The Wii U contains a custom 45nm chip, with embedded DRAM that “is capable of feeding the multi-core processor large chunks of data to make for a smooth entertainment experience”, according to IBM. It’s based on the same technology used in the Watson supercomputer. AMD have spilled the beans that they are producing the GPU for the new console.
- High definition display, up to 1080p resolution via HDMI output
- 6.2″ touchscreen on new controller, running in non-HD resolution
- Internal flash-based media storage (rumoured to be 8GB), upgradeable via USB memory (SD cards rumoured).
- Custom AMD Radeon HD GPU
- Games ship on proprietary iDensity discs with 25GB capacity
- Games will also be available as downloadable content
- Console compatible with Wii games and devices
The controller is a combination of traditional and touch interfaces. The controller has two analog sticks, one d-pad, four face buttons, two shoulder buttons and two triggers, as well as some menu function buttons. It also incorporates the tilting, turning and shaking motion capabilities of the Wii.
The new controller also incorporates a large touchscreen interface (think iPad), a front-facing camera, gyroscope, and microphone. As mentioned above, the console can stream the gameplay directly to the controller’s display (albeit at a lower resolution) and/or to a TV in HD. You can use a stylus with the Wii U controller, making it a cheap alternative to a Cintiq for those not wanting to drop €1,000. Of course, you get what you pay for. No word on battery requirements yet.
Your old Wiimote is supposedly compatible with the Wii U too. Handy if you don’t fancy playing bowling, swinging something that looks like an iPad!
Release date for the Wii U is between 1st April and 31st December 2012; or after the end of Nintendo’s fiscal year. No prices yet either, and we don’t expect the controllers to be cheap neither.