Nintendo has just unveiled their next console. So what is it? It's an HD console named Wii U. It's backwards compatible with all Wii games, so those extra Wiimotes you bought won't go to waste. But the big innovation, the one designed to change the way we play games again, is the controller (picture 1).
Housing a 6.5" touchscreen, a front facing camera and capable of motion tracking, it looks more like an oversized handheld console than a regular controller.
The screen can be used in two ways - simply as a storage space for information, much like the bottom DS screen is. Or, more thrillingly, as an active part of gameplay.
Take, for example, the pirates game (or more fittingly "tech demo") Nintendo showed off. Arrows are fired towards you, you lift the controller as a shield to block them, using the screen to see where they are.
Or the driving simulator. As you're driven around the city you can turn away from the television holding the controller to see what's around you in 360 degrees. Or... OR! You can place it on the floor during a golf game and it will become the ball and the tee.
Throwing stars (different game, not golf, more's the pity) appear on the controller's screen. You aim and flick towards the TV screen at enemies. Alternatively it can simply be used to play games, if someone else is watching TV. Check out the video below.
Franchises like Assassin's Creed and games like Batman Arkham City have been confirmed as have Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Online, Darksiders 2, Dirt, Aliens: Colonial Marines, Metro: Last Light, Tekken, Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge and Super Smash Brothers. Release date is sometime after April 2012.
The second Nintendo's press conference is over we'll be sprinting from the Nokia Theatre to the Convention Center to play it. Stay tuned for our thoughts. Or if you've got things to do, don't worry, we'll Tweet you when we're ready.