Los Angeles - Nintendo introduced Wii U, due in 2012, which is built around a new tablet-type controller that allows for users to switch game play from the TV screen to the tablet's 6.2-inch touchscreen.
The debut of the Wii U was held at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), here, where Sataoru Iwata, global president of Nintendo, said, "The goal of Nintendo is to serve every player. We have seen changes in who plays, where we play and how we play. The new system offers a major step forward, and we have a new game system that is equally satisfying to all players."
While gamers will be able to switch from the TV to the controller and continue to game on the device, Iwata made it clear that the Wii U controller is not a portable console. It will, however, be backward compatible with the current catalog of Wii titles as well as Wii controllers and peripherals, including the Wii Balance Board.
Nintendo did not actually show the Wii U console, and instead just focused on the Wii U controller, which further includes multiple buttons and control pads, a built-in gyroscope, finger triggers and microphone. It will offer online connectivity with web browser support, and provide split-screen communication via the built-in webcam. Pricing and ship dates were not released.
Nintendo did not limit its attention to the Wii U, and offered a peek at upcoming 3DS titles, which will include core first-party games MarioKart, StarFox 64 3D, Kid Icarus Uprising, Luigi's Mansion 2, as well as third-party titles including Tetris Online, Resident Evil Revelations, Driver Renegade, Tekken 3D and Metal Gear Solid Snake Eater 3D.
The company is also sticking to its roots with the popular Pokemon series, and is introducing a free-to-download Pokedex 3D, which will be available to Nintendo 3DS owners via the newly launched Nintendo eShop with a system update.
Nintendo is also celebrating the 25
anniversary of The Legend Of Zelda franchise this year. Shigeru Miyamoto, head of Nintendo entertainment analysis and development, was introduced during the media event an orchestral introduction of music from The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. The franchise will see releases across multiple Nintendo platforms, as well as a concert series of Zelda music this fall.