Nintendo Unveils New Console Called Wii U

After Sony yesterday, it was the turn of the other big Japanese console manufacturer, Nintendo, to unveil a new gaming machine, the Wii U which promises to be evolutionary rather than a disruptive element.

Key to the Wii U is its controller which the Guardian compares to the "unholy mating of a tablet PC and a gamepad" and which reminds us either of (a) an albino UMPC or (b) the 3Com Audrey.

You not only have analogue controllers on both sides but also a front facing camera, speakers, microphone and that 6.2-inch touchscreen.

The new gaming console was presented by Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime who stated: "It’s different from anything you’ve played before. It can change the way you game personally and it can change the way you play with your family and friends."

It is basically a tethered version of the Nintendo DSi with a bigger screen and some allure; and yes you will be able to play games on it without your telly being on. Fortunately, existing Wii accessories like the Balance board and the Nunchuk will also be compatible with the Wii U.

The console runs in full HD via HDMI but the controller's touchscreen will not. It comes with internal Flash memory with an SD card reader and USB slots. It will be backward compatible with the existing catalogue of Wii games and will launch between the 1st of April and the 31st December 2012.