Nintendo has announced the Wii U on stage at their E3 2011 media briefing. The game utilizes a new controller that allows for a variety of different gameplay options.
“Is it U-nique, U-nifying, maybe even U-topia,” said Nintendo America president Reggie Fils-Aime.
The new controller features two analog circle pads, a d-pad, four face buttons, four back buttons, and a 6.2 inch touch screen. You can switch from the TV to the controller at any time, or use the controller as a support screen – such as an inventory system – for games that are compatible.
“As an industry, what we haven’t achieved yet is a game platform that is equally satisfying for all players,” said Nintendo president and CEO Satoru Iwata. “Yet this is exactly what we intend to create with our new home platform.”
The system is backwards compatible with all Wii games, including the Wii controller.
“A few months ago, I explained the concept of Wii U to Mr. Sakurai, who was developing Kid Icarus,” said Iwata. “We were discussing what his next game should be developed for — Nintendo 3DS or Wii U. What Mr. Sakurai suggested then was a specific idea to make Smash Brothers for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U – to make it work together on both platforms.”
More details will arrive on Smash Brothers at a later time, teased Iwata.
A promotional clip for the system, which showcased use of the new controller, displayed various different uses for the portable screen. You can put the controller on the floor and see your ball as you tee off in golf, for example, or you can use the touch screen and motion control functionality to aim and shoot ninja stars.
Nintendo did not announce any games, as all their showings were dubbed prototypes, and “not actual games,” but they did announce Traveler’s Tales’ LEGO City Stories for both Wii U and Nintendo 3DS.
Many third-parties are on board. A clip revealing the thoughts of various developers included positive comments from developers like Irrational Games’ Ken Levine, Junction Point’s Warren Spector, and other highly-regarded industry figures. Darksiders II, the next Tekken, Assassin’s Creed, Batman: Arkham City, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Online, DiRT, Aliens: Colonial Marines, Metro: Last Light, Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge, and more have all been confirmed to launch on the system.
EA CEO John Riccitiello made an appearance on a Nintendo stage for the first time ever. A clip of Battlefield 3 ran behind him, though he did not officially announce the game for the system.
“Imagine these EA games on a console with content, gameplay, and community,” said Riccitiello. “Nintendo’s next console is truly transformational, as well.”
“Our presentation this morning is just the beginning,” closed Fils-Aime.
Wii U will launch in 2012.