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Nintendo Wii U Announced, Brings HD Tablet Gaming

Wii U

The Nintendo Wii U, the latest console from Japanese gaming company Nintendo, was announced in a press event in Los Angeles today. Though a follow-up to their popular and bestselling Wii, the Wii U shows a new strategy for the company: beating PS3 and Xbox 360 at providing the most cutting edge HD graphics—a demo of a bird flying through a landscape provided realism beyond current gaming tech. It will launch Holiday season 2012.

Wii U bird

Wii UWhat the system has beyond power, is a few innovative touches. The controller looks more like a tablet, with a 6.2" touchscreen that allows new gameplay experiences—both using the screen as a second monitor for additional info during a game, using the touch screen for interesting controls (like flicking ninja stars at the screen), or to move a game from the TV to the controller, essentially as another portable, but tethered wirelessly to the console. Like a tablet, it features a front camera and mic for video chat and a gyroscope and accelerometer for motion control. It is also backwards compatible with past Wii games and accessories.

Games teased for Wii U were Smash Bros., Lego City Stories, Tekken, Metro: Last Light, Ninja Gaiden 3, and Batman: Arkham City. EA CEO John Riccitello teased a host of EA games coming to the system. But many details about the system were not given: launch date and price, online strategy, any remote-like motion controls, and processing power. Not a single established Nintendo franchise was shown for the system.

While the HD graphics and tablet controller are compelling, the question remains whether gamers will flock to this system when it launches. Or will they wait one more year for whatever comes next from Microsoft or Sony? Either way, with the Nintendo Wii U's launch in 2012, the next generation of gaming begins.

[Videos by Adam Barenblat]

Read More: A Brief History Of Video Games