Thursday, June 09, 2011

Wii U - Is Portability The Future?

Nintendo is set to release the successor to its hugely successful Wii console in 2012. It will reportedly be full HD and be backwards compatible with Nintendo Wii and GameCube titles.

If that’s not enough to tickle your gaming taste buds, then it’s because I missed out the best bit: the Wii U will also have a HD touch screen controller in the shape of a tablet.

Those words again: a HD touch screen controller in the shape of a tablet.

In a move that is set to revolutionise the gaming industry, Nintendo will make the controller a mini-console in itself by including a rechargeable battery pack and a camera for interactivity. It will measure 6.8” across, making it as portable and accessible as the game-changing tablets that are currently dominating the market.

The question that immediately springs to mind is, ‘will this be the future of the gaming industry?’ Well, if the not-too-distant past is anything to go by, then the answer is surely a categorical yes. Microsoft, in effect, copied and developed the motion sensor technology of the first Wii with the hands-free Kinect for the Xbox 360. Sony soon followed suit, but bafflingly kept the controller, with the PlayStation Move for the PlayStation 3.

So, if the Wii U – or Project CafĂ© – is anything near the hit that it promises to be, then Microsoft and Sony would be daft not to try to go one better.

The future is looking decidedly portable, even if Nintendo falls flat on its backside with the Wii 2, since everybody else will then be presented with the perfect opportunity to outclass them with a world-beater of their own.

Sony is reportedly already working on a successor to the PlayStation Portable, which will have a 5” screen and will be released later this year, but the beauty of the Wii’s successor is that it will be two consoles in one.

The controller will add another dimension to in-home console gaming – a bit like having the extra screen on the Nintendo 3DS – whilst doubling up as a gaming machine all on its own. Users will essentially get the 3DS and the iPad in one, but it will be altogether more powerful.

It is, of course, only a matter of time until the hand-held consoles that speed up long, tedious journeys for so many people become just as, if not more, powerful as the HD in-home consoles that lamentably speed up our short-lived weekends off work.

This time next year, you could be walking around with a PlayStation 3 in your pocket and a Nintendo Wii in your workbag.

*This article was submitted to Megabits on behalf of