decode it on the controller, so they are using a lot of horsepower to do all that as well.

    2. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      RE: LOL

      I can still remember the first blast of Mario Karts on a SNES back in 1990-something-or-other (1992?). That was after a lads' night out on the town. We have a Wii that gets fired up whenever friends bring round their kids, and Mario Karts is still one of the faves with all ages. Whilst the graphics have come on massively, it's still a simple game and doesn't require "awesome" graphics capability. I remember also many slating the SNES as having "poor graphics" and then comparing it to the original Sony PlayStation. It didn't stop the SNES selling well, because the games offered were good. When the DS came out there were plenty of "experts" saying its screen was too small and the graphics weren't good enough, usually comparing to the PSP, but the DS was an even bigger success. The Wii console itself was described as "cartoony" and "primitive" by Sony fanbois, but that didn't stop the Wii being another big success.

      Why? Game play. High-tech, uberspec consoles are nothing without good games. The original SNES was good, but it had cabled consoles. So Nintendo got rid of them. Then parents complained that their kids were hogging the TV, so Nintendo have now made a way to shift gaming off the TV onto the handset. Nintendo seem to listen pretty well. And they'll probably do it with the same core titles that work so well now. Meanwhile, if I want real graphics performance, I'll go play on a PC - a much better games platform than any Sony PS-whatever.

    3. Chris Harrison

      PS3 Fanboy alert

      Steve, Please go back to pleasuring yourself with your PS3.

  6. Lee Dowling Silver badge


    Biggest problem will be price. As it is, Wiimotes are *still* £30-something even after five years of production, not to mention MotionPlus, Nunchuk, etc.

    That was always the biggest barrier to > 2 player gaming on the Wii for me, if I'm honest - you only ever get one with the console and you're usually willing to push to a second if you get it "free" with a decent game, but after that there's little incentive to continue because of the price and even the availability in the early years - they could easily hit £50 for a full set for a single player. And that's not even considering the WiiFit which is basically a one-per-household item, if that, and is still prohibitively expensive even now. You should not be paying almost as much as the price of the console in order to get two players on a par in terms of controllers.

    At one point people were hacking the Wiimote to be things like presentation remotes, etc. but when you consider the price of the hardware (including a standalone sensor bar in that case), it's actually just cheaper to buy a presentation remote or a cheap interactive-whiteboard-type sensor that sticks to the wall.

    I don't doubt that Nintendo's bulk-buying could bring the price down enormously but they didn't really do much to accelerometer prices in terms of the Wiimote's final price (or even that of it's knock-off rivals). And they'll pull the old trick of only giving you one controller because "you can just hot-seat". That said, Nintendo tend to know what they are doing and will make lots of money off everything through sheer popularity and business sense. But it's annoying that the "console" price never includes two complete controllers any more, and that they push 4-player or more games when hardly anyone can afford that kind of setup without carting equipment round to other people's houses.

    1. Sooty


      have pretty much always only included a single controller. I only got one with my snes back in the 90s. It's mostly covered up though, by console bundles that add an extra one along with a game or two.

    2. Anonymous Coward


      its not real a valid argument to complain at the price of the controllers.

      When you go out and buy a wii or whatever controller, check out the price of additional controllers and weighed up the cost of batteries or rechargeable and any other things you may want or need at the time, you need to really look at the total cost of ownership.

      When I got my wii, I took EVERYTHING into account. including how much the controllers cost for a full set of 4 (plus motion plus and nunchucks) the balance board, chargers.

      I didn't mind handing over my hard earned cash for all these things as I knew I would never be buying a game that was a total lemon as i could try all the games before I buy... and to be fair, while some games have been total gems and worth every penny that I have paid for them, some have been total CRAP and not worth the price of the disk the "trial" version was on !

  7. The Fuzzy Wotnot


    Seems like a good idea in principle, if you're a big RPG player imagine having all the controls on a the touch screen, the pages flipping to show different control pads for the game, that would be pretty cool. Using the touch pad and stylus for the kids to draw pictures and practice writing? Looks like it has some potential and seems like a genuine attempt to move gaming forward, might be worth keeping an eye on.

  8. Citizen Kaned


    that controller looks massive. time will tell but to me it seems too big to use.

    what might be interesting would be to use the stylus for FPS gaming.

    how much to replace those controllers too? £100?!?!?

    1. Chris Harrison
      Thumb Up

      Remember the Xbox 1?

      Yes I agree, that controller seems a tad large. Perhaps they should provide a seperate smaller one for games that don't take advantage of the screen.

      I remember microsoft supplying japan with a different controller for the xbox so that could hold them in their tiny little hands. You think nintendo would know better.

  9. Eponymous Cowherd


    I can see how this controller may be great for certain game genres. It would lend itself to driving and flying games very well. The trouble is its going to be pretty unwieldy for a lot of the kind of games where the controller is used as a tool/weapon/pointer (MP3, for example). I wonder if the Wii U will come equipped with a "traditional" Wii controller as well as the screen?

    Also wonder t the cost of buying extra screen controllers. I imagine they are going to be significantly more expensive than standard controllers.

    Will be interesting to see exactly what these PS3 busting graphics consist of and some more detailed tech specs.

  10. Daniel 43
    Thumb Up

    I want one

    Rubbish name though, as per

  11. LuMan


    "It features HD graphics that appear to blow the PS3 out the water"

    Yes, but as the disc format is proprietry you'll still need a PS3 (or BD player) to watch BD movies. Why not just include a BD player in it??

  12. dotdavid


    I've never understood Nintendo. They come out with a genuinely novel, good idea, and then they completely fail to capitalise on it. Take the Wii - why didn't they sell a "Media" channel that could play DVDs and maybe sell streamed movies to Wii punters? Why is the online functionality of a console *with wifi built-in* not used better?

    I doubt the Wii2 will change this oddness about the company. It's frustrating.

    Pirate icon because cracking and Homebrew-enabling your Wii is the only way to make it useful.

    1. sabroni Silver badge

      cracking and Homebrew-enabling your Wii is the only way to make it useful.

      shit, what have I been doing with mine since launch? Stupid me, I've been playing games I bought on it, obviously I should've been moaning that it's not a dvd player....

      1. luxor
        Thumb Up

        Reply to Reply to post: cracking and Homebrew-enabling your Wii is the only way to make it useful.

        Exactly! It's a games console for playing games on, not for watching boring films on.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          How many people are still using their Wiis?

          The Wii had so much potential, but Nintendo blew it (again) - rehashing the same franchises, and pouring their efforts into attracting the 'casual gamer' that many people simply got fed up waiting for decent challenging content.

          1. sabroni Silver badge

            not many..

            ..but mine has been used pretty consistently since launch. Got 50+ games to prove it, too (not counting downloadables). But yeah, if you don't like Nintendo product you don't like Nintendo product. It's good to have an alternative to ps3/360 though, rather than 3 platforms all producing very similar product.

            Still, decent challenging content? Super mario galaxies, metroid prime, zak and wiki, sin and punishment, little kings story, lost winds, no more heroes, Tatsunoko vs Capcom, Monster Hunter Tri, Wario ware, Muramasa, house of the dead overkill, silent hill shattered memories. Just off the top of my head.

            Not to your taste maybe, but decent and challenging....

  13. OrientalHero

    not kid or screen friendly

    Remember the first thing Nintendo had to do with the original WiiMote? Issue a great big plastic cushion/cover.

    People were throwing them left right and centre (albeit it accidentally) and busting their screens or their relatives/friend's heads. At least the WiiMote always survived.

    Now you are gonna have to replace two screens!

    And I'm not sure how long they'd survive with the kids, and yes, the old controllers are compatible but then why bother with the new one then?

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      RE: not kid or screen friendly

      Yes, but remember the wriststraps for the Wiimotes? Solved a lot of problems. A wriststrap for the new WiiU should suffice. And everyone said kids would break the DS, but they seem pretty robust. In fact, I hear more people moaning about keys popping out and case cracks in their iPhones than DSs.

  14. jai

    wii on u

    think i'll stick with playing proper games on the playstation instead of the gimmicky kids games that are alway on nintendo.

    don't like the huge controller either, i bet it's heavier than it looks.

  15. JDX Gold badge


    It sounds utterly bonkers. However so did the Wii. I am struggling to see how this is family-friendly though, the great thing about the Wii is not needing to press buttons and use joysticks.

    Also, motion-tech is the only reason I got the Wii, I can't see Tiger Woods 2014 will have you swinging a tablet like a club.. can we still use standard Wiimotes?

  16. Oliver Mayes

    A few thoughts

    How much power does that controller need? Is it wired or does it have a big battery on it, what sort of play time do you get before having to recharge it?

  17. ElectricFox

    Board Games

    Could be a pretty good application here; Catan, for example. The main gameplay/board on the telly with private cards/items on the controller for each individual player. You don't get all the fiddly little bits that get lost under the sofa and save the time it takes to set up/pack up a traditional board game. Also handy for people like me that can't fit a massive table in the house.

    Still, all down to pricing....

    1. CD001
      Thumb Up

      Good point...

      Or games like "Magic the Gathering" where you could use the TV as a sort of gaming board with your cards displayed only on your controller - hell, it would even work with Scrabble. For group games this actually gives you a sort of public shared screen and each player an individual private screen - the way in which board games have worked since the year dot.

      I think a lot of Nintendo's angle is getting lots of people playing together in the same room, on the same device. Giving everyone their own mini-screen could actually really broaden the spectrum of games available to this kind of setup...

      The Wii was gimmicky - I never really saw the appeal myself - but this, I think, has the potential to actually be one of the greatest shifts in console gaming since the PS1 (which took console gaming beyond the platformer/kids market).

      It might not work, who knows yet - but hats off to Nintendo for some original thinking.

  18. luxor

    Only one controller.

    Those of you who are worried about the price of additional controllers have no need to.

    Wii U will only come with one controller. You will not be able to buy more - one controller, one machine.


    As to the Wii U itself. I want one now.

  19. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
    Black Helicopters


    Reminds me of the dreamcast controller, don't really see this is entirely original.

  20. Vetis

    rip off games

    The only reason for all the backward compatability is to keep the price of their last gen console titles high.

    1. sabroni Silver badge

      and.. you can play all your old games when you upgrade.


  21. sisk


    I really wasn't impressed with the touchscreen on the DS. In fact, I was so unimpressed with it that I still have my SP. I have my doubts that I'll be any more impressed with the touchscreen on the Wii U, but I may change my mind when I get a chance to try it if they do a decent job with it.

    I suppose I'll have to wait until one shows up in the local Gamestop and I have a chance to play with it to decide if I'll get one or not.

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