The Wii U Nears Completion, Hitting Shops as Early as April 2012

by Dale Wright

More details have been published about the next generation Nintendo console which is due to be released in the UK next year.

The Wii U is the second incarnation of Nintendo’s smash hit Wii console, and it could hit the shops as early as April, 2012. It builds on the original Wii concept but will output graphics in 1080p HD. Old Wii games will be compatible with the new system.

The Wii U will not come bundled with the Wiimote that’s currently used with the Wii console. Instead, gamers will wield a large touchscreen controller which resembles an iPad with a smaller screen. The controller has buttons on either side: the layout of the D-pad and triggers will be familiar to anyone who has a Wii already. It’s now thought that up to two players will be able to use Wii U controllers at the same time, although the software to enable this is still to be developed.

In addition, Nintendo have filed a patent to create a surround for the Wiimote which snaps a touchscreen onto the top. This might mean you don’t need to send those old Wiimotes to the charity shop just yet.

Experts believe that Nintendo are trying to capture some of the buzz around tablet computers with their new controller design, especially since the iPad 2 can now be used for AirPlay mirroring, effectively turning it into a TV gaming device. The Wii U touchscreen will be around 6” across but sadly it’s not expected to support multi-touch.

All of this will come too late for Christmas 2011, though, so Nintendo are pushing the 3DS with some new games for December, including Super Mario 3D Land. There’ll be a new Zelda-skinned 3DS console and new firmware to turn your 3DS into a 3D camcorder. Fans of the original DS can pick up Wappy Dog, a new take on the virtual pet which comes with its own robot dog.

Will you be picking up the Nintendo Wii U next year?