By Adam Tuck
The short version: The new Wii U console is super confusing, and looks like it could be either total genius or a complete flop.
A lot of buzz surrounded Nintendo's press conference this year. Murmers about their new home console flew fast and furious. How would they possibly follow the success of the Wii? Hopefully Nintendo would give us some answers today.
This year, Nintendo kicked their party off by celebrating The Legend of Zelda's 25th anniversary, giving it a full orchestral treatment and everything. They announced that Link's Awakening has been released on the eShop as of right now, Four Swords is being released on DSIWare for free, and Skyward Sword, the new Zelda game for Wii, is coming out in time for the holidays this year. The game is "done" and special editions will include a gold Wii remote.
Nintendo continued by talking more about the 3DS. Many new games were announced and elaborated on, most of which are being released sometime this year. These include Mario Kart, Kid Icarus, Super Mario, Star Fox 64 3D, and our personal favourite, Luigi's Mansion 2! More third-party 3DS games coming up include Resident Evil: The Mercenaries, Tetirs, Ace Combat, Driver Renegade, Tekken 3D, Metal Gear Solid, and several more.
One more amazing announcement involved a real-life Pokedex for the 3DS, released for free. It includes AR or augmented reality technology, which means you'll see Pokemon in your living room through the 3DS camera! You'll be tasked with collecting rare Pokemon from Pokemon White and Black, finding capture areas in real life in order to catch new Pokemon. Very cool!
Then, the main event: the Wii U. The new Wii console seems to work with all the Wii's games, peripherals and controllers, but brings HD graphics to the table and also brings a new controller, which looks like a large tablet with buttons along the sides. It's a touchscreen, allowing for touch-based play, but the controller will also be able to support Wii U's video on the small screen. What does that mean? It means you'll be able to play Wii games on the controller, without your main TV actually even being on, which is kind of a neat idea. There will be a stylus included with the controller so you can draw in HD on the tablet, and the tablet also includes a built-in camera, and the same motion-based technology as is in the Wii remote.
So, any games coming out for it? Lots of third party developers expressed excitement in the Wii U. The following games were already confirmed: Darksiders II, Assassin's Creed, Tekken, Metro Last Light, Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge, and a lot more.
No release date has been talked about for Wii U just yet, but I'm sure we'll hear more about it in the very near future, so stay tuned.