Nintendo finally whisked off the covers blanketing their new console today, revealing the Wii U to the assembled crowds at their E3 2011 conference. The Wii U features a tablet-like controller, which allows you to continue your big screen gaming on the go, should you have to change channel or head out. It has stylus-esque features, allowing you to draw and sketch ideas, mini game features like backgammon, a motion-sensing element similar to the original Wiimote, and a frankly insane feature where it combines with the existing Wiimote to pull of crazy moves, such as striking a golf ball perched on the Wii U controller with the Wiimote itself.
You can make video calls between Wii U controllers, browse the internet, share news found on the controller on the big screen and improve your gaming with on-screen controls. A new Zelda title was shown, featuring jaw-dropping visuals inside a cathedral as Link fights a colossal spider.
It boasts a 6.2 inch touch screen, dual thumbsticks and shoulder-buttons, along with an on-board camera, microphone and accelerometer. It's compatible with all Wii games and peripherals, as evidenced in a video where the Wii U is held up to a screen displaying Wii Sports and used to aim at targets in the bow and arrow challenges.
Nintendo emphasized the Wii U is not a portable gaming device. It might feature wireless transfer with zero latency, but that is simply an additional feature. Nintendo are looking at Wii U simply as a means to take gaming a step forward, to empower the gamer and ensure they're in control of how and when they play games.
Nintendo confirmed they'll be overlap between 3DS and Wii U titles. Super Smash Bros was confirmed to launch on both platforms, along with the previously seen Kid Icarus Uprising. I'm pretty sure we glimpsed a new Zelda in there, too, so I expect we can add that to the list.
Nintendo confirmed over eight different interactive demonstrations of Wii U will be available on the show floor. They showed off an example live on-stage, with a bird roosting on a tree as it suddenly explodes into cherry blossom bloom. The bird carries a flower across a lake, dropping it on the tranquil surface as carp leap from the water. Quite what the demo was intended to display, I'm not sure; but if that was in-game, the Wii U is packing serious firepower.
A new Super Mario Bros was announced, dubbed Super Mario Mii, where you and a bunch of friends can get involved to navigate the environments. Furthermore, a title where you block arrows coming from the screen by holding up the Wii U controller was revealed, along with a new FPS experience compatible with both Wii U and the Wiimote.
Nintendo reaffirmed all these are prototypes, not final games. A new LEGO City Stories was announced, too, for both the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS. A brief clip where the many publishers, such as EA and THQ, who're on-board with the Wii U, explained just why they're so excited for the new interface and what it promises.
They confirmed the likes of Batman: Arkham City, Assassins Creed and Ghost Recon would support the Wii U, allowing you to play those titles on the big screen and on the go. Darksiders 2, DIRT, Aliens Colonial Marines, Metro Last Light, Tekken and Ninja Gaiden 3 all made appearances, too, demonstrating Nintendo's renewed support for the core crowd.
EA then took to the stage, inviting John Riccitello to announce a new partnership between the biggest publisher in the world and the biggest games manufacturer. Riccitello revealed all the EA content you'd expect, from Madden to Battlefield 3, will make their way on to the Wii U. EA is undergoing a transformation, according to Riccitello, and the Wii U is the perfect platform for them to expand to.