So Nintendo unveiled their new Wii U console yesterday, well at least the new awesome controller. For some reason they didn’t want to focus on the console itself that much which is surprising considering these initial specs. According to the specs, the Wii U will be significantly smaller than either the PS3 or Xbox 360. It will support full 1080p resolution as well. The new console will utilize a new 12-centimeter proprietary high-density optical discs but will also play the original Wii disc. The console will have internal flash memory, as well as the option to expand its memory using either an SD memory card or an external USB hard disk drive. I have to admit that is something that I have been waiting for in a console for a few years. The 45 nanometer Power-based IBM chip this thing will be powered by is impressive, its the same core technology behind IBM’s Watson computer, you know the one that kicked all that but on Jeopardy.
I have been beating Nintendo up for a few years because I feel like they have pretty much abandoned the hardcore gamer but with these specs they might be making a come back. My biggest concern about this console though is that in this form factor, with these specs there is no way they can price it in the original Wii price range. If they did then they would definitely be losing a lot of money per unit. By using internal flash storage they allow themselves to keep the form factor small and relatively light, but it puts them directly in competition with companies like Apple who use the same kind storage for their devices like the iPhone, iPad, and iPod. I really hope that Nintendo has acquired enough inventory on the flash memory because if not that could be inventory issues right there and we all remember the supply issues with the original Wii. Taking a direction like this means that Nintendo has no problems taking on competition from two fronts, the other console developers as well as the tablet and smartphone crowd. I hope they know what they are getting into.
Size: Approximately 1.8 inches tall, 6.8 inches wide and 10.5 inches long.
New Controller: The new controller incorporates a 6.2-inch, 16:9 touch screen and traditional button controls, including two analog Circle Pads. This combination removes the traditional barriers between games, players and the TV by creating a second window into the video game world. The rechargeable controller includes a Power button, Home button, +Control Pad, A/B/X/Y buttons, L/R buttons and ZL/ZR buttons. It includes a built-in accelerometer and gyroscope, rumble feature, camera, a microphone, stereo speakers, a sensor strip and a stylus.
Other Controls: Up to four Wii Remote (or Wii Remote Plus) controllers can be connected at once. The new console supports all Wii controllers and input devices, including the Nunchuk controller, Classic Controller, Classic Controller Pro and Wii Balance Board.
Media: A single self-loading media bay will play 12-centimeter proprietary high-density optical discs for the new console, as well as 12-centimeter Wii optical discs.
Video Output: Supports 1080p, 1080i, 720p, 480p and 480i. Compatible cables include HDMI, component, S-video and composite.
Audio Output: Uses AV Multi Out connector. Six-channel PCM linear output through HDMI.
Storage: The console will have internal flash memory, as well as the option to expand its memory using either an SD memory card or an external USB hard disk drive.
CPU: IBM Power-based multi-core microprocessor.
Other: Four USB 2.0 connector slots are included. The new console is backward compatible with Wii games and Wii accessories.