Nintendo announced at E3 today that the Wii U will be the successor to the Wii console. The new system is scheduled to drop some time between mid to late 2012. Read more about it after the jump.
Wii U appears to be no larger than the Wii itself, but it’s much more capable, outputting 1080p visuals over HDMI. The console has internal flash memory for storage that is expandable via USB and SD memory cards. Games will come on proprietary high-density optical disks similar in size to a DVD. Like the Wii, Wii U will also be able to download and play games. It’s also backward compatible with Wii software and devices(specifically the Wii remote and Nunchuk–a key point we will get to). Nintendo made no mention of backward compatibility with GameCube games.
Similar to the Wii, the controller is the heart of Wii U. And it’s large–think somewhat smaller than an iPad and considerably bigger than the original Sony PSP. The reps on hand noted that the controller was designed to offer a new way for players to interact with the console, games, and other players. They understood that, much like the first time we saw the Wii remote, the only way to really understand was to show us.
On the face of the controller you’ll find a 6.2inch touch screen (Nintendo declined to say whether it was multi-touch capable). A stylus slides out of the controller for use on the touchscreen(which makes us think it’s based on resistive touch technology). During the E3 2011 press conference, Nintendo showed the stylus being used for fairly complex sketching, which shows us how detailed/discrete the touchscreen will be. The matte screen has great viewing angles and offers vivid colors and brightness, making it ideal for use by two people at the same time at very off angles. The pixel density seems to be sufficiently high enough to put it on par with modern smartphones. Nintendo stated that it’s not high definition, but the resolution appears to be substantially higher than the 3DS screen. We’re guessing the screen is under 1280×720 and above 640×480.