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Nintendo’s Next-Generation Console Wii U Is Finally Here!

Submitted by on June 8, 2011 – 9:00 amOne Comment

A few weeks ago, we speculated about what Nintendo‘s “Wii 2” might bring to the table when it was announced at the E3 Expo in Los Angeles in June. Well, it’s June—and we’ve finally got what we’ve been waiting for for months now: Details on the follow-up console to Nintendo’s super-successful Wii.

It’s called Wii U (get it?) and while Nintendo didn’t release every spec that the system will include, they did mention most of the important ones at E3 yesterday. And if you’re on Twitter like us (and the rest of the world!), your timeline probably got bombarded with every last bit of news about the announcement. So to help you sort it all out, we decided to put together a list of the five things that we’re excited about when it comes to the Wii U. It won’t drop until at least April 2012 in the U.S.—and Nintendo hasn’t announced a price for it yet—but that doesn’t mean it’s too early to start salivating over it now, does it? Get excited!

1. The brand-new tablet-like Wii U controller.

Usually, rumors about video game console controllers are blown out of proportion. They end up looking nothing like what the Internets thought they’d look like. So we were naturally a little skeptical when we heard that the controller for Nintendo’s new console was going to look something like a tablet computer. Turns out, it does! And it’s got a large 6.2-inch touch-screen on it that easily makes it the most impressive video game controller on the market.

2. All of the features attached to that brand-new controller.

Fortunately, the Wii U controller does more than just look good. It also has a stylus that you can use with it, two cameras (one in the front and one in the back), and the ability to play games from the Wii U on the screen—even if the game isn’t being displayed on the TV! So, the days of arguing over who gets to use the TV are over forever.

3. HD! HD! HD! HD! HD! Yes, that’s right. The Wii U has…

HD! If you read our original piece about the second-generation Wii, you already know that we were pushing hard for the Wii U to include high-definition. And it does. Which means we won’t need to keep a separate DVD player (or Xbox 360!) nearby every time we want to watch a movie in crystal-clear 1080p.

4. Two words: Augmented. Reality.

A lot of folks who follow gaming closely thought the Kinect for the Xbox 360 might change the way we played video games forever. After all, no controller is certainly more convenient than a bulky tablet-like controller, right? But as it turns out, that might not be the case. The Wii U will offer folks the opportunity to play augmented reality games because the new system will be able to sense the physical orientation of gamers better than the original Wii and use that information to detect their movements better without them having the swing their controller wildly all over the living room. So you’ll be able to do things like play a golf game by using the controller as your tee and never have to actually hold it in your hands to swing your club. Pretty cool, huh?

5. It’s backwards compatible.

There’s no need to stop buying Wii games between now and next April. There’s also no need to trash your entire collection once next April comes around. Because all of your current Wii games will be accessible on the Wii U. So feel free to keep playing the Wii as you would normally—and make sure you keep an eye out for more details. The Wii U is finally (almost!) here…

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