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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 (opens in new tab) 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.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.