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The new WiiU controller from Nintendo Backyardgaming
WiiU

Nintendo launches new console with touchscreen controller

The WiiU features a large handheld controller with a touchscreen display.

NINTENDO HAS REVEALED its successor to the Wii…..by sticking a ‘U’ on the end.

The WiiU has been unveiled at the massive E3 gaming expo in Los Angeles, with the Japanese gaming giant announcing a controller with a touch screen, a camera and a microphone.

USA Today reports that the controller can function as a self-contained gaming device, or can be used to play games on the TV. A demonstration shown at E3 showcased how if a person was playing a game on the TV, and another person wanted to watch that TV, the game can be continued on the controller screen. However, Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata says that that device is not supposed to function as a stand alone handheld console.

It has built in functions to allow players to affect gameplay simply by moving the controller, like the Wii remote. The New York Times reports that where there are multiple players, the user holding the WiiU console can see things that the other players can’t.

Venture Beat reports that the device is compatible with all Wii devices and Wii games, while The Guardian reports that the controller “resembles an unholy mating of a tablet PC and a gamepad. It’s huge – you need both hands to grip it – and dominated by a massive, 6.2in touch screen”. The Guardian journalist is one of a number of gaming writers who were given access to the WiiU in advance of its launch today, and a number of them report on the tight security surrounding the event.

The device won’t be out in time for Christmas, with Nintendo saying it will debut in 2012, between April and December according to the New York Times.

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