Nintendo’s Wii Follow-Up: Wii U

Boasting full HD graphics and a controller that recalls the Sega Dreamcast while aping the style and functionality of Apple’s iPad, Nintendo’s Wii U is the follow-up to only console my wife was willing to allow in our house and the first console in many moons that my parents have owned.

Since the days of the NES, I have been a Nintendo guy (prior to that, my family was all about Intellivision). I love that their games have always been fun, difficult but not too difficult, and that, with the Wii, they figured out social gaming better than any of their competitors. It’s a company that makes video games for the rest of us, for the people who would be lost (and probably ridiculed by “real” gamers) if plunked in front of an Xbox or Playstation product.

But what I’m supposed to think about the Wii U, with it’s seeming emphasis on capturing the audience of the other guys, is unclear. Some of the promo videos Nintendo has released, including this hardware demo seem to be remembering those of us who love the Wii already, but the majority, including the vid I’m going to embed below (from Engadget) seem focused elsewhere.

Still, I think what’s at the heart of this system is what Slashgear calls, “that splash of oddness that differentiates the company from its rivals,” and that turns me on, at least — I like odd. The new controller — it supplements, rather than replaces the familiar Wiimote and Nunchuk combo — which seems to be a big focus of this week’s E3 announcements, is a weird animal. Part iPad, part traditional game controller, it looks like it can do a whole slew of things, but that it, like the Wiimote, will definitely take some getting used to.

Will I run right out and buy one? Well, I have a fair amount of time to decide, as it won’t be released until some time between April and December of 2012. But what about you? Have they sold you already? It will run all of your existing Wii games, after all. And it’s gonna be in HD! What else do they need to do, in order to get you in line on launch day?

Via Popwatch, Engadget, Slashgear, and Slashfilm