CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again

Christmas Gift Guide

Nintendo's finally unveiled its new home console, the Wii U, and in true Nintendo style, it's completely mental. Unlike the Wii, the new Wii U console outputs video in high definition, and packs a crazy-looking controller with a 6.2-inch touchscreen in the centre. Click through our photo gallery to gaze upon its plastic white loveliness for yourself, and be sure to read our full in-depth preview.

Here's how it works. The console itself is still shrouded in the fog of mystery, but we know it outputs HD video via HDMI, uses internal flash memory and plays optical discs. The console communicates wirelessly with the new controller, just like the existing Wii.

The controller's packing a 6.2-inch touchscreen (unfortunately it uses a stylus like the 3DS, though we imagine you could get by just fine using your fingers) and a huge array of buttons, in a layout that very much mimics the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 controllers.

That means two analogue sticks, a D-pad, four face buttons, two shoulder buttons and two triggers. Inside there's a gyroscope and an accelerometer, and there's a front-facing camera on top too.

Nintendo's hoping that hardcore gamers who got bored with the Wii's limited controls and standard-definition visuals will be lured back into the fold. But the stuff you can do with the touchscreen is what's really new and interesting.

For many games, the touchscreen will display additional information like stats, or ammo. But we saw Nintendo showing off game concepts where you could use the touchscreen to fire virtual blades toward your telly -- aiming the controller where you wanted them to land on-screen, or using the controller as a virtual shield to block incoming attacks.

Interestingly, early predictions surrounding the Wii U turned out to be dead accurate. We pooh-poohed the idea of an HD console with a button-coated controller, which just goes to show what we know.

The Wii U will be out sometime between April and December next year. There's no word on pricing yet.

Caption by
The controller's screen will work as a secondary display.
Caption by
Regrettably there's a stylus, just like with the 3DS. You probably won't need it though.
Caption by
Portrait orientation, why not! Let's go crazy.
Caption by
Around the back there are two sets of shoulder buttons. Useful.
Caption by
Sultry tilted view.
Caption by
This is the new console, which is still shrouded in mystery. We know it outputs in HD though.
Caption by
Waving the controller around can influence games, thanks to its motion-control gubbins.
Caption by
It'll also work with the Web browser.
Caption by
All older Wii Remotes will work with the Wii U, and the new controller will be used to add variety in multiplayer games.
Caption by
Draw Link's face! If you want.
Caption by
Get ready to fight over who holds the new controller.
Caption by
Published:
Up Next
The best games and gear you have to...
17