This Is Nintendo’s New Wii U And Its Bold New Controller

This Is Nintendo’s New Wii U And Its Bold New Controller

Nintendo’s new controller has been revealed, a touchscreen-based device that works with all-new, high-definition hardware. This is our first official look at Wii U.

We’ve seen it in person, played with its unique control scheme. It is a combination of a more traditional interface—as previously reported, the New Controller has two analogue sticks, one d-pad, four face buttons, two shoulder buttons and two triggers—and the tilting, turning and shaking motion controls that made the Wii a smash success.

Nintendo offered the following loose technical specifications to Kotaku in a pre-briefing on Nintendo’s New Console.

  • High definition display, up to 1080p resolution via HDMI output
  • 6.2″ touchscreen on New Controller, running in non-HD resolution
  • Internal flash-based media storage, upgradeable via USB and SD carts
  • Games ship on proprietary iDensity discs of unspecified, but “large capacity”
  • Games will also be available as downloadable content
  • Console compatible with Wii games and devices
  • Release date between April 1, 2012 to December 31, 2012; or after the end of Nintendo’s fiscal year


  • After watching the stream.. I’m honestly really disappointed… Cramming a DSi XL between 2 halves of a classic controller isn’t innovation… Imma head back to Sony and Microsoft and throw my money somewhere where there’s actual progress…

      • I had hope…
        Honestly… But now I feel cold and alone. Nintendo shut the door… Yay Jd graphics, but that was expected… The rest is just. Well I don’t know. Time will tell, but no jumping on the band wagon this time for me, I’ll stick it out

    • Hey im quite happy with it.. Being able to pick up my console and taking it anywhere in the house with me sounds like win. Cant wait to see Aliens on this thing.

    • Sorry what? Having a screen on the controller isn’t innovative enough so you’re going to go back to consoles with equal if not inferior graphics and traditional controllers that offer the same thing we had 10 years ago?

      A game doesn’t even need to use all the controller’s features (or ‘gimmicks’, for the haters) for it to be on par with the competition. If they make intelligent use of the features than the Wii U is providing a superior experience.

      • You don’t have to be a ‘hater’ to know a gimmick when you see one. Possibly a practical and successful gimmick, but a gimmick none the less.

          • At least Nintendo’s new gimmick isn’t as tired as Sony and Microsoft’s rehashed, regurgitated gimmicks. That being said I’m not one for gimmicks full stop.

        • It’s a very versatile gimmick. I tend to reserve the term gimmick for features that don’t fundamentally impact the direction of a game or console, or that only have a very shallow appeal and short lifespan.

          And sure, the screen on controller thing has been done before, but never to this extent, and the array of other technologies in the controller open up uses previous controller screens never had.

          I for one am very excited about the possibilities. But then the Wii still has a lot of untapped potential…

          I like to think that because the U controller has the traditional controller foundation the wii remote didn’t have that it won’t alienate 3rd party developers (cross platform games). With a larger player base from that, devs hopefully won’t be so afraid to experiment with the tools they have and provide us with new and creative experiences.

          Games that attempt to merge genres like FPS with real time strategy come to mind, as they would make good use of the dual screens.
          Card based rpgs would also make good use of a tablet.

          Just the ability to have a customizable interface on the controller like we see on the DS is great, and hardly gimmicky in my eyes. Never mind game concepts in which the second display and gyro work in tandem and are absolutely fundamental and irreplaceable.

          Use your imagination. Or at least watch the third party interviews.

      • Screens on controllers arent new…dreamcast anyone? Nintendo are just jumping on the current tablet bandwagon…Give me a regular controller any day, and maybe put some effort into making a decent 3rd party catalog of games…

        • That’s not really up to nintendo though. It depends on whether the developers are able to easily port all their core/bro games to the system and whether there is the install base for the publishers to make money on games and therefor support it further.

          the biggest problem with the Wii was that the 3rd party support was quite negligable after the first year or two due to people not buying the games on it.

  • Bold new controller? Try crazy (and not in a good way). If that thing is going to be wireless like the picture seems to imply, that touch screen is going to annihilate battery life. With a screen that big, the controller is going to be roughly the size of a small tablet PC, throwing ergonomics completely out the window.

    • The iPad has a 10hr battery. The Wii-U (weeoo?) will probably be on par or better than that. It’s basically a streaming media player with controls and a touch screen. So less processing requirements than an Ipad and no need for onboard flash media will probably make the battery more than adequate.

      So far I like it.

      • And the iPad costs 500…..u prepared to fork out 500 bucks for your second controller? Expect battery life to be 2-4 hours max.

        • the iPad costs $500 because of the battery? You won’t be paying for all that hardware lord Bob mentioned…

  • I’m scared, but like a terrified peasant hiding from the secret police in my own home, I’d throw them my money.

  • It does make me want it somehow, yet if it’s also to feature motion control, imagine the amount Nintendo’s going to make with people breaking THOSE controllers.

    Also, imagine how much those controllers are going to cost…

  • To be upfront, Nintendo has had about all the chances I can stand to give them, but as someone who works in ergonomics, if I designed that control, I would be fired. Just saying.

  • The controller featuring “the tilting, turning and shaking motion controls that made the Wii a smash success” doesn’t really seem to matter, when they’ve destroyed the unobtrusiveness and clarity of just gripping a small remote to make motion gestures with, and replaced it with a giant tablet.

  • This is ingenious…

    All 3rd Party developers can port PS Vita or PS3 or Xbox360 games to this thing.

  • It’s like an awesome/updated version of the Dreamcast controller..and that thing was great! I’m pretty excited with this.

    With EA now supporting the console- I don’t care if it’s late to the party.

  • I’m excited, I think it looks fantastic and its refreshing to see a company talking about new ideas and taking risks.

  • Will it be compatible with Gamecube games as well? If so, will you need the old controller and memory card?

  • does the controller have a headphone port.
    can it turn the console on and play games directly on the controller without a tv. so that the single tv can be used by someone else.
    that imo would be very useful for me

  • idk why everybody hates on the wii u i mean the new ways games can and will be played and from what they showed a growing 3rd party game library i mean assasins creed ghost recon batman arkham city thos are all games that im looking forward too and you cant see that your not looking to see how theyre played way differently than the 360 or ps3 versions i think nintendo is heading in the right direction to be a major player again and i will most likely be picking up awii u

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