Japanese video game giant Nintendo have always been about innovation. Their latest console, the Wii U, is a foray into next generation gaming technology and offers radical potential for the industry. Now officially released all across the world, the console brings about new possibilities for future video games consoles. And, whilst Nintendo have clearly been influenced by Apple, their creative drive and gaming prowess can help lead the industry on an exciting new path. Here we take a look at what it has to offer customers, and how it could impact outside the games community.
The Wii U Specs
The most notable element of the console is the touch screen GamePad (above) which allows you to interact with games as never before, such as allowing users to take their gaming experience off the TV screen with them. It has 9-axis motion sensors inbuilt, these being; 3-axis accelerometer, 3-axis gyroscope, and a 3-axis geomagnetic sensor. Elsewhere there’s a front-facing camera, an IR sensor strip, Infrared Transceiver, 6.2 inch (15.7cm) 16:9 resistive touch screen, a Stylus, Wireless communication with the Wii U on IEEE 802.11n (which operates at 5 GHz), and the ubiquitous, inbuilt rumble feature. The central unit (below) comes with up to 32GB of memory, expandable SD memory, 2GB of RAM, NetFront Internet Browser, and 1080p HD video output. The Wii U is also linked with Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, YouTube, and other services such as Hulu Plus. It’s backwards compatible with its predecessor the Wii, meaning it can play, and use, all the old games and peripherals.
The Wii U is also embracing app technology. Everything you would expect from this development will be here; customers will be able to download mini-games, streaming video, social media, productivity, and utility apps. In Japan there has also been an app allowing users to order food. The advantage over other games consoles is you are not restricted to your TV screen; you can you’re your GamePad with you around your house or flat. There should, also, be apps for individual games released as the Wii U develops over the coming months, consequently enhancing a titles’ life. This has already been confirmed for the Super Mario Bros Wii U title. One of the standout examples of the technology is the application of Google Maps.
It’s a surprise partnership between Google and Nintendo and one which will allow the software to be viewable on your television screen, whilst utilizing the Streetview on your controller. The Gamepad’s accelerometer and gyroscopic technology lets you move the controller to direct you around the streets, whilst keeping an eye on the overhead view on your TV screen. It’s impressive stuff and adds a new dimension to the ever popular Google Maps. This is set for an early 2013 release and will coincide with Nintendo’s Panorama View app. This offers up 360 degree views of famous landmarks around the world. This seems fairly standard and hardly revolutionary, but the console is only a few weeks old and should develop more radical features over time.
There are a number of packages for the console, by far the best option being the £299 Black Edition, which comes with a copy of the well received Nintendo Land and 32GB of memory. In dollars this equates to $349.99. In its first week the Wii U shifted some 400,000 units and, with 24 games on offer already, there is clearly plenty of potential a new lease of gaming creativity. Although it’s in its infancy Nintendo look set to develop their latest machine into a potential industry leader. Other firms will learn from Nintendo as they did following the release of the Wii six years ago; its motion controls radically overhauled the games industry. It will be the customers who benefit from this experience, so there’s plenty to be cheerful about as we bid a fond farewell to 2012.
Author Bio: Alex Morris is a writer and online/offline information seeker. He writes for a number of sites including a discount office supplies store whilst learning about history, current affairs, and technology. Indeed.